Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:05 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Novell and Ximian At a press conference in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to announce a new partnership between Microsoft and Novell. The unprecedented deal will have Microsoft offering a degree of sales support for Novell's SUSE Linux while both companies work towards better interoperability between their respective operating systems. As part of the agreement, Microsoft also promises not to wield its patent portfolio against SUSE Linux. More here. You can follow the live webcast announcement, by Steve Ballmer, here. Update: Novell has put up a detailed FAQ about this deal.
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Whaaaaat?
by santana on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:31 UTC
santana
Member since:
2006-10-22

????

Capitulation, playing nice, or good old EEE? Could it be that they are that scared of Oracle move?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Whaaaaat?
by skingers6894 on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 02:31 UTC in reply to "Whaaaaat?"
skingers6894 Member since:
2005-08-10

Maybe Linux is Microsoft DarWindows for Windows Server after Vista...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Whaaaaat?
by garymax on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 07:41 UTC in reply to "Whaaaaat?"
garymax Member since:
2006-01-23

These talks were underway 6 months ago--long before Oracle made its move.

So scared of Oracle they are not...

Reply Score: 3

Please...
by kensai on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:32 UTC
kensai
Member since:
2005-12-27

I'm a linux guys, but please, read the article and try to understand it before calling Microsoft and Novel an evil empire that will try to destroy Linux. That is so every other article about MS and Linux. This will have it's benefits and thats for sure, so if they make a deal, so be it.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Please...
by pecisk on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:15 UTC in reply to "Please..."
pecisk Member since:
2005-10-20

You calling for common sense in web site where flaming and trolling is a part of everyday's work? ;)

But if we talk seriously, I second you. It really hurts a little when already another flameboy who doesn't know a sh@#% about real IT calls Novell a evil, Mono a sellout, etc. Even when RMS do flames, it gives solid ground for his reasons.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Please...
by slight on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 10:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Please..."
slight Member since:
2006-09-10

Usually that's true but when you're dealing with open source things are a bit different. Suse is a compilation of thousands of projects, it's not just Novell. Good will counts for a lot in this area.

Also, this is Microsoft we're talking about. Regardless of what you think of their software, their business practices are vicious. Look at pretty much any time they've partnered with a competitor..

Reply Score: 1

RE: Please...
by rexbinary on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:48 UTC in reply to "Please..."
rexbinary Member since:
2006-01-04

nm

Edited 2006-11-02 23:54

Reply Score: 1

RE: Please...
by Sphinx on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 15:28 UTC in reply to "Please..."
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Read between the lines and figure it out before you go licking the hand that's about to slap the living shit out of your fave os.

Reply Score: 4

I've..
by santana on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:38 UTC
santana
Member since:
2006-10-22

...read the article, and never mentioned Evil and Empire. This may have benefits, however, statement that they will offer "degree of sales support" for Linux, coming from the company that spent last 10 years bashing it (from cancer to TCO's and SCO's etc.) is a bit of surprise. I'm a bit lost with a motivation here, MS seems to be doing good without the Linux (judging from their latest earnings reports).

Reply Score: 4

RE: I've..
by BluenoseJake on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 00:16 UTC in reply to "I've.."
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

It's almost free PR, it shows regulators that they are acting nice in the marketplace, it may sell Windows Hypervisors, hell, they'll get help from Novell to make sure Suse is the best Linux to run on Windows virtualization, which may decrease competitors, especially if both Windows and Suse come in the same box, both with support. Seems like nothing but motives everywhere I look

Reply Score: 1

webcast
by deanlinkous on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:39 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19
FAQ
by Eugenia on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:41 UTC
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

In the FAQ says some cool stuff about Mono and patent agreements.

Edited 2006-11-02 22:41

Reply Score: 1

Odd statement
by twenex on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:41 UTC
twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

This is a very, very odd statement. Linux is miles away from challenging Microsoft market share (though I don't share the view that it is miles away technologically).

I just don't get it - there HAS to be something behind this, whether it's Empire Evilness or something else.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Odd statement
by smitty_one_each on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:41 UTC in reply to "Odd statement"
smitty_one_each Member since:
2005-07-07

From the Department of Pure Speculation, in cooperation with Rumor Control and the Rectal Pluck Squad, I'll venture that Redmond got told back at the big anti-trust hearing a few years back that they need to make nice with the market or face a federal meat cleaver, a la AT&T.
Subsequent to that you saw them go to ECMA with C#, and start up an Open Source Lab, and now this.
Of course, maybe excreting Vista has shown that their OS margins are too weak. Look for a set of MS Office C# Assemblies that run well on Mono.
Redmond is here for the cash, not the ideology.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Odd statement
by Eugenia on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Odd statement"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

>Redmond is here for the cash, not the ideology.

Of course they are. And so is Novell too. These are public companies, they are required to.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Odd statement
by abraxas on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 06:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Odd statement"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

From the Department of Pure Speculation, in cooperation with Rumor Control and the Rectal Pluck Squad, I'll venture that Redmond got told back at the big anti-trust hearing a few years back that they need to make nice with the market or face a federal meat cleaver, a la AT&T.

Have you noticed how AT&T is buying back all the baby bells? They bought out SBC, which happens to be my telephone company. I doubt that this has anything to do with antitrust. After all they got off with a slap on the wrist in the US. Corporate justice is a joke in the US.

The real reason Microsoft is making this deal with Novell is because while Microsoft dominates the desktop, Linux does very well in the server market. Linux even exists in markets that Microsoft does not, like clusters and supercomputers. Believe it or not, Linux is big time and making allies with a big Linux company like Novell could help Microsoft a great deal. I have to admit though, it's a bit strange to see Novell and Microsoft cozy again.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Odd statement
by Lunitik on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 13:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Odd statement"
Lunitik Member since:
2005-08-07

Just to point out: SBC brought out the original AT&T not the other way around...

You still have Verizon - which can trace its lineage back directly to the split of old AT&T also...

I guess 2 companies is better than one...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Odd statement
by Darkelve on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 09:09 UTC in reply to "Odd statement"
Darkelve Member since:
2006-02-06

Even if I don't understand all of it, it does send a shiver down my spine...

"Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly..."

Reply Score: 1

Conference...
by santana on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:44 UTC
santana
Member since:
2006-10-22

is all about patents and intellectual property. This doesn't sound to good to me.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Conference...
by macisaac on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:46 UTC in reply to "Conference..."
macisaac Member since:
2005-08-28

well one big patent coverage that _is_ pretty big (as Eugenia mentions above) is:

Q: What does the patent agreement cover with regard to Mono and OpenOffice?

Yes, under the patent agreement, customers will receive coverage for Mono, Samba, and OpenOffice as well as .NET and Windows Server. All of these technologies will be improved upon during the five years of the agreement and there are some limits on the coverage that would be provided for future technologies added to these offerings. The collaboration framework we have put in place allows us to work on complex subjects such as this where intellectual property and innovation are important parts of the conversation.


guess that puts to rest all the doom and gloom scenarios that have surrounded mono since it's inception.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Conference...
by santana on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Conference..."
santana Member since:
2006-10-22

"guess that puts to rest all the doom and gloom scenarios that have surrounded mono since it's inception."

Except this worries me a bit: 5 years and "there are some limits on the coverage that would be provided for future technologies added to these offerings."

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Conference...
by kaiwai on Sat 4th Nov 2006 04:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Conference..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Meh, who cares; Microsoft is concerned about one thing; making heaps of cash; and if that means licencing their technology, why not? this isn't the first time Microsoft has licenced it's IP to a Linux vendor; TurboLinux licenced WMA CODEC for example.

5 year agreements are pretty standard; it allows both parties to either agree on the status quo, or negotiate a more comprehensive agreement.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Conference...
by santana on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Conference..."
santana Member since:
2006-10-22

And, oh yes, don't forget, this applies just if you buy Suse. And part of that money goes to MS as royalities. This is a MS answer to Oracle/RedHat. MS blessed Linux, there can be only one. And they'll get money from every single one sold.

It is intellectual property and patents story all over again.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Conference...
by Geoff Gigg on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Conference..."
Geoff Gigg Member since:
2006-01-21

I agree. From the FAQ:

"both Novell and Microsoft felt it was appropriate to make this pledge for Microsoft not to assert its patents against the non-commercial community."

And later ...

"Yes, under the patent agreement, customers will receive coverage for Mono, Samba, and OpenOffice as well as .NET and Windows Server. All of these technologies will be improved upon during the five years of the agreement"

So the "improvements" might not be available to other distributions, if they are "improved" with patented software. Would their changes make it back to the source projects, and if so would they be accepted? And if accepted, would takers be vulnerable, if commercial like Xandros, Mandriva, etc?

