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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by acobar on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 08:53 UTC
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First thing, the deal is not best for Novell, clearly it is wonderful for Microsoft. Lets see why:

- it, kind of, legitimize patents on software (I'm talking about ethics not reality) on the eyes of the public (most of);

- it gives Microsoft a better litigation shield about monopolist tactics ("Hey, we play nice, it is not our fault that the customers prefer our products!");

- they diversify and extend their incoming with the ones comming from fields they didn't expended a dime (in this case, from Linux vendors);

- they get a new and powerful level on the field against other Linux business;

- they prepare the ground to also service from FOSS projects (probably their next move - "If IBM, Apple and Sun can, why not us?"). It can be needed to them on the long haul as many parts of the software foundation are becoming pretty much commodities (why expend a lot of money on something no one wants to pay for because there are already a "free" good alternative?). In this case, they can also reallocate their resources in the eternal search for best pastures.

More information about the deal must be published, and quickly. The FOSS community must be very, very careful to accept contributions from Novell developers. The main points are:

- Is the contribution affected by the deal?

- Did the developer have access to Microsoft pattented information?

- Does the code submitted pitch GPL against Microsoft IP?

I really don't care about Mono but Samba and OpenOffice are very, very important projects that makes corporation linux desktop possible. Any harmful to them will hurt deep the FOSS community.

And as said many times here, it looks like they are targetting specially Red Hat, who pays very talented guys to work on almost any key technology used on Linux. But people have forget about something even more important to me,
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<&l t;<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<&l t;
Java and web services
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>&g t;>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>&g t;,
yes, they are targetting them too and, of course, Sun.

Looks like a multi win for Microsoft. Congrats Ballmer, finally a smart move.

Reply Score: 3