Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Nov 2006 22:56 UTC
Novell and Ximian "Often cast as the peacemaker in free software disputes, Bruce Perens is on the warpath. When we caught up with him, he wasn't in a mood to be charitable to Novell. On Friday the Utah company, which markets the SuSE Linux distribution, revealed that it was entering into a partnership with Microsoft. Redmond would pay Novell an undisclosed sum in return for Novell recognizing Microsoft's intellectual property claims. Novell received a 'Covenant' promising that it wouldn't be sued by Microsoft."It's a case of 'Damn the people who write the software'", he told us. "Novell is in a desperate position - it has a smaller share of the market than Debian,"" he told The Register. Update: Novell responds to community's questions: here, here and here. Update 2: Havoc Pennington's take.
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Ethics aside (I pretty much agree with most reactions from the community), it must be uncomfortable to be a customer of their enterprise Linux products. While the patent convenant buys a little temporal protection (for only five years at the moment, and with possibilities for Microsoft to bail out), it is dangerous license-wise with two possible turns this could take:

Nah. Actually, it's quite the opposite. Novell's customers gain the certainty that they won't be sued by MS for patent infringement. Neither Novell nor Microsoft have to assert any particular code as infringing on any particular patent. So, the issue of the GPL is a red herring.

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