Lots of questions ...

Geoff

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Conference...
by Marcellus on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 07:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Conference..."
Marcellus Member since:
2005-08-26

Wouldn't GPL take care of the patent stuff?
I mean, if they cover SuSe, doesn't the GPL make sure it covers all components covered even if they are used in another distro?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Conference...
by twenex on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 11:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Conference..."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Wouldn't GPL take care of the patent stuff?
I mean, if they cover SuSe, doesn't the GPL make sure it covers all components covered even if they are used in another distro?


No, and yes. It is illegal under the GPL to indemnify one party against patents without indemnifying all parties who use the same GPL code. So it sounds like another SCO case. But you're forgetting that in that case, the "good guys" also had the better lawyers and the bigger pockets. Who do you think is going to have the better lawyers and the bigger pockets in Microsoft vs. Anybody?

Free the GPL Three NOW!

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Conference...
by netpython on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 12:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Conference..."
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

Free the GPL Three NOW!

I'm afraid you're right.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Conference...
by B. Janssen on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 13:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Conference..."
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

That's right. Eben Moglen already pointed out on CNet ( http://news.com.com/2061-10795_3-6132156.html ) that this deal may violate §7 of the GPL. Smartly he reserves further judgement until the specifics are known.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Conference...
by de_wizze on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 06:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Conference..."
de_wizze Member since:
2005-10-31

Except that its one of the 'double negatives' ... coverage only for Suse means an open threat and just short of promise to go after everyone else who doesn't pony up to the patent lords.

Reply Score: 2

re:
by karl1 on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:45 UTC
karl1
Member since:
2005-06-29

Judging by Microsoft's past performance, the newer pieces of this SLES distribution will not be under a GPL or BSD license. Most likely this will be deemed as "shared source" which has not been adopted by opensource.org.

This is being identified as a 5 year agreement. I have to wonder if that means that in 5 years Microsoft will kill off Novell and buy the important parts as they have done with so many other companies.

Reply Score: 1

Makes me wonder
by DrillSgt on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:58 UTC
DrillSgt
Member since:
2005-12-02

This could be a good business move on both parties. The question that will now arise is, or at least in my mind, how this will effect Novell. Will the kernel developers start going after Novell for violation of the GPL with them including patented closed technologies? After all, they have stopped other distributions from doing the same.

Reply Score: 1

My concern
by jackson on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:07 UTC
jackson
Member since:
2005-06-29

My concern stems from this in the FAQ:

"By mutually agreeing not to assert their patent rights against one another's customers, the two companies give customers greater peace of mind regarding the patents in the solutions they're deploying."

By agreeing to this deal, does Novell indirectly give credence to Microsoft's claims of patent infringement in the F/OSS world? Could this deal be used by Microsoft as ammunition against other F/OSS companies that don't sign similar agreements? That's what has me worried.

Reply Score: 3

RE: My concern
by somebody on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 00:10 UTC in reply to "My concern"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

My concern stems from this in the FAQ:

And next point relieves that concern

"Q. The press release indicates Microsoft is also pledging not to assert its patents against individual, non-commercial open source developers. How is this connected to Novell?

Microsoft and Novell felt it was important to establish a precedent for the individual, non-commercial open source developer community that potential patent litigation need not be a concern. Microsoft is excited to more actively participate in the open source community and Novell is and will continue to be an important enabler for this bridge. For these reasons, both Novell and Microsoft felt it was appropriate to make this pledge for Microsoft not to assert its patents against the non-commercial community."

What I'm more worried is after 5 years. But even that one has no real solid ground.

I will take this agreement more like this "If we promised, we haven't yet give it away, but it was a hell of a PR move"

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: My concern
by DigitalAxis on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 00:48 UTC in reply to "RE: My concern"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

You mean like, five years later, Microsoft technology has seeped into the entire Linux infrastructure and at the stroke of midnight Microsoft fells the entire Open Source community with a single mighty patent swing, taking control of and destroying their rival?

I'm not sure I'm even paranoid enough to believe that.

Nevertheless, it's going to take a bit more to convince me that Microsoft is actually playing nice when for the last few years (and at the top of this page even now) it seems to have been their vested interest that Linux should fail.

Is this subversion from within? Is this "if you can't beat them, join them?" Is this just a patent move to protect themselves? Or is Microsoft just in the business of selling software such that we'll see Microsoft make a DE and/or office suite for Linux someday?

Yeah, I'm one of those people who's extremely suspicious of Microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: My concern
by somebody on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 01:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My concern"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

You mean like, five years later, Microsoft technology has seeped into the entire Linux infrastructure and at the stroke of midnight Microsoft fells the entire Open Source community with a single mighty patent swing, taking control of and destroying their rival?

I'm not sure I'm even paranoid enough to believe that.


Nope, I was more or less thinking like MS is just spawing this as their free PR and a good excuse how they help competition.

But with every article I read the more concentrated agreement seems. Groklaw has a good coverage and a lot of links. http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20061102175508403

Now? I can summarize it in two sentences.
In case you wonder whom to trust your business to, dead horse or MS, choose the horse. But do that as the old punk proverb says: "Do not trust anybody, not even a dead horse. p.s. apply double caution".

It is better for me to just watch and see. Easier on nerves.

Edited 2006-11-03 01:54

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: My concern
by de_wizze on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 06:58 UTC in reply to "RE: My concern"
de_wizze Member since:
2005-10-31

What about debian, ubuntu, gentoo, fedora, etc. do they fall under "non-commercial community" because it reads "...individual, non-commercial open source developers...". Those distros sound like groups of targets to me.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: My concern
by jackson on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:02 UTC in reply to "RE: My concern"
jackson Member since:
2005-06-29

Bruce Perens explains my concern better than I ever could:

"So, the protection of non-commercial individual contributors means that you can make Open Source, but if anyone actually uses it for something other than a hobby or a non-profit organization, there is an implicit threat that Microsoft can bring a software patent lawsuit against them - unless they are a customer of Novell."

and

"Even if everyone were to be protected regarding software that Novell distributes, there's the tremendous collection of Free Software that they don't distribute. A logical next move for Microsoft could be to crack down on "unlicensed Linux", and "unlicensed Free Software", now that it can tell the courts that there is a Microsoft-licensed path. Or they can just passively let that threat stay there as a deterrent to anyone who would use Open Source without going through the Microsoft-approved Novell path."

I think Perens hits the nail on the head. See his article here:
http://technocrat.net/d/2006/11/2/9945

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: My concern
by somebody on Sat 4th Nov 2006 00:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: My concern"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

(:Yep:), I did that, if you would follow the thread, my second post was sounding completely different. That one with a "dead horse"

But from all articles on this topic, the interview with RH is the best news I've heard. They won't bend over, they're not scared, Linux is here to stay as it is, Novell bringing their pants down while bending over or not.

Actually, after reading this RH side I become glad Novell sold out. After SCO getting their butt kicked in court, this RH article is just one great assurance more.

p.s. The last sentence says it all in that article. It shares my opinion. I can respect MS, they are well known for EEE tactics, for being greedy, but they don't pretend.

Reply Score: 1

MUTUAL paten licensing
by Lobotomik on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:09 UTC
Lobotomik
Member since:
2006-01-03

Novell's FAQ says that the balance of patent money between them and Microsoft will be in NOVELL'S FAVOR.

My take is:

a) Novell are the kings of identity management.

b) Microsoft's server and enterprise business rests on identity management.

c) Microsoft's server and enterprise business tramples on who-knows-how-many Novell patents.

d) Novell's Linux business is not THAT dangerous to Microsoft.

Now, connect the dots.

Reply Score: 5

he he
by santana on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:10 UTC
santana
Member since:
2006-10-22

that guy from radio, that asked them if they can recap in laymans terms what the hell they are talking about for the past hour ;)

Ballmer goes on and on, mostly about IP. The guy from Novell was more precise. Novell bought a piece of mind because MS will not sue them. And virtualization will be possible and easy (Windows inside Suse and vice versa)

Reply Score: 1

cough
by deanlinkous on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:11 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

cough..(sellout)...cough, cough

Keeps talking about IP and patents and so forth. IP license compliance keeps coming up.

"version of linux that respects our IP" interesting statement by Ballmer

Sounds like to me that MS is about to try and inflict some IP/Patent pain and suffering and Novell bought a reprieve from that.

