Almost 10 months ago, I wrote the post, "Dear China, Microsoft Wants to Charge You for Air Too" and now Novell follows up with its own plan to charge China for air. The Chinese assume that since Linux is open source that it means that it is less capitalistic and less money driven.
OK. Now let's see if you can get them to believe that.
The conversation will go something like this:
Novell: Hi, we're Novell--we represent the open source operating system, Linux.
China: Great. You did know that Red Hat and Microsoft both have already been here, didn't you?
Novell: Yes, of course. Our version of Linux is better than Red Hat's and we have an agreement with Microsoft. [Giggling in the background]
China: Microsoft? But aren't they a monopolistic, greed-based, capitalist company bent on world domination--umm, you know like Communism without the monopoly or greed things. [Giggling]
Novell: Yeah, but our agreement with Microsoft is to protect our customers from any patent infringement caused by Linux.
China: So, using Novell's SUSE Linux, we'll be protected from patent infringement? Red Hat gives us the same deal--Ubuntu does too, I think. What's the advantage of using your version when we can get it for free and ignore patent infringement anyway? After all, we're the biggest software pirating country in the world.
Novell: Yeah, but you should use us because...like...we're Novell and our production software is only a little behind the curve on innovation.
China: Yeah, OK. You've convinced us. [All out laughter]
[On the Plane back to Utah]
Novell: I think we did well. They like us. They really, really like us. [High fives all around]
[Beijing - Ministry of Information Industry]
China: That was interesting [Tossing marketing materials and info into trash]. We'll own them in a year. [High fives all around].