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.
Permalink for comment 178706
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
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 Parent Score: 1