Novell wants to be popular again, at any cost? Guess they remeber what happened last time when they didn't play ball with MS.

our newest ally - microsoft....NO!
our newest enemy - Novell....YES!

Novell provides the wormhole for MS to wiggle in, hook onto and destroy linux.

Edited 2006-11-02 23:16

Reply Score: 2

RE: cough
by deanlinkous on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 00:16 UTC in reply to "cough"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

(mod down my parent post all you want - it is accurate IMO)

They even named EXACTLY where the threats are directed...

http://www.novell.com/linux/microsoft/openletter.html

* Under the patent agreement, customers will receive coverage for Mono, Samba, and OpenOffice as well as .NET and Windows Server.
* All of these technologies will be improved upon during the 5 years of the agreement and there are some limits on the coverage that would be provided for future technologies added to these offerings.

Reply Score: 2

..
by santana on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:16 UTC
santana
Member since:
2006-10-22

OK, Ballmer is now very very very clear, this ONLY applies to Suse Linux, not any other Linux. So, if you buy (or download) any other Linux than Suse, you are in trouble with MS. How does that look for Mono ;) ?

MS just bought itself a nice little Linux distribution. I've always thought that the last line of fight for MS is patents and IP front. We seem to be a step closer to that.

Buy Suse, or you'll have possible trouble. And MS gets its share from every Suse sold. Nice one for MS. It will be really interesting to see if they will try to broaden that push, signing up similar agreements with other big Linux players.

Reply Score: 5

RE: ..
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:19 UTC in reply to ".."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

This deal means more to Novell than it means to Microsoft. Microsoft will just continue their everyday business, but for Novell, this deal means the first 'official' blessing from Microsoft for a Linux distribution. How do you think that argument will fall with people weary of adopting Linux?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ..
by r_a_trip on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 00:15 UTC in reply to "RE: .."
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

You trust MS too much...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ..
by twenex on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 11:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: .."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

He does, doesn't he?

Reply Score: 1

At the press conference...
by Windows Sucks on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:17 UTC
Windows Sucks
Member since:
2005-11-10

Balmer said "This ONLY applies to Novell Suse Linux" if you use someone elses Linux you are on your own!

So Novell has struck a deal that makes MS more money, gets Novell business from MS customers and stabs Red Hat and Oracle in the side!

The other part also is that if you pay a license fee to MS you are admitting that you have broken some of MS patents! And this is now precedence on that front! MAN!

Edited 2006-11-02 23:19

Reply Score: 4

RE: At the press conference...
by siki_miki on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 00:11 UTC in reply to "At the press conference..."
siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

Technically such terms could apply to any linux distro using same piece of software SUSE does, it is a gray area.

Although Microsoft can pay good lawyers to invalidate such claims (but so can FSF to protect them).
Also malevolent behavior could raise some eyebrows in US/EU again ;)

I think that this agreement implies that MS isn't going to sue Linux vendors anytime soon as it would hurt such efforts. And they probably got discouraged by the fate of SCO attempts.

Reply Score: 1

Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Yes they can pay good lawyers on both sides etc. BUT now that one linux company is paying it looks to me like they are saying "We know there is some MS patented code in there so we better cover ourselves"

The SCO situation doesn't apply to MS, SCO doesn't actually know if it even owns the rights to UNIX. I am sure MS knows the patents it owns.

This just gives the whispers of MS having patented code in software that is in Linux distros a leg up. Now they can go to companies and say "Hey you better get Novell Linux or we might sue you" And go to linux companies and say "Hey you better strike a deal with us or we might sue you!"

Reply Score: 0

Patent quotes from the press conference
by nzjrs on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:18 UTC
nzjrs
Member since:
2006-01-02

I cant remember the exact wording, but I heard this from the webcast live

"The patent agreement/protection agreement will only apply between SUSE linux and microsoft" - Balmer

Another speaker also said [about the patent agreement protection]

"Applied to all code currently in SUSE (emphasis added by the speaker) linux, and code developed in future" - Another guy

Im no lawyer so I cannot speculate how GPL projects upstream/downstream from Novell wil be affected by these clarifications on the patent agreement.

On the whole I am happy, this is a step forward at least. If nothing else Microsoft has admitted that despite the lobbying, the FUD, and the dirty tactics they cannot ignore linux. Time will tell if this agreement has been formed with good intentions on microsofts behalf or not....

Edited 2006-11-02 23:22

Reply Score: 3

Spooky!!
by Nahn Prophet on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:20 UTC
Nahn Prophet
Member since:
2006-11-02

It is a few days past Halloween and I am SCARED!! SPOOKY!!

Reply Score: 2

Mono and patents
by JCooper on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:21 UTC
JCooper
Member since:
2005-07-06

Remember people, when discussing Mono and patents, the patents cover the closed parts of the .Net world; ADO.Net, ASP.Net, SWF etc *not* the CLR and it's core libraries. Mono has shipped split core and full versions of their runtime for a long time now; this announcement clearly means more developers are using the mono stack to develop/run complicated systems. This can only be a good thing and with Novell now covered for the (seemingly) entire product, I can see sales of SLED and related products growing.

Reply Score: 5

I smell a rat....
by Phloptical on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:28 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

and I'm thinking it lives in Redmond.

Reply Score: 1

SUSE is the only safe Linux now
by rexbinary on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:34 UTC
rexbinary
Member since:
2006-01-04

If you don't run SUSE Linux at your company, you or your Linux provider, or both could be sued for patent infringement. This is the impression they want, and how many companies will not choose to run SUSE now?

Edited 2006-11-02 23:36

Reply Score: 2

Target: RedHat
by cptnapalm on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:36 UTC
cptnapalm
Member since:
2006-08-09

Microsoft and Linux are in fierce competition in the server market.

RedHat has 90% of the Linux server market.

Novell is a distant #2.

Machiavelli says, partner with the smaller because they need you and make sure that they always need you.

So, if this rationale is correct, Microsoft partners with Novell, making certain that neither RedHat nor any other distro can benefit. Novell becomes more competetive with RedHat in the market. Unix Wars II begins. Microsoft approaches their now former partner's clients, "Look at all these in fighting Linux companies. Wouldn't you like to not worry about that?"

Reply Score: 5

v I Think I'm Going To Puke
by MediaSex on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:37 UTC
theory:)
by miro on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:39 UTC
miro
Member since:
2005-07-13

maybe ms wants to have something in hand when the eu comes with another monopoly suit. I think this is just a ms pr stunt, to bad novell couldn't say no. (would be kinda hard to explain to shareholders) on the other hand where would this bring us on the first they ignore us... scale:)

Browser: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; PalmSource/Palm-D053; Blazer/4.5) 16;320x320

Reply Score: 1

Novel has sold out?
by twickline on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:40 UTC
twickline
Member since:
2005-12-31

Could this be seen as Novell selling out the Linux Community?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Novel has sold out?
by deanlinkous on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:42 UTC in reply to "Novel has sold out?"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

Thats the way I take it!

I heard a lot less about inter-operate and a LOT MORE about patents, IP and protection so I stand by my statement. I think MS is peddling the same idea of "protection"that SCO tried peddling!

I think this is part MS trying to look good in the eyes of its corporate customers who want to use some linux and at the same time it sounds like a threat that any other linux usage risks IP issues.

I think it may be the opening shot of the IP/PATENT battle and Novell bought a repreive.

Edited 2006-11-02 23:44

Reply Score: 2

From Novell's FAQ
by Ringheims Auto on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 23:41 UTC
Ringheims Auto
Member since:
2005-07-23

Under this agreement, customers of SUSE Linux Enterprise know they have patent protection from Microsoft in connection with their use of SUSE Linux Enterprise, further encouraging the adoption of Linux in the marketplace.

This, or anything else in the FAQ, does not say that this "patent protection" applies to anything else than SUSE. Hell...are they beginning to sell "protection" too now...? Dunno if I want that in my neighbourhood.

We'll see how this turns out, but certainly it could be bad.

http://www.novell.com/linux/microsoft/faq.html

Reply Score: 2

RE: From Novell's FAQ
by iangibson on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 05:04 UTC in reply to "From Novell's FAQ"
iangibson Member since:
2005-09-25

"Nice little operating system you have there... it'd be a shame if anything were to happen to it. How about you go and have a little think about taking out some of our protection. That way, we'll be able to make sure that things can go on as normal.."

