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Microsoft and Novell sign a Linux deal

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"At a press conference in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to announce a new partnership between Microsoft and Novell. The unprecedented deal will have Microsoft offering a degree of sales support for Novell's SUSE Linux while both companies work towards better interoperability between their respective operating systems. As part of the agreement, Microsoft also promises not to wield its patent portfolio against SUSE Linux."

 

Read the story at chron.com

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Well, they made a deal with a satan. In order to kill Red Hat, Novell came up with this dangerous alliance. Very interesting. Should we anticipate for some kind of Windows-Linux hybrid or a total annihilation of one of the software giants? I also wonder how Red Hat is going to react.

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Should we anticipate for some kind of Windows-Linux hybrid or a total annihilation of one of the software giants?
Doubt it. No hybrids, and I don't think Novell is looking to be annihilated. As far as the patent agreement, I wonder about it's legality. Unless Novell somehow licenses the patents...and even then, both could get into trouble for anti-trust issues - only allowing one company the rights to patents and not opening it up to other Linux distributions on a fair level, effectively killing the competition? Smells like lawsuit to me. I'd look for Red Hat to call foul on this, and slam MS and Novell. Best to do it in the EU, too, as in the USA they're unlikely to get anywhere.

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Hmmm, makes me think back to the days I was using Novell NetWare until everything went Microsoft. Let's hope this isn't a revolution that's going to happen again!

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Should we anticipate for some kind of Windows-Linux hybrid or a total annihilation of one of the software giants?
Doubt it. No hybrids, and I don't think Novell is looking to be annihilated. As far as the patent agreement, I wonder about it's legality. Unless Novell somehow licenses the patents...and even then, both could get into trouble for anti-trust issues - only allowing one company the rights to patents and not opening it up to other Linux distributions on a fair level, effectively killing the competition? Smells like lawsuit to me. I'd look for Red Hat to call foul on this, and slam MS and Novell. Best to do it in the EU, too, as in the USA they're unlikely to get anywhere.

 

Yeah, it would be interesting to see what the EU's monopolies commision has to say about this, no doubt we will get a commentary soon.

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[...] As far as the patent agreement, I wonder about it's legality. Unless Novell somehow licenses the patents[...]

The terms seem to be that Novell is indemnified by Microsoft and in return Microsoft is indemnified for Novells patents and since MS sell more versions of their software they will make a balancing payment to Novell for the indemnity.

 

It appears to be a 'good thing' for interoperability but it is a concern that it is only Novell who are indemnified and it makes you wonder whether any advances in interoperability between Windows and Linux will be passed on freely to the Linux community. It is a great way for Microsoft to speed up their knowledge of Linux.

A Windows/Linux hybrid seems like quite a real possibility and SUSE could become a pariah of the Open Source world (just look at Aussie Johns reaction which I do not believe is an isolated one).

 

Leo

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This news is potentially huge, it depends on how much hype or spin if you like has been writen into the story. Have they gone to the dark side? *heavy Darth Vader breathing*

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I don't see it that darkly as others do. What did really change? Novell will pay a royalty to MS and make some other minor things which doesn't make sense to me. But really, does anyone think that MS will sue everybody now? They are still that monopoly with the EU anti-monopoly comitte (or whtever they are called) on their neck. If MS chooses to sue they can do it with or without this agreement. Novell is sold out it's sad but not the end of the world.

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It's not the end of the world, but it stinks and it is one more reason not to use SUSE/Novell products. I was sceptical about Novell acquiring SUSE back then and I thought: This will not bring any good things to SUSE and Linux in general as Novell is just as greedy as MS. They made many bad decisions in the past imho with respect to SUSE, managed to draw Munich away from a SUSE-deal for its desktops (They will use Debian, which is fine by me). And now they try to gain significant marketshare by "allying" with MS. Am I surprised? Not really...

 

Just my personal opinion of course.

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It's sad for linux users but it's smart busness otherwise. A company as big as Microsoft can keep any but the largest companys in court untill that company bleeds red ink and screems for mercy. If a company that large says their going to take you to court that basicly means their going to slowly kill your company. Strictly looking at it from a busness standpoint Microsoft is now too big to take down, their market share is outragously large and they now have a very diverse product line. The only way to gain a reasonable ammount of market share from Microsoft would be to work with them not by trying to work against them. On the whole it's a smart move.

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