So now we find out that SuSE is forking the OpenOffice suite in order to better interact with MS Office. Hmmm...let me think about this one. Microsoft sees OpenOffice on the rise over the years. OpenOffice becomes more and more accepted. Microsoft buys into Novell. Novell forks OpenOffice into their own version that will support Microsoft's OpenXML standards. This fork, I am sure, will be covered under the "patent agreement" between MS and Novell. What does this do? Well, it could easily slip proprietary code into the currently open code of OpenOffice. With this forking it is possible that that OpenXML standard coding could somehow leak its way into the true OpenOffice and Microsoft would have reason to sue the OpenPants off the open source community.
I don't care how you slice this piece of OpenPie, it's wrong. The idea that Novell would strike up such a deal with Microsoft and not see through the smoke and mirrors is an embarrassment to the open source community.
Look Novell, Microsoft is playing you like an out of tune violin. And now they are doing everything they can to pull the strings of the open source community...and doing so through a trap door no one thought would ever be opened.
Sure a lot of people thought maybe someday Microsoft would port a version of MS Office over to the Linux OS. It always made sense - open up a market currently closed for business. Many businesses might open up their wallets for a Linux version of Office. But instead MS goes for one of the flagship applications of the OpenSource community...one that stands to take more money from the coffers of MS than any other open source application.
But to what end? What are you planning MS? Why take on OpenOffice like this? And why fork it? Why water down the development of an application outstanding in features and stability?
Why? Because it's Microsoft and Microsoft only does things the Microsoft way.
This is only a cloud cover for something bigger. Don't trust MS Novell! Don't trust MS open source community. Don't fork up OpenOffice.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.