Reply Score: 5

rexbinary
Member since:
2006-01-04

http://www.novell.com/linux/microsoft/openletter.html

"What it really means is that customers deploying technologies from Novell and Microsoft no longer have to fear about possible lawsuits or potential patent infringement from either company"

"Under the patent agreement, customers will receive coverage for Mono, Samba, and OpenOffice as well as .NET and Windows Server."

Reply Score: 1

just business
by siki_miki on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 00:00 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

This is about Novell trying to establishing itself above Redhat with help of Microsoft (i.e. by claiming cooperation and legal safety).

It also makes sense as many networks have both OS's so interoperability is needed (= MS releasing specs). Maybe now Windows volume manager will start recognising ext3 partitions:)

Reply Score: 1

these are times...
by sequethin on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 00:08 UTC
sequethin
Member since:
2005-07-06

The Open in "OpenBSD" becomes more and more attractive...

No NDA's, no scary partnerships... nothing to worry about (except lack of supported hardware sometimes)

Reply Score: 4

RE: these are times...
by helf on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 01:34 UTC in reply to "these are times..."
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

yeah, I just downloaded an openbsd 4.0 ISO. going to load it up on my pc.

i might switch... ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: these are times...
by B. Janssen on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 13:22 UTC in reply to "these are times..."
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

sequethin:The Open in "OpenBSD" becomes more and more attractive... [/i]

This has nothing to do with GNU, Linux or FOSS. When will you people realize that a company distributing GNU/Linux is not the same as GNU/Linux?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: these are times...
by sequethin on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE: these are times..."
sequethin Member since:
2005-07-06

I concede that yes OpenBSD is not Linux or GNU but it is free and it is open source software.

And while Novell is not the be-all and end-all of linux, it is a major company that distributes linux and therefore it's actions do reflect on linux as a whole.

I'm not bashing linux or gnu, I'm just publicly appreciating the open philosophy of another open source project.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: these are times...
by r_a_trip on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: these are times..."
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm not bashing linux or gnu, I'm just publicly appreciating the open philosophy of another open source project.

In other words you are just spamming a GNU/Linux thread with OpenBSD advertising. Using shady dealings of Old Think Companies as viable FUD.

Reply Score: 1

Patentmania?
by DigitalAxis on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 00:09 UTC
DigitalAxis
Member since:
2005-08-28

This disturbs me greatly, hopefully for baseless reasons.

As several have pointed out, the emphasis on patent protection is troublesome- does this mean Microsoft will now sue anything except their new One True Linux?
Does this mean SuSE Linux will be saddled up with great new technology that other distributions will never be allowed to use, thus crippling them compared to Novell/SuSE? (Well, the state of Linux now is fairly good, so I don't know where that would go, unless Microsoft makes developers take stuff OUT of their code)

I have no idea... but I offer as a counterexample this, taken from the Wikipedia (so take it with a grain of salt) article on software patents:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_patent

...Companies such as Oracle Corporation, a proprietary software firm, and Red Hat, an open source software firm, are therefore generally opposed to the patenting of software[15].

Nonetheless, these companies do file and receive patents. As of September 2006, for example, Red Hat has 8 issued US patents and Oracle has about 350 issued US patents. Their stated rationale is that since their competitors get patents, they must get patents as well for defensive purposes. Microsoft, for example, has about 7,500 issued US patents. In the event that they get sued for patent infringement by a competitor they can counter sue using their own patents. The net result is that both companies often cross license each others' patents at little or no out of pocket costs for either party.


and: (I've removed a regurgitation of the above from this paragraph):

... Microsoft cross-licensed its patents with Sun, despite being direct competitors, and with Autodesk even though Autodesk has far fewer patents than Microsoft.

and finally, and most interestingly,

Several proprietary software companies, such as IBM, have granted royalty free licenses to open source initiatives. Novell has gone further by committing to actively use its patent portfolio against companies that bring actions against certain open source products. These actions, however, cover only a small fraction of existing software patents.

If this information, particularly that last bit, is true, it's most interesting. What position will Novell take now?

I have a feeling either this turns out to be benign, or only the lawyers will win.

Reply Score: 3

Much less conspirative than it looks like
by robilad on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 00:10 UTC
robilad
Member since:
2006-01-02

I'd guess that Novell will add support for OpenXML to OpenOffice.org, and in return get to play web service games with Microsoft, and share some Xen love with them.

Thrown in is Microsoft's non-assertion pledge against SuSE customers. Given that Novell is part of OIN, not a particularly large price to pay for them: asserting patents against any OIN member could turn really ugly, so Microsoft may as well pick and promote one of them as a business partner in return for some street credibility.

Reply Score: 1

gplv3
by deanlinkous on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 00:10 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

gives new meaning to the importance of GPLv3 IMO!

So we take freebsd, stick it under the gplv3, and create a new safe alternative?

Just rambling now...

Reply Score: 1

RE: gplv3
by r_a_trip on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:35 UTC in reply to "gplv3"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

With FL/OSS in the cross hairs of MS, any piece of free and open code is vulnerable. Software Patents don't care about copyright licensing. Software Patents cover ideas.

If the *BSD's get popular, they too will be attacked by MS if it pleases the Behemoth.

Reply Score: 1

RE: gplv3
by BluenoseJake on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:23 UTC in reply to "gplv3"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Why would you want to do that to FreeBSD?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: gplv3
by deanlinkous on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE: gplv3"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

to have a GPLv3 OS
I was just rambling without thinking...excuse me. ;)

Reply Score: 1

I as a SUSE user find this interesting...
by jakesdad on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 00:16 UTC
jakesdad
Member since:
2005-12-28

this could lead to good things. Like a previous poster stated about identity management being Novell's strong suit this could work out well...

I see this as a play by Novell to integrate Novell into Active directory (through e-directory). This opens up Sharepoint and many other things, like Mono for instance. Not going to exert patents means mono should be in the clear ;)
e-Directory works great and is more scalable, they were the directory gurus with NDS for a while..

It looks good to me. Let's see how it plays out.

I just read the novell Q&A.. And it look sliek it should be good for Samba (AD), Web services (sharepoint and exchange) and Mono... I hope this holds.. cause this is looking good in my opinion.

But ive been known to be wrong ;)

Edited 2006-11-03 00:21

Reply Score: 3

Iron fist in velvet glove
by moleskine on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 00:18 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Just my 2 cents, but it is too early to know what this announcement really means. In time, facts will emerge. At the moment all we have is cloud of hype.

All one can say now is that Microsoft coming to an arrangement at all is a sure sign that "Linux is too big to ignore", as one commentator put it.

My own conjecture is that Microsoft has known full well for a long time that Linux is too big to ignore, but wants to do its utmost to influence the development of enterprise Linux on terms advantageous to Microsoft. There will be carrots and there will be sticks. At present it seems that unless your name is SuSE it may well be mostly sticks.

It will be interesting to see whether, far from being seen as competitors, Red Hat are also summoned to Redmond in due course to bend the knee and kiss the ring.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Iron fist in velvet glove
by Moochman on Sat 4th Nov 2006 00:06 UTC in reply to "Iron fist in velvet glove"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Poetic.

Reply Score: 1

The press conference summarised
by JCooper on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 01:28 UTC
JCooper
Member since:
2005-07-06

The key points from the talk:
- Microsoft will provide coupons for their customers to use SUSE Linux
- Microsoft will not use patents against non-paid open source developers or projects
- Novell and Microsoft will collaborate on document format and interop between MS Office and Open Office
- Contributors to OpenSUSE will be covered with the Novell/Microsoft patent covenant and will not be liable to software patents
- Microsoft and Novell are committed to getting Windows run on Linux-based virtualisation servers and vice versa
- Microsoft and Novell will improve the interop between Novell directory server and AD
- Novell and Microsoft developers will work side-by-side to improve interop between products
- Novell will pay Microsoft royalties for all open source solutions sold
- Microsoft will also pay Novell towards the patent covenant agreement
- Steve avoided a question about other distributors (RH) so it seems if you want patent-problem-free it looks like it's Novell or nothing
- Talks have been going on since April/May 2006, Novell made the first move towards MS. The whole agreement has been driven by customer requirements
- HP want to sell you mixed solutions ;)


That's about all the definite answers I could get. The rest is marketing and PR talk.

Edit: Oh, and it sounds like the guy from Seattle thinks this agreement means he can now "run linux on top of our Windows web servers" ......!

