Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Feb 2007 11:30 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Novell and Ximian When Novell and Microsoft announced their unlikely partnership, a part of the arrangement that got little attention at the time was that they'd create a joint research facility, where both company's technical experts would collaborate on new joint software solutions. Now, they're staffing up.
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It's about the tech
by JeffS on Fri 2nd Feb 2007 17:50 UTC
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I hate MS as much as anybody.

I trust MS as far as I can throw them.

But I'm not worried about the MS/Novell deal, or their interoperability efforts.

I'm sure that if MS could use all this as a trap, they will.

But they can't. The MS/Novell deal isn't going to effect the rest of the Linux World. It won't effect Red Hat, Ubuntu, MySQL, Apache, etc, or companies that feature open source, like IBM, Oracle, HP, Intel, Sun, etc. For all those interested parties, it's just business as usual.

Steve Ballmer can blab all he wants about "Linux violating MS's intellectual property". That won't change a thing. Everyone and their brother knows it's just FUD, and everyone just laughs at Ballmer when he spews out that stuff. MS could no more win a patent jihad than anyone else. MS is not in the business of suing, and stands to lose a great deal more than they could gain by going on lawsuit binge. It's MUD all over again.

Also, the market is the ultimate barometer. MS made this deal with Novell because the market made them. Sure, they'd love to use it to circumvent the GPL. But in the end, it's customers that dictate what they do. And many of their customers said they want to use Linux along with Windows. Thus the deal to purchase 70,000 SuSE coupons, 16,000 of which have been distributed already (a huge new revenue stream from on going support contracts for Novell). That's right, with the deal, MS is distributing Linux. They are even endorsing it. They are saying to the world "Yup, we now recognize that Linux is for real, it's legitimate, it's good, and customers want it, so we're now going to accommodate our customers".

Then there is the upcoming GPL3. The GPL3 will make damn sure that MS will have no way whatsoever to wiggle around the license, and use it for patent trolling, or other threatening, extortion, FUD type behavior. The GPL3 will ensure that the "patent deal" made by Novell and MS will apply to everyone who writes, uses, or redistributes GPL code. Yes, Linus, and other kernel devs made it clear that they will not adopt the GPL3. But the entire GNU tool chain, crucial for an Linux distro, will most certainly be under the GPL3.

Finally, as Steve Ballmer said himself, it's all about "Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers". MS has really nice development tools. But most developers use or are aware of non MS tools, and most developers believe in interoperability or cross platform solutions, because their jobs demand it. MS can ill-afford to piss off the segment of the population that is soooooooo very very very crucial to MS's success. So MS absolutely has to make nice with interoperability, and at least give a little bit of an effort for cross platform solutions (thus the existence of the ECMA standards on C# and the CLI, and Mono).

And in the end, it is about the tech. People who have jobs to do just want to use good tools, and want to make stuff work across their various IT investments. So if stuff like Mono and Windows/SuSE virtualization improves, fantastic.

Don't worry, be happy.

However, I do hope that the interop stuff will include bringing Mono further along in supporting Windows.Forms, ASP.Net, and ADO.Net (along with the already excellent implementation of C#, CLI, and GTK#).

Edited 2007-02-02 17:53

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