Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 22:51 UTC
Linux While Microsoft may cast the Nov. 2 patent cooperation agreement it pushed on new partner Novell Inc. as a way to protect corporate users of the SUSE Linux operating system from potential lawsuits, CIOs today said they weren't worried in the first place.
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Thinking outside the box...
by Decius on Thu 23rd Nov 2006 03:21 UTC
Decius
Member since:
2006-01-03

First a little historical refresher...

In 2003 Steve Ballmer wrote a memo identifying Linux as a threat, and how companies such as IBM turning to Linux as part of their business strategy was lending credence to the platform. http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-1013124.html Around this time frame Novell acquired Ximian, and thus SUSE Linux. Microsoft has had a hate-hate relationship with Novell since the days of "Operation Visine", and with this acquisition 'Big Red', gained a new lease on life. http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1728103,00.asp

After(?) this acquisition Microsoft launched the 'Get the Facts' campaign and made a bid for Novell users (http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1733353,00.asp and http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1728103,00.asp). Neither of these bids met with extraordinary success and we fast-forward to this year.

I'll cite two articles from this year, from OSNews, http://www.osnews.com/story.php/15029/First-Look-Novells-SLED-10 and http://www.osnews.com/story.php/15412/SLED-10-Is-a-Linux-Distro-Win... , and so we have a serious contender for the workstation. The difficulty with competing with any Linux distribution is that you're not really dealing with a single business entity, but rather a business distribution channel for the work of thousands of individual contributors, that you simply can't get to, but which is the life blood of OSS. Cut blood flow to the the brain and an organism dies. Novell has not exactly been swimming in positive publicity for their recent deal. If developers become leary of contributing code, or users who wanted to break away from dealing with Microsoft feel betrayed, then Microsoft has successfully weakened a resurging competitor and opened the way for better adoption of their late offering, Vista.

This is way of MS using patents/litigation, without actually resorting to image damaging litigation, and it spreads the FUD.

Edited 2006-11-23 03:25

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