Edit #2: Further link to details at microsoft.com not in the news piece above: http://www.microsoft.com/interop/default.mspx

Edited 2006-11-03 01:39

Reply Score: 5

twickline Member since:
2005-12-31

- Novell will pay Microsoft royalties for all open source solutions sold

This was the scam that SCO was running right? To collect royalties from open source solutions. So Microsoft has picked up that scam and turned it into one of there own. And Novell has sold out the Linux community. And if you need to ask how they sold us out here is the answer.

All of the major Linux distributors want to sell to businesses and large organisations, this is where the real money is. They have large pay rolls to maintain as good software engineers don't come cheap.

So as of today, Novell is in a pact with Microsoft and they both will tell every business customer out there to only buy Novell... And not from any other Linux vendor.

This not only has the potential to hurt "Red Hat" but every other major Linux distributor, and Microsoft knows this.

So if the other Linux distributors loose business they will have to trim there work force or go out of business all together. And in the end Linux as a whole looses.

What Microsoft wants to do is narrow down its enemy, and if in the end there is only one Linux distributor for business then they can narrow there sights in on killing that one enemy. This way if Red Hat and the other distributor go away it will look as if it was Novell was the cause as business moved from a Red Hat or distro X solution to a Novell solution.

So I say we should encourage home users and business to say NO to No-vell and use a real open source operating system that doesn't pay royalties back to Microsoft.

Edited 2006-11-03 03:04

Reply Score: 3

twickline Member since:
2005-12-31

From: http://technocrat.net/d/2006/11/2/9945

Today Novell and Microsoft announced a partnership in which Microsoft has made some unlikely-seeming promises regarding Linux. What aren't they telling you? First, you can be sure that Microsoft's not out to help a competitor. This announcement paves the way for Microsoft to implement significant control over commercial customer's use of Free Software. And it has significant negative implications for Open Source in general.
There are two significant announcements. First, that Novell and Microsoft are entering into a patent cross-license, and second, that Microsoft is promising not to assert its patents against individual non-commercial developers. The bad part is that this sets Mirosoft up to assert its patents against all commercial Open Source users. There are also some little bonuses for Microsoft, like Novell will help Microsoft turn back the Open Document Format and substitute something

When we say "commercial", it's interesting to note that there are really few non-commercial users: people who only use their computer for a hobby. Buying something on a web site, for example, is a commercial use. Most individuals use their computers in some aspect of making their livelyhood. There will now be a Microsoft-approved path for such people to make use of Open Source, an expensive subscription to Novell SuSe Linux that costs as much or more than Microsoft Windows and that comes with a patent license.

So, the protection of non-commercial individual contributors means that you can make Open Source, but if anyone actually uses it for something other than a hobby or a non-profit organization, there is an implicit threat that Microsoft can bring a software patent lawsuit against them - unless they are a customer of Novell.

One of the questions yet to be settled is whether Novell will violate the GPL, the license of the Linux kernel and other important software, by offering patent protection that is exclusive to Novell customers. The press release pretty much stated that. On that topic, the preamble of the GPL says it best:

We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all.

Novell has clearly accepted that license. But it appears that they are now out to make patent protection a business differentiator.

Even if everyone were to be protected regarding software that Novell distributes, there's the tremendous collection of Free Software that they don't distribute. A logical next move for Microsoft could be to crack down on "unlicensed Linux", and "unlicensed Free Software", now that it can tell the courts that there is a Microsoft-licensed path. Or they can just passively let that threat stay there as a deterrent to anyone who would use Open Source without going through the Microsoft-approved Novell path.

With this agreement, Microsoft also secures Novell's assistance in pushing a pro-Software-patenting agenda in Europe and elsewhere. On a panel that I led at the AlwaysOn conference this summer, Novell's president made clear their support for software patenting - a policy that works to the detriment of any Open Source developer who wants to have users without Novell's blessing. You can be sure they'll be at Microsoft's elbow now in meeting with legislators and asking for increases in patent protection.

The timing of this agreement is significant. Microsoft and Novell are said to have been working on this agreement for some time, and sped up its announcement to take attention away from Oracle's recent announcement and to further depress Red Hat in the stock market. The timing of the SCO case is also significant. Recent testimony in that case revealed that Microsoft offered to "backstop" VC firm Baystar's investment in SCO, essentially asking Baystar to be a front through which Microsoft funded SCO's attempt to... charge a royalty to users of Linux. SCO's case is foundering, so here's Microsoft's next scheme to charge a royalty to users of Linux, and to make Novell into the next SCO. Groklaw, a widely-respected journal of technology law, probably said it best with their headline on this story: Novell Sells Out.

This entire agreement hinges around software patenting - monopolies on ideas that are burying the software industry in litigation - rather than innovation. If we've learned one thing from the rapid rise of Open Source, it's that intellectual property protection - the thing that Open Source dispenses with - actually impedes innovation. And the Novell-Microsoft agremeent stands as an additional impediment.

Reply Score: 2

Playing with fire
by sorpigal on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 02:12 UTC
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

I have read the FAQ and am cautiously optimistic. This seems like a good-faith effort on Novell's part and does not seem to be intended as a way to crush Linux as a platform.

That said, Novell is playing with fire here. Remember Netscape, remember Java. Remember every deal Microsoft has ever made. Rest assured, they only make deals where they win *BIG* and they often make deals which they will break to dramatic effect a little way down the road.

This is extremely dangerous... keep your enemies close, but don't forget to keep a careful eye on a viper like Microsft or one day you will wake up to realize that you have been slowly poisoned to death.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Playing with fire
by twenex on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 11:07 UTC in reply to "Playing with fire"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

This seems like a good-faith effort on Novell's part and does not seem to be intended as a way to crush Linux as a platform.

Anyone enters into a "good-faith" effort with Microsoft is a fool - they have NO concept of what that means. The Microsoft English Dictionary states:

Competition, n. Something which must be mercilessly crushed until it bleeds.

Reply Score: 3

is
by deanlinkous on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 02:47 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

Is this a good arguement for GPLv3 acceptance?

Reply Score: 1

RE: is
by twickline on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 02:56 UTC in reply to "is"
twickline Member since:
2005-12-31

YES.

Reply Score: 1

RE: is
by butters on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 14:56 UTC in reply to "is"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

No, this is not a good case for the GPLv3. The GPLv2 expressly prohibits distribution of code covered by license agreements that cannot be transferred to the recipient. Since Novell has not obtained Microsoft's permission to similarly indemnify their users from Microsoft with regard to SUSE Linux code, Novell may not distribute the GPL portions of SUSE Linux (including the kernel) under these terms.

The text of the GPLv2 (section 7) is pretty clear on this, and the preamble is even clearer:

Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all.

I don't know how this provision could have been stated any better, and it directly speaks to exactly this sort of licensing agreement. There is no question about it: Novell, as a distributor of GPL software, is not allowed to buy IP licenses covering GPL software unless they are given the right to grant these licenses (royalty-free) to all recipients of derivative works. Only end-users can license non-transferrable rights covering GPL software.

I'm simply shocked that none of Novell's IP lawyers picked up on this obvious GPL violation. This is one of the situations that the GPL was intended to prevent. It's right there in the preamble! The subtleties of the section 3c source distribution requirements that tripped up MEPIS are understandable. I even sympathize with the LiveCD distros that thought they could distribute binary kernel modules with the Linux kernel. Both had legitimate reasons to believe they were acting in the best interests of the Linux community.

But something about this deal obviously smells, and it's not just the old pizza boxes collecting in the basements where free software zealots brew their conspiracy theories. How could this deal seem to completely sell out the Linux community and still be sanctioned by our trusty free software license? It can't, and that's why the FSF will be all over this one. Expect a strongly-worded response in the near future.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: is
by drdoug on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 15:22 UTC in reply to "RE: is"
drdoug Member since:
2006-04-30

Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all.


This clause certainly raises questions whether GPL v2 is actually legal. If a GPL code is distributed and breaks a patent than it has to either be replaced with code that breaks the patent, or then it is up to the patent holder rather than the GPL distributor (and license) who and how they license the patent to. If Microsoft want to license their patents to each distributor, than they can.

Whether you like it or not if Microsoft has a patent which parts of Linux breaks, then all the cards are in Microsofts hands. Luckily Novell has more then enough patents to trade to Microsoft. Redhat may not be so lucky in this area, and may have to finally pay up.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: is
by h times nue equals e on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 15:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: is"
h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

This clause certainly raises questions whether GPL v2 is actually legal. If a GPL code is distributed and breaks a patent than it has to either be replaced with code that breaks the patent, or then it is up to the patent holder rather than the GPL distributor (and license) who and how they license the patent to.
Beside the nitpick, that you probably lost a "not" somewhere between "that" and "breaks", I don't think, that this language is per se illegal. (IANAL, though).

