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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RE: ...
by alucinor on Tue 23rd Jan 2007 21:05 UTC in reply to "..."
Member since:

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.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: ...
by merkoth on Tue 23rd Jan 2007 21:42 in reply to "RE: ..."
merkoth Member since:

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

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: ...
by looncraz on Tue 23rd Jan 2007 21:59 in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
looncraz Member since:

Wal-mart could not be held responsible for the use of freely available software that advertised itself as being fully legal and licensed. The makers of the software are the ones that have to worry.

That means your entire scenario is entirely non-feasible. Wal-mart's IT dept likely explained how much money could be saved, and the upper-management agreed. The most-backed solution for a world-wide corporation is now, of course, MS, so we should be happy that Novell's solution proved to be enticing enough to Wal-mart to merit a risk such as migrating IT infrastructures.

--The loon

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: ...
by Don T. Bothers on Thu 25th Jan 2007 00:14 in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
Don T. Bothers Member since:

"Of course, moving from RH to SLED will cost quite some money, but it'll be always less than paying for IP infrigement."

Actually, moving from RHEL to SuSE should cost very little money. The base system (RPMS, bash, directory structure, ext3, Linux kernel, Apache, PHP, perl, sendmail/postfix, Bind, etc.) are basically the same. Furtheremore, RedHat and Novell cost about the same and neither sells anything but a yearly support license. That means, in terms of licensing cost, it does not cost people extra to move to Novell versus to keep RedHat. Finally, for a company the size of Walmart, it should be very easy to simply image the servers and redeploy their applications across the Novell servers.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: ...
by butters on Tue 23rd Jan 2007 23:11 in reply to "RE: ..."
butters Member since:

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

RE[3]: ...
by ma_d on Wed 24th Jan 2007 01:02 in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
ma_d Member since:

Their in-store setup is a nightmare. I'm told it's a gigantic mix of some old proprietary Unix that requires old intel chips, NT 4, XP, and RHEL.

And they like to do things like setup the machines in out-of-store shacks (next to the store) that don't have air conditioning of any form and often have standing water.

Personally I'm not going to rejoice that one of the most evil corporations in the world will be using more Linux. They should buy SCO Unix ;) .

Reply Parent Score: 4