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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RE[2]: is
by drdoug on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 15:22 UTC in reply to "RE: is"
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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.

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