The GPL assumes, that you (as the author of the code / derivative work) are in the legal position to distribute said code in the first place. If you violate patents (and life in countries / jurisdrictions, that allow the patent holders to pursue you), then this assumption clearly does no longer apply. You would have to license the technology regardless of the license you plan to use for distribution. The GPL imposes only additional restrictions. Furthermore, it is more difficult (sometimes even impossible) to code around patent issues than to mitigate existing copyright issues (e.g. implement the same idea with a complete different implementation)

If I understand the intend of this clause correctly, the key point is to prevent people from watering down the (copyright based) freedoms granted by the GPL by patent related means (e.g. the code itself is covered by the GPL, but you are only allowed to use / modify / distribute it, if you ADDITIONALLY license the idea behind the code via patent xyz from me )

Regards

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: is
by drdoug on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: is"
drdoug Member since:
2006-04-30

If you violate patents (and life in countries / jurisdrictions, that allow the patent holders to pursue you), then this assumption clearly does no longer apply. You would have to license the technology regardless of the license you plan to use for distribution.

The problem is that the patent could override the license. If the code has already been released, then it is up to the each distributor to comply/license to the patent. Eithen though the license tries to make it a collective licensing of a patent. It patent holder who dictates the terms on how the patent is licensed. It would be difficult to argue if say Microsoft sued Novell, that Novell should pay the license fee for every distributer breaking the patent.

One thing that Microsoft has made very clear from their language is that it wants similar agreements from other distributers. It looks like they think they have a good hand of cards to play, and they are now placing bets.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: is
by h times nue equals e on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: is"
h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

Again, IANAL, so please correct me if I'm wrong on this, but for me the situation looks like this:

If Novel distributes their (= they are the sole holder of copyright) original work under the GPL
AND violates a patent, then it should (IMHO) be immanent, that they must get a patent license, preferably before they release the software. If they fail to get a license from the patent holder, that is compatible with the GPL (e.g. allows to obtain a royality free license for all derivative works), then the software does not qualify for the GPL. If they still choose to distribute the software under the GPL although they are fully aware, that the authors of derivative works may be hindered by the patent holder to enjoy their right to create and distribute consequent modified versions, then I guess that the project will loose its appeal to FOSS developers pretty soon. Whether such (hypothetical) behaviour on behalf of any party (incl. Novell) is legal or not, I'm not sure about. But for me, it is clear that the license is not the one to blame here.

I assume that aboves example is the situation you had in mind. Because, if otherwise Novell joins an existing, GPL-only licensed project and creates derivative works + adds patent encumbered technologies with the same restricitve patent licenense from above, it would violate the terms of the license, that granted the access to the base of their derivative works. Novell would loose the right to modify AND distribute their works on base of the GPL.

I agree, that the orthogonality of patents and copyright can lead to situations, where the license itself is ridiculed. Still, I do not see where the GPL is legally questioned with respect to this.

(From the flawed-Car-analogies department; If I buy a car in my country, then I have several rights granted by consumer protection laws including warranty times, not manipualted the kilometer counter, .... , and the full transfer of ownership, e.g. I can sell the car myself, if I have fully paid the price. If the vendor chooses to sell cars he has no right to sell, for example because they are stolen, then this does not render my consumer rights invalid. Ok, this analogy uses contract law, and not licenses, but I hope you get my point)

Regards

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: is
by Tron on Sat 4th Nov 2006 05:58 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: is"
Tron Member since:
2005-07-07

Just to sum up because I think this is an important point that few people have mentioned:

Novell just bought patent indemnification for everyone.

Novell is legally required to release Linux the under the GPL or a compatible license. According to section 7 of the GPL, any imposed licenses or restrictions (patents included) are required to be GPL compatible. If Microsoft grants a license (to anyone) to use a patent in GPL code, that license MUST be GPL compatible, and therefore applies globally. All users/distributors of the code should immediately have indemnification for that patent.

Lawyers are no dummies and this seems pretty clear-cut, so here's my take on the whole thing: Microsoft is getting some money from Novell and will attempt to get others to buy into the racket even though it is unnecessary; Novell is banking on the reputation of being a Microsoft partner and being indemnified(even though everyone else is); And everyone gets to use Mono and SMB, reguardless of distribution, without fear of lawyers. A win-win-win situation.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: is
by deanlinkous on Sat 4th Nov 2006 06:39 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: is"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

Novell just bought patent indemnification for everyone.
No they didn't.
This isn't a patent license or anything. It is a covenant, a agreement, no more than that. The GPL only applies to GPL covered software. They made it a point to mention a "mixed source" product which means they will keep it seperate enough so that the GPL never comes into play. Yet they will make it 'as good as' proprietary since any changes they make to GPL code will be worthless to anyone without the closed source product that it is designed for. They just effectively created a proprietary linux.

As I have said, they spelled out all of this in the webcast. You just had to actually listen to what they said and not just hear what they wanted you to hear.

Patents, Patents, Patents,
Protection, Protection, Protection,
Payments, Payments, Paymets,

Forget developers, developers, developers since we are at a point now to make money off of our portfolio and threats instead of trying to make money off that worthless OS business.

Edited 2006-11-04 06:42

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: is
by deanlinkous on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:07 UTC in reply to "RE: is"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

Oh it smells all right. But I still think GPLv3 wouldof provided protection from this a lot better than v2.

As they said they thought about this a lot, a LOT! They know exactly what they are doing. They will create a mixed source distro. The IP is not disclosed so nobody can point it out. It isn't quite a "license" it is more of a agreement not to sue. Then they share the revenue from it.

This has been a long time in the works and it is well planned I would bet. SCO didn't work so here we go with planB.

Nicely skirting the GPLv2

Reply Score: 1

The nature of the beast
by HappyGod on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 04:09 UTC
HappyGod
Member since:
2005-10-19

You would have to be pretty brave or pretty desperate to enter into this kind of deal with MS.

Every big company that has agreed to share IP with Microsoft over the years has quickly turned into a small company.

Good luck Novell, you're going to need it ...

Reply Score: 2

RE: The nature of the beast
by Rayz on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 06:07 UTC in reply to "The nature of the beast"
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

Every big company that has agreed to share IP with Microsoft over the years has quickly turned into a small company.

Yes!

I mean, look what's happened to Apple!

... oh hang on a sec ....

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: The nature of the beast
by HappyGod on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 06:43 UTC in reply to "RE: The nature of the beast"
HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

Yes, look what happened to Apple:

The only reason Apple are still here is because Microsoft rescued them from a bankrupcy that occurred because Apple shared its IP with MS.

And the only reason MS bailed them out was to at least keep a pretence going they are not a monopoly. Novel may not be so lucky.

Edited 2006-11-03 06:46

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: The nature of the beast
by REM2000 on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 12:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The nature of the beast"
REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

Apples failure in the market is not to do with sharing IP with Microsoft, they fell because they made blunder after blunder (selling overpriced non working computers, clones etc..)

Microsoft did stop the downward spiral of the company, but that did get IE onto all Mac's for a long period.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: The nature of the beast
by Rayz on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The nature of the beast"
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

Yes, look what happened to Apple:

Yes, let's.

The only reason Apple are still here is because Microsoft rescued them from a bankrupcy that occurred because Apple shared its IP with MS.

You've got the completely wrong. Apple fouled up because they tried to sell PCs at a price that few people were prepared to pay. They also failed to produce a modern replacement for OS9 after ten years and millions spent. In the end, they had to buy a unix clone from a struggling company, and release that as their new OS instead. What saved Apple was a vital lifeline of support from MS - the Office Suite, and a lot marketing savvy from Steve Jobs. The man realised something that the more vocal members of the Linux community are too narrow-minded and technologically bigotted to even conceive.

Microsoft does not have to lose, for us to win.

Could be that Novell has worked that out too.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The nature of the beast
by de_wizze on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 07:15 UTC in reply to "The nature of the beast"
de_wizze Member since:
2005-10-31

You mean like OS/2, J++, Wordperfect ?

Reply Score: 1

how odd ...
by gnemmi on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 04:27 UTC
gnemmi
Member since:
2006-08-17

Actually .. all I can see is another SCO looming on the way ..

Novell will have acces to * .. and * might make it upstream into kernel/apps .. and since Novell has an agreement with Microsoft, it can play it safe ( at least until Microsoft decides that Novell got off the limits of said agreement ).. but the rest of the distros/corporations do not .. and well .. there you go ..

