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.
Thread beginning with comment 178339
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Head still spinning
by Havin_it on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 13:34 UTC
Havin_it
Member since:
2006-03-10

...and it won't stop until this deal and its implications come into clearer focus. All we really have at the moment is speculation; so, FWIW, I'll add some of my own.

SCO case goes to court early next year. It seems likely that SCO will lose, and the IP bogeyman against Linux will be annihilated. Time to resurrect it from a different angle, perhaps...?

Is there any merit in the patent threat? I have no idea, though being entrenched in the Linux world for a few years, nobody has seemed all that concerned. I don't see how cleanroom reverse-engineering projects (a carefully thought-out legal strategy I would assume) like Samba need any 'coverage'. And Openoffice? How the hell can that be in any danger? Maybe I'm naive, I'd like to hear more about this.

I also doubt Microsoft would be knowingly heading for a showdown with the GPL. That makes me wonder if (a) they've identified a fatal flaw in the GPL, or (b) they have a very well-calculated masterplan for riding rough-shod over it. (I mean, there are benign theories as well, but what fun are they?)

Bottom line: it's hard to imagine MS willingly letting the larger Linux community benefit from any of the fruits of this deal. And Novell demonstrated a degree of disdain for traditional FLOSS development with XGL already; if they can use this as a leg-up to become 'value-add Linux' on the functional as well as the legal level, I can't see them losing sleep over shafting the rest of the community to achieve it.

Reply Score: 2