Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Fri 18th Jul 2008 23:29 UTC, submitted by Dale Smoker
Legal The convoluted case of SCO v. Novell dealt a heady blow to the SCO Group Wednesday, with United States District Judge Dale Kimball ordering the company to pay $2.5 million to Novell for improperly claiming, and collecting royalties for, the Unix operating system.
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Two comments
by troy.w.banther on Sat 19th Jul 2008 12:46 UTC
troy.w.banther
Member since:
2008-06-28

There were two comments I disagree with. The first is that Linux would not survive without a big company.

This is naive.

Linux, while an operating system, is a business model. IBM, Novell and other companies, big, medium, SMB and others have 'found' billions of dollars in Linux.

It can be said that big businesses like IBM, Novell and others would not survive if they had not starting using Linux and its business model.

Our university is literally saving hundreds of thousands of dollars just in licensing fees alone. Aside from the proper stewardship of public funds the Linux business model makes sense for the academic environment as well.

The second comment is signing a contract with Microsoft does not make a company a bad company.

Microsoft is not a bad company. It is is just a publicly or shareholder owned and profit driven entity. Some of its actions could be viewed as less than ideal.

If I owned a small business, say a music business, and I used one of Microsoft's products, like Windows, on all of my computers, then did not properly track Microsoft's products and licensing, I could be legally sued.

I have already paid for the computer equipment. I have already paid for the license to use Microsoft's Windows. I have already paid for the license to use Microsoft's Office product. Now Microsoft wants more money since we did not really know the difference between its retail and OEM versions of its product line? We also failed to properly track the licenses?

How many SMBs and other businesses track their licenses? How many 'individuals' on this site, who use Microsoft Windows and|or Office track their individual licenses? Households with small networks and multiple computers running the Redmond product can be legally sued for not keeping their OEM or retail versions in order.

How many people who read OSNews could afford the fines, fees and potential jail time, depending on your laws and customs, a Microsoft licensing audit could produce.

Fortunately for me, personally, I use open source. My money stays local. Linux and its business model makes me money locally.

Each year we perform an audit of all Microsoft products and licenses under our control here at the university. It's a given that Microsoft could at any time perform an audit of all its products on campus.

So I suggest again, that Microsoft is not evil. That's just silly. It's a company looking out for its product and profits. Signing a contract with Microsoft has its potential expenditures.

Microsoft is a company with an aging business model. Linux is an operating system with another form of business model.

Microsoft is learning its business model is failing to bring in new sources of money in the new or more modern business environment.

Edited 2008-07-19 12:57 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE: Two comments
by PlatformAgnostic on Sat 19th Jul 2008 17:02 in reply to "Two comments"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Eh? I'm not seeing that the shrink-wrapped proprietary software business model is failing yet. In fact, it seems like it's displacing Linux on the Unix-compatible desktop in the form of OS X.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Two comments
by kaiwai on Sun 20th Jul 2008 08:15 in reply to "Two comments"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

1) Microsoft already give deep discounts to university; don't just look at the top layer (price of acquiring software) as some sort of benchmark as to the whether something is 'good value' or whether it saves money. A free lunch that results in diarrhoea for four days afterwards is a free lunch most people would opt out of - regardless of its 'free' status.

2) When they mean survive, they mean in the capacity of being a commercial entity. The software landscape is consolidating. Oracle is going on a spending spree, Microsoft maybe looking at purchasing AOL and Yahoo. Sun has been on a spending spree buying up needed software.

Novell and Red Hat - for them to remain as stand alone entities they'll need to expand beyond operating systems. Unless they do that, they'll remain low rung software companies ripe for the picking. Don't be surprised if in the next couple of years Novell or Red Hat are bought off for a song and a dance.

3) Microsoft do need to get their licencing under control; its complex and its also confusing. Regarding computers, they can be easily upgraded every three years - the whole fleet. Looking at NZ tax records, one can depreciate computers over a period of three years - resulting in almost a free computer by the time it needs to be replaced. So it isn't as though doing a mass upgrade every three years is all that expensive.

As for OEM - its easy to know the difference. OEM you can't transfer between machines and you get your technical support from the hardware company you bought it from as part of a bundle with the computer - and no Microsoft; that is why the OEM version costs less than the retail, Microsoft isn't providing support for it.

Edited 2008-07-20 08:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Two comments
by dagw on Sun 20th Jul 2008 10:11 in reply to "RE: Two comments"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Novell and Red Hat - for them to remain as stand alone entities they'll need to expand beyond operating systems.

For what it's worth both have already expanded beyond operating systems. Both make money off of training and consulting fees. Novell offers a whole range of system management and monitoring solution, which I imagine is where they make a lot of their money. Red Hat has a database and a java middleware platform on offer to its customers, as well as cluster computing tools.

Neither Novell or Red Hat are interested in selling just Linux. They want to sell and, more importantly, support complete application stacks. Linux is just basis they are using to build their solutions on.

Reply Parent Score: 3