We´ve all seen this movie ...

Novell getting into linux was a bad thing from moment one .. every SuSE devel that survived the acquisition, left SuSE/Novell after a while .. that said a lot ..

Reply Score: 3

Linux going mainstream (sort of)
by Marciano on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 04:50 UTC
Marciano
Member since:
2005-07-08

I, too, share the reservations expressed by most posters regarding Microsoft's intentions. We can't possibly know what was behind this---perhaps a threat from Novell related to some IP they hold?

But the point is that, in any case, this deal vaporizes the last few years of "Linux is not ready for X" FUD coming from Microsoft. That's got to be worth something!

Reply Score: 1

Alert, Alert, Alert !!!
by sathishmls on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 05:05 UTC
sathishmls
Member since:
2005-11-13

Dont forget GNU's philosophy and Richard Stallman (RMS)

Microsoft knows that they cannot beat GNU GPLd softwares.So they are trying to make profit using Patent things.

Hope everyone understands about Novell Now.

Organizations (IBM, Novell, ...) besides acting as if supporting Free/Open Source Communities, which support Software Patents(IP) will one day surely kill Free/Open Source Softwares.

Have a look at this picture.

http://www.stallman.org/images/cartoon-6.jpg

change the guy named "W" as Novell, the piece of paper is linux, the vessel is SCO and the fire is MS

Edited 2006-11-03 05:08

Reply Score: 1

Linux Armageddon has Arrived
by garymax on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 07:23 UTC
garymax
Member since:
2006-01-23

From what I have read I believe that the day of reckoning has arrived for Linux and the GPL.

Here's why.

First, Novell approached Microsoft--they were the initiator of the talks. By entering into an agreement with Microsoft concerning patents and IP Novell was tacitly agreeing that parts of Linux may infringe on Microsoft IP. With the cross-patent licensing deal and an agreement not to sue each other, it appears to be a match made in heaven.

But it isn't.

According to a leading FLOSS lawyer who represents FLOSS interests, by entering into an agreement concerning IP and in turn offering to pay royalties on subscriptions, Novell might place themselves crosswise with the GPL.

So, here is what I see happening in the days ahead.

Novell and Microsoft cement the deal. Meanwhile, the FSF or some legal arm of FLOSS finds that Novell has forfeited the right to distribute Linux. Novell and Microsoft challenge this notion (after all, both stand to benefit from this deal).

Finally, Microsoft will be forced to reveal what parts of the Linux kernel or userland apps have violated its patents. Then, the fun begins.

Remember, an official at Microsoft said this deal is only between Novell and Microsoft but not between Microsoft and any other Linux developer/distributor.

For Novell to enter an agreement such as this means that they thought that Microsoft had a compelling case as to their IP in Linux or they were hopelessly inept in making this deal. I think a little of both.

I look for mass defections to take place from the Suse distribution.

So to sum up:

1) Novell and Microsoft cement the deal

2) Novell is found to be in violation of the GPL and is ordered to stop distributing Linux at once

3) Microsoft's hand is forced and comes to the aid of Novell by rattling is IP portfolio sabre.

4) Microsoft will then start legal maneuvering aimed at all Linux distros and developers other than Suse.

And then, Linux will either stand or fall in the face of the legal morass generated by Microsoft and their IP, patents and what not.

Somehow though, I look for Linux to survive.

Edited 2006-11-03 07:25

Reply Score: 2

RE: Linux Armageddon has Arrived
by deanlinkous on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 08:20 UTC in reply to "Linux Armageddon has Arrived"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

Nicely put! I do not think this will stop linux but once again it will call into play the legality of linux and the corporate types will be wary for a while longer. Still sooner or later the threats will be worthless and linux will be more widely adopted.

I look for mass defections to take place from the Suse distribution.

What distribution? I predict the mirrors are already sitting silent and a mass Suse CD burning party should be announced shortly.

Edited 2006-11-03 08:23

Reply Score: 1

RE: Linux Armageddon has Arrived
by r_a_trip on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:56 UTC in reply to "Linux Armageddon has Arrived"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

There is a wildcard in all this. IBM. IBM holds a lot of the US Software Patents and they are not likely to be sitting around watching MS to screw them once again.

If MS tries to play a SCO, I think IBM will try to find out if they are big enough to survive a MAD war.

Reply Score: 2

yes...
by ubit on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 07:55 UTC
ubit
Member since:
2006-09-08

^Yes, they've been going on for six months, but I bet *revealing* it now is in step with Oracle against Red Hat

Edited 2006-11-03 07:55

Reply Score: 1

RE: yes...
by garymax on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 08:06 UTC in reply to "yes..."
garymax Member since:
2006-01-23

Who knows...but in reality, Linux' toughest days are just ahead...

Reply Score: 1

REMF
Member since:
2006-02-05

given how promising SUSE 10.2 looks I think you may be right.

Reply Score: 2

PcGoober
Member since:
2006-03-03

Novell is going to get insider knowledge to the inner workings of Windows and Novell will then distribute those changes in *their* own distributed versions of software like Samba, Xen, etc.

The kicker here is the GPL which, in essence, says you must contibute changes back for all to use. Well unless Novell and more importantly MS sign off their rights to those inclusions that code can never be integrated back into the main tree so we come to an impass ... does Novell still get to distribute said code with their changes under the GPL umbrella OR will they have to craft a new license?

This would cause them to forevermore manage their own version of said code and thereby violate the terms of the original GPL'd code that they based their hacked up version from would it not? Seems to me that as soon as they distribute v1.0 of the MS-Novell distro they'll be in violation of the GPL because their changes *cannot* be integrated back into the main tree due to there being no way in hell that MS will ever sign off its rights to that code.

Novell's distro will also be tainted since Novell's agreement is most definitely under a NDA so anyone taking a peek at Novell's changes will then be tainted as well. This is where MS gets its foot in the door for their legal wrangles they plan to unleash on the corporate world that use/develop Linux in what will most likely be a over reaching statement to the effect that if you are using any Linux then there is no way you couldn't have seen our IP and gained from it.

Essentially MS has switched gears since the SCO thing has flopped so instead of bashing and being seen as a bully they are now trying to be seen as a friend. And if a friend says that such and such isn't the best thing for you then it must be true...right? Goes back to the old saying of "keep you friends close but your enemies closer."

All this beginning to sound logical to you yet?

Reply Score: 5

Carefulness
by acobar on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 08:53 UTC
acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

First thing, the deal is not best for Novell, clearly it is wonderful for Microsoft. Lets see why:

- it, kind of, legitimize patents on software (I'm talking about ethics not reality) on the eyes of the public (most of);

- it gives Microsoft a better litigation shield about monopolist tactics ("Hey, we play nice, it is not our fault that the customers prefer our products!");

- they diversify and extend their incoming with the ones comming from fields they didn't expended a dime (in this case, from Linux vendors);

- they get a new and powerful level on the field against other Linux business;

- they prepare the ground to also service from FOSS projects (probably their next move - "If IBM, Apple and Sun can, why not us?"). It can be needed to them on the long haul as many parts of the software foundation are becoming pretty much commodities (why expend a lot of money on something no one wants to pay for because there are already a "free" good alternative?). In this case, they can also reallocate their resources in the eternal search for best pastures.

More information about the deal must be published, and quickly. The FOSS community must be very, very careful to accept contributions from Novell developers. The main points are:

- Is the contribution affected by the deal?

- Did the developer have access to Microsoft pattented information?

- Does the code submitted pitch GPL against Microsoft IP?

I really don't care about Mono but Samba and OpenOffice are very, very important projects that makes corporation linux desktop possible. Any harmful to them will hurt deep the FOSS community.

And as said many times here, it looks like they are targetting specially Red Hat, who pays very talented guys to work on almost any key technology used on Linux. But people have forget about something even more important to me,
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<&l t;<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<&l t;
Java and web services
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>&g t;>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>&g t;,
yes, they are targetting them too and, of course, Sun.

Looks like a multi win for Microsoft. Congrats Ballmer, finally a smart move.

Reply Score: 3

hmm
by kenjiru on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 09:19 UTC
kenjiru
Member since:
2006-03-26

I don't like this.

Reply Score: 2

GPL
by netpython on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 09:24 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

What does the GPL mean in the context of the given article?

I mean Novell cannot possibly make use of MS patented intelectual property without committing it upstream as stated under the GPL.

What happens after that 5 years term agreement?
Will MS legally kill everybody who happens to use a tainted source tree?

