Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 16th Nov 2006 12:49 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Linux "Would you have believed at the end of last summer that Microsoft and Novell would partner over Linux, or that Oracle would create its own brand of Linux? Yeah, I wouldn't have believed it either, but here we are. So, what does it all mean? Rather than make a snap judgement I decided to sit, wait and watch before trying to make sense of it all. Now, I'm ready to give you my two-cents on who are the winners and losers in this post-deal Linux world."
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Finally a non chicken little story
by griffinme on Thu 16th Nov 2006 13:49 UTC
griffinme
Member since:
2005-11-09

Its nice to see some people are keeping their head in all this. All the people that have been going on about how this bad for Linux and how Novell==SCO need to chill. Novell is not a charity, they are not a non-profit, they have a legal duty to their shareholders to make money. Do you really think they want to hurt Linux? They know their future rests with Linux as their Netware sales continue to decline. They need Linux to be better then Windows so they can sell more support, enterprise editions, etc.

Reply Score: 5

Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

Do you really think they want to hurt Linux?

Do you really think they know what they are doing ?

They know their future rests with Linux as their Netware sales continue to decline. They need Linux to be better then Windows so they can sell more support, enterprise editions, etc.

And you think because some company know what it needs, it will do the right things automatically ?
You mean they did all that knowing that there would be a backlash from the community, and still did it ?
That would just show they don't understand what they're doing.

Reply Parent Score: 4

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

People tend to overlook/forget a lot of stuff when it's in their favor -- and the bash things when it runs against them. For example, IBM is one of the biggest corporate orgs in the industry, and it has contributed tons of code to Linux. Does anybody seriously think that IBM did so out of the goodness of its heart? Of course not! IBM wants to create credible alternatives to competitors' OSes -- thereby selling lots of services and software in the process -- and there's no better way to do that than make an investment in Linux. So, knowing that, should we spurn IBM because "they're only in it for the money"?!? No, absolutely not! Sometimes, you take help wherever it comes from. Novell has essentially guaranteed that, no matter whether there are IP landmines in the Linux source code, you will be able to obtain code from them without fear of being sued. Now, people may scoff at that, but the fact of the matter is that companies driving adoption of Linux want and need to be risk-averse. They're moving to Linux because they believe that there will be significant cost savings. If you throw in the possibility that they could be sued for using IP-offensive code, then it tends to make IT management nervous.

I don't know if you've met a lot of IT managers (I have), but I can tell you that the "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM ... or Microsoft ... or [fill-in-the-blank]" mentality is still alive and well. They don't want to see their careers destroyed over IP issues that Microsoft and others have been warning about for the past several years. I'm not lending credibility to those warnings -- I'm merely pointing out that they DO have an impact on many corporate buyers.

Ultimately, though, the biggest impediment to patent infringement lawsuits from Microsoft may be the risk of alienating increasingly common customers in hybrid Windows/Linux environments.

Reply Parent Score: 2

trinitrotolueen Member since:
2006-10-03

I don't know if you've met a lot of IT managers (I have), but I can tell you that the "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM ... or Microsoft ... or [fill-in-the-blank]" mentality is still alive and well.

And MS has a lot of those guys i hate the most.The good old boys network.It must irritate them their network doesn't reach into the FSF community as they see fit.In the end the servers must run with as little as possible down time at the lowest possible TCO.The same suits as referred to don't give a rats ass what runs the shop as long as it runs properly.At least that's the ideal.

I'm not lending credibility to those warnings -- I'm merely pointing out that they DO have an impact on many corporate buyers.

Wrong,it's the benefits attached to making a deal.I sign you pay my holiday expenses.Dinners,trips to the best local cat house etc..The deal has been sealed my options will rise.Release shedules.Shareholders.I drive BMW because i must have missed something in my youth.

Business as usual.

Ultimately, though, the biggest impediment to patent infringement lawsuits from Microsoft may be the risk of alienating increasingly common customers in hybrid Windows/Linux environments.

How long has SCO treathened with law suits?Up till now none have actually had a positive outcome for SCO(MS).I doubt they have any case.They just can't get a grip on the community.

Not being able to comprehend what seems to be a successfull competitor yet you can't get a grip on it is what irritates them the most.I hope it stays that way.

Face it who should you take out to lunch when you are after debian,gentoo,samba,apache,<fill in>?

Linux/unix has won in the server rooms.The flavor been running there is the flavor the admin responsible for knows best.and what he/she knows best has the best change of a good TCO and decreased downtime.Whatever gets the job done.

