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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While MS engineers and developers are most certainly capable of looking at asm and C code, there may be legal implications in doing that.

API's have a tendency to leave things unclear at times (yes, even in Windows), so only using API's to determine what needs to be done is not that good an option either.

At least economically it makes more sense to work together with the "other side" so that both sides can agree on what things mean.

If Novell customers have been worried that MS may go after them regarding eventual patents that may cover some part of Linux or other software that is included with their Linux distribution, the patent covenant makes it clear that MS will not go after them if any such patents are found. The same goes for MS customers that are worried about Novell.

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