Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 22nd Feb 2007 14:49 UTC, submitted by Valour
SuSE, openSUSE "Many changes have gone into the SUSE Linux operating system since version 10.1, including a name change: the entire operating system is now known only as openSUSE. All of those changes appear to have been for the better - openSUSE 10.2 is as great a release as 10 was - but despite the improvements and bug fixes, there are still several underlying problems that prevent openSUSE 10.2 from being competitive with commercial desktop operating systems."
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underlying problem
by netsql on Thu 22nd Feb 2007 16:12 UTC
Member since:

is that open suse is by novell and item reported here:


Reply Score: -3

RE: underlying problem
by butters on Thu 22nd Feb 2007 17:38 in reply to "underlying problem"
butters Member since:

Now, hold on. You can read my scathing comments on the Novell patent covenant via my profile, but this doesn't change the fact that openSUSE is a fine distro backed by a community that really cares. It's shame that Novell doesn't appreciate their efforts and that the openSUSE community hasn't taken steps to distance itself from Novells horrible mistake, but it's hard to walk away from the project infrastructure that Novell provides without impacting the roadmap. Hopefully they act to defend themselves--and the rest of the Linux community--in the near future.

By the way, I recently had a nice email conversation with Miguel de Icaza concerning these issues. His justification is that, although we in the community all know that Linux and the OSS stack is strongly defensible against IP claims, prospective corporate customers are staying away because of IP concerns. Apparently they had several big deals fall through because of this issue alone. Corporates don't want to be told that Linux IP is defensible, they want to be told that they're indemnified. Defending a frivolous lawsuit can cost untold millions.

He had no response to my point that Red Hat provides its enterprise customers with indemnification on their own terms, based on their confidence alone, rather than through deals with patent holders.

It's true that this deal doesn't negatively (or positively) impact the defensibility of Linux IP in a courtroom setting. However, it strongly impacts public perception, and plaintiffs can leverage these perceptions in out-of-court settlement negotiations. The OSS community is just as vulnerable to patent claims as it was before, but the Novell deal heightens the perception of vulnerability.

As I've said before, the deal is an agreement between Microsoft and Novell that it is in their mutual best interest to address the IP status of Linux in the court of public opinion rather than in the court of law.

Edited 2007-02-22 17:41

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: underlying problem
by suryad on Thu 22nd Feb 2007 18:56 in reply to "RE: underlying problem"
suryad Member since:

I work for a Fortune 50 company as a J2EE developer. You are sooooooooooo right you wont believe it. We are going about the long way and paying lots and lots of money for various products just to avoid that IP scenario. It is annoying to say the least with all the restrictions imposed on us. Heck I am surprised we are able to use Struts!!

Reply Parent Score: 2