Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:05 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Novell and Ximian At a press conference in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to announce a new partnership between Microsoft and Novell. The unprecedented deal will have Microsoft offering a degree of sales support for Novell's SUSE Linux while both companies work towards better interoperability between their respective operating systems. As part of the agreement, Microsoft also promises not to wield its patent portfolio against SUSE Linux. More here. You can follow the live webcast announcement, by Steve Ballmer, here. Update: Novell has put up a detailed FAQ about this deal.
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Novell is going to get insider knowledge to the inner workings of Windows and Novell will then distribute those changes in *their* own distributed versions of software like Samba, Xen, etc.

The kicker here is the GPL which, in essence, says you must contibute changes back for all to use. Well unless Novell and more importantly MS sign off their rights to those inclusions that code can never be integrated back into the main tree so we come to an impass ... does Novell still get to distribute said code with their changes under the GPL umbrella OR will they have to craft a new license?

This would cause them to forevermore manage their own version of said code and thereby violate the terms of the original GPL'd code that they based their hacked up version from would it not? Seems to me that as soon as they distribute v1.0 of the MS-Novell distro they'll be in violation of the GPL because their changes *cannot* be integrated back into the main tree due to there being no way in hell that MS will ever sign off its rights to that code.

Novell's distro will also be tainted since Novell's agreement is most definitely under a NDA so anyone taking a peek at Novell's changes will then be tainted as well. This is where MS gets its foot in the door for their legal wrangles they plan to unleash on the corporate world that use/develop Linux in what will most likely be a over reaching statement to the effect that if you are using any Linux then there is no way you couldn't have seen our IP and gained from it.

Essentially MS has switched gears since the SCO thing has flopped so instead of bashing and being seen as a bully they are now trying to be seen as a friend. And if a friend says that such and such isn't the best thing for you then it must be true...right? Goes back to the old saying of "keep you friends close but your enemies closer."

All this beginning to sound logical to you yet?

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