An anonymous reader tipped us off to an article on the Information World site looking at the Novell/Microsoft deal from a new angle. Article author Tom Yager is of the opinion that the deal is Microsoft's punishment for throwing in with SCO. The very public announcement was made, in his opinion, as a stopgap measure against a future lawsuit on Novell's part. From the article: "Novell has exhibited the patience and cunning of a trap door spider. It waited for SCO to taunt from too short a distance. Then Novell would spring, feed a little (saving plenty for later), inject some stupidity serum, and let SCO stride off still cocksure enough to make another run at the nest. That cycle is bleeding SCO, which was the last to notice its own terminal anemia. When it became clear that SCO wouldn't prevail, Microsoft expected only to face close partner IBM. Microsoft did not brace for Novell, an adversary with a decades-long score to settle with Redmond. Through discovery, Microsoft's correspondence with SCO is, or soon will be in, Novell's hands, and it's a safe bet that it will contain more than demand for a license fee and a copy of a certified check."