Novell Exec Gripes About Patent Deal with Microsoft

"The patent piece is such a small piece of it," de Icaza said. "I don't think Windows and Linux are relevant in the long term. They might be fantastic products ... but Google has shown itself to be a cash cow. There is a feature beyond selling corporate [software] and patents ... it's going to be owning end users."

Microsoft touts Silverlight as a cross-platform technology that will run on any browser or OS platform -- such as Windows, Mac or Linux. However, instead of offering a version for Linux itself, it has chosen to let Novell do it through the Moonlight project.

Keith Smith, director of product management for Microsoft, said that Microsoft decided to let Novell port Silverlight to Linux rather than do it themselves because of Novell's expertise with the Linux OS. Novell already had the Mono open-source .NET implementation project as well, which also factored into the decision, he said.

The choice has drawn ire from open-source diehards who were displeased with Novell's decision to sign a cross-licensing agreement with Microsoft in the first place. A Web site called "Boycott Novell" decried Moonlight as a Microsoft "pet project" and criticized the company's decision not to port Silverlight to Linux itself.

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