Reply Parent Score: 1

molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Its nice to see some people are keeping their head in all this. All the people that have been going on about how this bad for Linux and how Novell==SCO need to chill. Novell is not a charity, they are not a non-profit, they have a legal duty to their shareholders to make money.

They also have a duty to the community that provides them with something to distribute. And they failed miserably on that duty, because they used patents as a competitive tool - and like it or not, the open source community doesn't like patents and vague threats from microsoft.

Besides, I wouldn't say that the author of the article is keeping his head in all this, because he has some really weird assumptions, like GPL v3 being a loser... This is simply crazy - if anything, it gained a new boost, and some even joke that Stallmann owes a thankyou to microsoft because of that. Proclaiming Novell a winner, how absurd is that? You don't have to dislike Novell to see how their deal spells doom for them in the not so distant future. Eben Moglen promised, that GPL v3 will make such deals impossible. Once FSF software will be distributed under v3, Novell will have two choices: break the deal with MS (and lose credibility), or fork FSF software, and maintain glibc/gcc/bash/whatnot alone. Either way, Novell will be a loser. And I didn't even mention the animosity they earned from the community (and ironically, from interoperability experts like the Samba team).

And yes, by being partner to Microsoft's new FUD initiative, the community has every right to be pissed. Because it is beyond any doubt that the MS-Novell deal conveys this message: linux has MS patent issues (but Microsoft is nice enough to offer "protection" to Novell's customers). So yeah, you can ask nicely everyone to chill - from groklaw through Perens to the samba team (oh, and SFLC's Bradley Kuhn) - but don't you think they have a reason to be annoyed?

They need Linux to be better then Windows so they can sell more support, enterprise editions, etc.

And this MS deal helps them ... how? Do you seriously think that Microsoft will help them achieve that goal? Incredible. It is as incredible as saying that MS will help linux to compete with their own products in sectors of key importance to Microsoft, like governments and the enterprise... Oh, wait:

"The financial commitments Microsoft is making as part of this agreement are significant," said Ron Hovsepian, president and CEO of Novell. "This will help drive Linux more rapidly into the enterprise and government arenas, broadly expanding opportunities for Linux and open source." http://www.novell.com/news/press/item.jsp?id=1199

Now, I'll give them the benefit of a doubt, and will say that they didn't intentionally screw the free software community for short term gains. In fact, they truly believed that with microsofts's "financial commitment" they will expand their business in those sectors that Microsoft considers of key importance for its own business. Is that naivety or what? I mean this is so absurd, that I can't believe Novell's CEO made that statement with a straight face.

Anyway, bye-bye Novell, and thanks for XGL ;) I just pity those hard working developers who maintain opensuse - they are fine folks, and deserve a better employer, really. It must be hard these days, having to explain - or even come up with some sort of justifications for - the actions of Novell.

On a side note: RH customers have full protection against any patent or IP related litigation concerning software sold to them by RH, and that protection doesn't have an expiry date ;) Plus they own Jboss (and if you didn't notice, SUN just GPLed JAVA) - so if there is a long term winner, it will be RH, despite the fact that their stock suffered on the short term.

edit> added link to Novell CEO's statements.

Edited 2006-11-16 17:35

Reply Parent Score: 5

Jody Member since:
2005-06-30

Eww, you used that FUD word again.

Please give me a specific reason that the MS deal makes Novell GPLv3 incompatible.

"Now, I'll give them the benefit of a doubt, and will say that they didn't intentionally screw the free software community for short term gains."

Again, a specific example or explanation is needed to support this claim.

"On a side note: RH customers have full protection against any patent or IP related litigation concerning software sold to them by RH, and that protection doesn't have an expiry date ;) "

So you are saying what novel did was bad, but this deal from RH concerning indemnification from IP related litigation is both morally OK and GPLv3 compliant? In the same way you claim the MS deal casts doubt on the legitimacy of GPL code wouldn't the RH deal have basicially the same impact?

"and if you didn't notice, SUN just GPLed JAVA"

I did notice, but did you know that Sun was given $900 million by MS not so long ago in a patent deal similar to that which Novell just inked? Were you also aware that Sun holds thousands of patents on Java, none of which seem to be a problem for the GPL?

Edited 2006-11-16 19:16

Reply Parent Score: 1

SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Excuse me but it's Novell that use opensource for there own needs, remember they use free software to make money, they know the score.

Using the word "charity" is not fair at all, who's software is it again?

Reply Parent Score: 1