Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 8th Nov 2007 17:33 UTC, submitted by WillM
In the News One year after sealing their surprise alliance, Novell and Microsoft have announced an expansion of their technical collaboration to 'link together the existing Windows and Linux frameworks'. The firms will extend their existing collaboration to focus on virtualisation, standards-based management, directory and identity federation and document format compatibility. As part of this process, Microsoft said that both companies are 'now working closely' at the Microsoft and Novell Interoperability Lab in Massachusetts.
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RE[3]: Good for Novell!
by segedunum on Fri 9th Nov 2007 10:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good for Novell!"
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But the argument that most frequently comes up is that Novell is somehow undermining linux with the MS agreement because of the patent issue. That's simply balls off.

Not it isn't. You see, Novell professes to be an open source, Linux based company. The destinies of Linux, Novell and the open source software that Novell relies on to make their products and inextricably linked. Whatever harm is done to Linux and open source software ultimately comes back to bite Novell, and if Novell harms them then it comes around to bite everyone else. Everyone depends on everyone else in a community like that.

What Novell did, because they were so desperate, was to cave in to Microsoft's specific demands to have some kind of agreement about patents - whatever that happened to be. The way this was eventually spun was that Novell's customers had some kind of protection from Microsoft, whereas no other Linux distributor's customers had. Thus Novell were happy to try and claim this as competitive advantage.

What then happened was that Microsoft spun this themselves to the corporate audience they wanted to get their message to, to say that Linux and open source software infringed on Microsoft's patents and IP and that you weren't safe unless you got your Linux distro from a company that had signed a similar agreement. This then went beyond Novell and harmed the impression of Linux and open source software further afield.

Novell tried to backtrack on all of this, but the damage had been done and Microsoft got what they wanted. They tried to helpfully tell us that Linux and open source software infringed on no Microsoft patent they could see, but signing a deal to protect their customers and then saying this is a logical fallacy that will not square - and people can see it.

Novell as an open source and Linux company have harmed the wider perception of Linux and open source software. It's that simple. The amusing thing is that many people point out that Novell is a business and they have done this for their own benefit. However, since the destiny of Novell with open source software is linked, and they have agreed to some other silly things in this deal, they've not only harmed the wider perception of Linux and open source software, they've harmed themselves and put the noose around their own neck.

Whatever way anyone tries to cut this, Novell is an exceptionally stupid, naive, incompetent and cowardly company. I'm quite impressed that Redmond seems to have kept a lid on any in-jokes regarding this whole thing.

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