Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Jan 2007 20:41 UTC, submitted by WillM
Novell and Ximian Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores is contracting with Microsoft and Novell - Microsoft's preferred Linux partner - to build out the company's Web operations, according to a Wal-Mart executive. On Tuesday, Microsoft and Novell are expected to announce that Wal-Mart is the latest customer to purchase both Microsoft software and support certificates for Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server.
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by Hiev on Tue 23rd Jan 2007 20:50 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

She said the intellectual property protections in the Novell deal give Wal-Mart more confidence in using Linux more broadly.

Looks like the customers have the last word.

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by FunkyELF on Tue 23rd Jan 2007 21:03 in reply to "..."
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by alucinor on Tue 23rd Jan 2007 21:06 in reply to "RE: ..."
alucinor Member since:
2006-01-06

The US department of defense uses quite a bit of Red Hat. I don't imagine they'll be switching over to SUSE over fear of MS any time soon.

Reply Parent Score: 5

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by alucinor on Tue 23rd Jan 2007 21:05 in reply to "..."
alucinor Member since:
2006-01-06

She said the intellectual property protections in the Novell deal give Wal-Mart more confidence in using Linux more broadly.

Well, I suppose without the Novell-MS deal, Wal-Mart would've have gone all MS or MS-UNIX instead of using open source. This is a win, then, for Linux, since in the future when suddenly some of these corporations like Wal-Mart realize that after 5 or 10 years, other Linux distros other than the blessed SUSE are around, it would be relatively trivial (compared to a UNIX-UNIX or UNIX-MS migration) to migrate their old SUSE systems to a new Linux, if need be.

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by merkoth on Tue 23rd Jan 2007 21:42 in reply to "RE: ..."
merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

Respecting the migration itself, their decision is fairly understandable: Wal-Mart is a huge worldwide bussiness, so you can't just hope that Microsoft's IP bullshit to be just FUD. What if it isn't? Of course, moving from RH to SLED will cost quite some money, but it'll be always less than paying for IP infrigement. I must admit that, from the bussiness point, you just can't take the risk of IP infrigement, even if you think that the MS/Novell deal is pure bullshit. There's little to gain from staying with, let's say RH, but there's a lot to lose if MS demands you.

I'm afraid that this was the tactic behind the deal, and seems to be working just fine ATM. You didn't really think that MS was trying to convince us, did you? No, they were trying to convince large companies, just like Wal-Mart.

That said, I couldn't care less about MS claims about IP: as I said before, show me the code and then we'll talk.

Edit: Removed stupid comment, I misread, sorry.

Edited 2007-01-23 21:45

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by butters on Tue 23rd Jan 2007 23:11 in reply to "RE: ..."
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

First, Wal-Mart was already using Red Hat extensively, but primarily in back-end datacenter roles. They want to run Linux on their front-end Web presence, which they "believe" will expose them to more IP risk than using the infidel OS behind their boundary routers.

I would be shocked if IP law in any jurisdiction maintains such a distinction. But, in reality, Wal-Mart just needed to say this in order to get around admitting that, if there are IP concerns regarding Linux, they were already exposing themselves to these risks.

It is obvious from the fact that MS and Novell arranged this meeting with Wal-Mart that this is first a PR move and second a new client acquisition for Novell. Novell wants to drum up more concern (i.e. FUD) so that more businesses switch from Red Hat to Novell. Microsoft wants to play the two biggest Linux vendors against one another to reduce the dominance of Red Hat and strain the spirit of cooperation that has always existed between Linux distributors.

Microsoft isn't afraid of either Linux vendor. Microsoft's customers are not porting their Windows-based IT infrastructure to Linux. But they are porting their UNIX stuff to Linux, and Microsoft would rather conduct business with Novell (or Red Hat) than with an amorphous cloud of cooperating developers.

The only question is what happens if/when Novell becomes the dominant player in commercial Linux. Do they partner with Red Hat? Remember this deal expires in two years...

Edited 2007-01-23 23:13

Reply Parent Score: 3

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by MamiyaOtaru on Tue 23rd Jan 2007 21:33 in reply to "..."
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

She said the intellectual property protections in the Novell deal give Wal-Mart more confidence in using Linux more broadly.

Would it have even occurred to her that they might need protection from IP issues before the Novell-MS deal was announced? Sounds like they bought the hype that came along with the deal, and in turn are adding to it themselves.

It was never really certain that anyone needed protection from MS on IP matters in the first place (MS wouldn't want to ignite MAD) but the deal made it seem like an issue. Anytime a Walmart acts on it, they add to its clout, clout that might as wel have come out of thin air with the announcement of the Novell MS deal.

So yeah, if corps like it, the customer has spoken. I just wonder if the corps would have ever thought to speak if the Deal hadn't put up a hoop for them to jump through.

I guess the real test will be if anything ever happens to a company using a different linux. If not, Walmart acted on a non-issue.

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by b3timmons on Tue 23rd Jan 2007 22:30 in reply to "RE: ..."
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

So yeah, if corps like it, the customer has spoken. I just wonder if the corps would have ever thought to speak if the Deal hadn't put up a hoop for them to jump through.

According to Jeremy Allison*, there have been for some time now threatening letters or some such against companies using GNU/Linux and allegedly infringing on MS "IP", so I think your suspicion is entirely warranted, and that the MS-Novell deal is living down to the anti-competitive tactics that were warned about from the beginning.

Walmart of course is using this for FUD of its own: scaring competitors that they are "very concerned" about the "huge problem", suggesting the hoops through which others need to jump and raising barriers of entry to startups. It's hard to imagine Walmart does not once again benefit here from its unique volume position and its fearsome reputation against competitors and that Microsoft and Novell had not predicted and counted on all of this months in advance.

(*) Listen to the audio interview at http://www.linuxworld.com/podcasts/linux/interoperability_and_paten...

Moreover, Allison is basically just a recent voice over problems that apparently have been reported about for a few years now and can be found on Google.

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by twenex on Wed 24th Jan 2007 08:35 in reply to "..."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

She said the intellectual property protections in the Novell deal give Wal-Mart more confidence in using Linux more broadly.

Looks like the customers have the last word.


If customers want to continue to believe in fictions like "intellectual property" (let alone some "Microsoft Advantage" in using their software) they're certainly entitled to; it's a free country.

Some of us, however, prefer to stay well-informed.

Someone pointed out on Linuxtoday that Wal-Mart already uses Unix; they don't need Microsoft's support to start using Linux. This is just a way to get people to use Windows - "well if Linux support is this crappy, we might as well just use Windows anyway".

Reply Parent Score: 2