Reply Score: 2

RE: GPL
by hal2k1 on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 09:40 UTC in reply to "GPL"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//I mean Novell cannot possibly make use of MS patented intelectual property without committing it upstream as stated under the GPL. //

Novell's SuSe Linux Enterprise 10 (commonly referred to as SLED) already contains some proprietary applications.

This is what Microsoft refer to as "mixed source". Novell are perfectly at liberty to "make use of MS patented intelectual property" within those proprietary parts of SLED.

http://www.novell.com/products/desktop/

The non-proprietary parts of SuSe Linux are distributed as OpenSuSe.

http://en.opensuse.org/Welcome_to_openSUSE.org

This is GPL code. Novell aren't at liberty to include MS patented code in that, because it isn't Novell's code to begin with. This part of SuSe must necessarily remain under the GPL.

Reply Score: 3

A new microsoft tax no thank you
by korrel on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 11:17 UTC
korrel
Member since:
2006-10-05

"Novell will also make running royalty payments based on a percentage of its revenues from open source products."

So Microsoft gets money for software that they did not write, And for patents unknown ?

A new microsoft tax no thank you.

Bye Bye suse.

Nice to have choice in linux land

Reply Score: 1

good or bad
by bolomkxxviii on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 11:27 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

I don't know if this will be good or bad for customers, but I just about guarantee it will end in litigation. Most of MS "deals" with other companies end up in court. Given a court battle, who to you think will win in the end? My bet is on the deep pockets.

Reply Score: 1

The thing that I don't like
by santana on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 12:37 UTC
santana
Member since:
2006-10-22

is Proxy. Ballmer mentioned it few times. Suse becomes a "proxy" between people who write OS software (ussually for free), people who use it, and Microsoft. Which is insane, MS will get paid for hard work of those people, just because it has the power and money to patent some technologies (and what is even worse, some stupidities, they are patenting everything).

The whole idea of software patents is idiotic. Patents should protect small players from big companies, not enable solid revenue for companies that are able to push several thousands patents per year. If this holds on, in 10 years, MS (and some other big players) will not have to do anything, just keep an army of lawyers and live from patents.

Reply Score: 5

well well well
by PipoDeClown on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 12:52 UTC
PipoDeClown
Member since:
2005-07-19

what has novell to offer?
- server platform (netware, sles)
- groupwise
- linux patents
(- evolution mail)

what has microsoft to offer?
- ???
- wont sue novell
- porting drm infested codecs to linux
- ???

microsoft tried to partner with sco and failed.
novell going down the hill and microsoft succeed with a partnership. nice strategy i must say.

ballmer is a marketing guy "faster, better" those are not terms describing your technical projects.

i hope these companies will both cut themselves in the end.

Edited 2006-11-03 12:56

Reply Score: 1

Head still spinning
by Havin_it on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 13:34 UTC
Havin_it
Member since:
2006-03-10

...and it won't stop until this deal and its implications come into clearer focus. All we really have at the moment is speculation; so, FWIW, I'll add some of my own.

SCO case goes to court early next year. It seems likely that SCO will lose, and the IP bogeyman against Linux will be annihilated. Time to resurrect it from a different angle, perhaps...?

Is there any merit in the patent threat? I have no idea, though being entrenched in the Linux world for a few years, nobody has seemed all that concerned. I don't see how cleanroom reverse-engineering projects (a carefully thought-out legal strategy I would assume) like Samba need any 'coverage'. And Openoffice? How the hell can that be in any danger? Maybe I'm naive, I'd like to hear more about this.

I also doubt Microsoft would be knowingly heading for a showdown with the GPL. That makes me wonder if (a) they've identified a fatal flaw in the GPL, or (b) they have a very well-calculated masterplan for riding rough-shod over it. (I mean, there are benign theories as well, but what fun are they?)

Bottom line: it's hard to imagine MS willingly letting the larger Linux community benefit from any of the fruits of this deal. And Novell demonstrated a degree of disdain for traditional FLOSS development with XGL already; if they can use this as a leg-up to become 'value-add Linux' on the functional as well as the legal level, I can't see them losing sleep over shafting the rest of the community to achieve it.

Reply Score: 2

Perens on Novell-Microsoft:
by chemical_scum on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 13:43 UTC
chemical_scum
Member since:
2005-11-02

Here is Bruce Perens take on the deal:

http://technocrat.net/d/2006/11/2/9945

Reply Score: 1

RE: Perens on Novell-Microsoft:
by Sphinx on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 14:28 UTC in reply to "Perens on Novell-Microsoft: "
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Voice of reality there.

Reply Score: 1

drdoug Member since:
2006-04-30

Voice of reality there.
Quote from http://technocrat.net/d/2006/11/2/9945
"There are also some little bonuses for Microsoft, like Novell will help Microsoft turn back the Open Document Format and substitute something Microsoft controls."


What is so real about Bruce's comments on ODF. While Novell are very supportive of ODF and OpenOffice.org, they do not have any control over what happens with ODF. Now it has become a standard, not even Sun could give Microsoft any control any over the format. I think rather than "reality", some (maybe most) of his comments are simply an over reaction.

Reply Score: 2

Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Publishing a standard is one thing, getting it adopted is another entirely.

Reply Score: 2

Not a happy tail
by Sphinx on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 14:24 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Lay down with dogs you get up with fleas.

Reply Score: 0

Confused
by segedunum on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 14:51 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm slightly confused by this because I don't know why it's necessary. This is Suse basically admitting that it infringes Microsoft's patents. Certainly, in the case of Mono it may be an open source project, but certainly no one except Novell/Suse can use it now.

Reply Score: 1

Typical behaviour pattern
by Sphinx on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 15:26 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

After reading the full agreement it appears to be the same old Embrace, Extend, Extinguish, you asked for it Novell, good luck without any support from the FOSS community.

Reply Score: 1

mono
by Adurbe on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 15:28 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

when i first read this, fist thing that came to my mind.. MONO

could it be microsoft will help mono become multiplatform to compete with the newly (soon to be) open java?

Reply Score: 4

RE: mono
by segedunum on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:37 UTC in reply to "mono"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

could it be microsoft will help mono become multiplatform to compete with the newly (soon to be) open java?

Well, Mono is the one that stands out. It's possible Microsoft may do this, but be in no doubt that .Net is a Microsoft creation and they're want their two pennies' worth.

Reply Score: 1

Debian and the other guys
by alucinor on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:35 UTC
alucinor
Member since:
2006-01-06

Expect to see IBM and Sun pushing Debian distros now.

Reply Score: 1

How is this bad for Linux really?
by alucinor on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:43 UTC
alucinor
Member since:
2006-01-06

I don't see how this really makes the situation bad for Linux. I just see companies really dominated by MS mindshare now going to Novell for Linux rather than Red Hat or Debian.

But for all those companies who would have gone with Red Hat or Debian anyways ... doesn't that show they could care less about Microsoft's patent protection from the start?

I'd say this deal is more about the realization that the software world is more about services than products, and that the platform is no longer UNIX/Linux vs. Windows but instead .NET/Mono (MS and Novell) vs. Java (IBM, Oracle, Google, Sun).

Reply Score: 3

Doomsayers
by Hands on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:08 UTC
Hands
Member since:
2005-06-30

I remember when Sun ended a legal fight with MS, and entered into a partnership with them a while back. Everyone made a lot of wildly catastrophic predictions about the Sun-Microsoft partnership as well. Sun is still earnestly striving to compete with MS, and they have contributed a lot to open source.

I don't know where things will go from here with Novell, but I don't comprehend why people always have doom and gloom reactions. This may end up being bad overall. I don't know. Few people really know all of the specifics, and no one knows the future. What's done is done. Let's see where things go from here.

Reply Score: 1

Clause added to the GPLv3
by deanlinkous on Sat 4th Nov 2006 05:58 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

The NOVSOFT clause!
Any company that releases a mixed source linux must request each year the right to distribute GPL covered software.

Reply Score: 1

...
by deanlinkous on Sat 4th Nov 2006 06:34 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

[QUOTE]The distributors of other versions of Linux cannot assure their customers that Microsoft won't sue for patent infringement. "If a customer says, 'Look, do we have liability for the use of your patented work?' Essentially, If you're using non-SUSE Linux, then I'd say the answer is yes," Ballmer said.

"I suspect that [customers] will take that issue up with their distributor," Ballmer said. Or if customers are considering doing a direct download of a non-SUSE Linux version, "they'll think twice about that," he said.[/QUOTE]

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2050848,00.asp?kc=EWEWEMNL1030...

Reply Score: 1