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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A few things
by IanSVT on Wed 8th Nov 2006 04:14 UTC
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Unlike many of the posters here, I think I'm on both sides of this whole issue. On the one hand, I'm a supporter of open source software, whether it's GPL, BSD, whatever. I think the whole idea of open source produces much better quality software. You have a very high quality developer talent pool with OSS. I support that, and a deal with Microsoft puts a level of worry of future legal trouble.

On the flip side, I'm a Novell customer. Despite the idea that Novell is a dead company, they still manage to crank out some very good software. They are the best in class with their identity management software, and their workstation/server management software. Someone said that Suse would be better off without Novell. I'm not so sure. Novell introduced things like groupwise, edirectory, and zenworks that do not have any equal in the open source world. Fedora Directory Service is probably 10 years behind eDirectory. True, you can't run these thing on your spare machine and see any benefit(well, technically, you can), but in the business world, these tools are extremely valuable.

The comparions between Novell and SCO are somewhat off base. SCO has old products with almost zero technical advantage of its competition. Novell has products that do not have much competition. They can still be a successful company without litigation, which SCO can't.

When I first heard this announcement, I thought Novell shot themselves in the ass and turned their back on the open source community. I was actually upset, at least compared to my normal close to comatose state, with the annoucement. I still think Novell absolutely dropped the ball with the PR of this announcement. I don't even think they have a working PR/Marketing department, but that's been the case for years. At this point, I'm in a wait and see mode.

Looking at the possibility of this agreement does carry one hope. If I can supplant MS Office with Open Office, then I'm just about to the state where I can dump Microsoft. That will save me $12,000 per year in licensing. If linux ends up in no danger over this deal, and people like Bruce Peren's stomp their feet, and I can save that money per year, I'll be damn sure that this was a good deal.

I guess we'll see though...

Edited 2006-11-08 04:19

Reply Score: 2