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Three Takers Named for Microsoft's Linux Support 149

Posted by Zonk
from the step-right-up dept.
narramissic writes "According to an article on ITworld, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank AG, and AIG Technologies have signed on for Microsoft's technical support for Novell Inc.'s Suse Enterprise Linux. This follows last month's announcement of a deal between Novell and Microsoft that Steve Ballmer described as an effort to 'bridge the divide between open-source and proprietary-source software.' None of the companies cited the price of the support certificates, nor would they say how many they were activating. Even more interesting, Credit Suisse is a brand new cusomter for Novell."
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Three Takers Named for Microsoft's Linux Support

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  • itsatrap (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 21, 2006 @05:40PM (#17330204)
    Where is the "itsatrap" tag?!?
  • And so it begins. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GodInHell (258915) * on Thursday December 21, 2006 @05:40PM (#17330206) Homepage
    Ballmer: "Buy my service or you're open to liability."

    Customer: "Please don't hurt me."

    Ballmer: "These are some lovely client server apps you have here, it would be a shame if something were to.. happen to them..."

    Customer: "Okay.. okay, I'll pay.... I'll pay" [quiet weeping].

    -GiH

  • by LDAPMAN (930041) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @05:48PM (#17330338)
    So...this deal is bad for Novell how??

    http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS6962961128.html [linux-watch.com]
  • by IANAAC (692242) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @05:50PM (#17330368)
    Since Credit Suisse is a new Novell customer, you'd think that Novell would have tried to sell them their own suppport.


    What am I missing?

  • by Joebert (946227) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @05:50PM (#17330382) Homepage
    Even more interesting, Credit Suisse is a brand new customer for Novell.

    What's so intresting about that ?
    It's not like Microsoft would start companies to make it look like people are actually supporting this thing.
  • by mandelbr0t (1015855) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @06:17PM (#17330762) Journal
    Working the SuSE helpdesk wouldn't be as bad as you think. #1 call is going to be "I need to share these files from my Linux server to my Windows 2k/XP desktop." Microsoft will be motivated to make this happen (I've had some strange problems with this in the past). They really don't want the helpdesk response to be "Sorry, but Microsoft hasn't released that patch yet." They can blame Samba, sure, but then Microsoft looks stupid for associating with a product they won't stand behind. From an Interoperability standpoint, it seems that Microsoft is playing ball.

    I think the only real problem here was the deliberate attempt to undermine the GPL. In the end, though, the effect is not as bad as we think. GPLv3 plugs the loophole, a Linux vendor gets a ton of cash from Microsoft, and life goes on. I don't like Novell getting in bed with Microsoft, but it's not like they had a whole lot of choice. $400 million is a lot to turn down on the basis of "principles", "morals" or "ethics". The important thing is that the timing of the announcement allowed the GPL to be developed to prevent any further deals of this nature to be made.

    mandelbr0t
  • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @06:20PM (#17330806)
    So when is /. going to replace the SuSE icon with a stylised thirty pieces of silver?

    Never, we are way to scientifically mindied here to resort to Biblical symbolism. However we are quite mean enough to, say.... superimpose a portrait of Vidkun Quisling [wikipedia.org] over the Novell logo.... Mwuhahahahahahahahaha!
  • by DrSkwid (118965) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @06:22PM (#17330824) Homepage Journal
    next stop - Microsoft binary Linux drivers for Suse - $799

  • by Ender Ryan (79406) <TOKYO minus city> on Thursday December 21, 2006 @06:27PM (#17330892) Journal
    Blind bashing? In this case, I don't think so.

    To use another bogeyman to illustrate it... this is like Sony "offering" to "service" Xbox 360s, or something.

    I've already seen some other analogies put forth, and I find this is one case where they are friggin' hilarious, and appropriate :)

  • by svendog (896213) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @06:33PM (#17330942)
    What strikes me here is that Microsoft could potentially make more money selling "we won't sue you" certificates to [Novell] Linux users than the companies actually providing *real* support for said systems ...
  • by Teckla (630646) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @06:36PM (#17330996)

    It's not Microsoft's fault if these companies choose to pay for support they don't actually need.

    What?! Microsoft's CEO basically threatens companies that use Linux, and Microsoft isn't at fault?!

    And I suppose if Guido says, "Bad things might happen to your family, Mr. Anonymous Coward, unless you pay me some 'protection' money...", then it isn't Guido's fault if you pay him for protection you don't actually need???

    And you got modded Insightful! Unbelievable!

    I, for one, am getting pretty tired of people whining that Microsoft gets unfairly bashed here on Slashdot too often. I regularly read plenty of responses that defend Microsoft that get modded +5 Insightful.

  • by nadamsieee (708934) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @06:52PM (#17331164)
    It isn't. They got their thirty pieces of silver.
    They may have gotten paid (short term gain), but Novell has lost their way with the community that feeds them in the process [groklaw.net] (long term loss).
  • by jdbartlett (941012) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @08:18PM (#17332012)
    As far as "bridging the divide between open-source and proprietary-source software" is concerned, Ballmer doesn't seem to grasp that the basic concept of open vs. closed. His so-called "divide" isn't something that can just be patched up like so many Microsoft products. The only way to "bridge" the difference between open and closed is with a hinge.

    So which way does Ballmer expect to bridge this door?
  • Re:Yawn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by symbolic (11752) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:36AM (#17333742)
    When clients like these sign on to the program, the Geek becomes expendable.

    Sure...but only until some overpaid executive can't get his second yacht because of revenue shortfalls. This is only as permanent as there is money to be made.
  • by Jason Earl (1894) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:58AM (#17333838) Homepage Journal

    Novell will continue to be able to distribute GPLv2 versions of Samba. However, the new versions and added functionality will be unavailable to Novell and Novell's customers. Old versions of Samba are hardly a recipe for increased interoperability with Windows. Now, Novell could try and fork Samba from the newest GPLv2 version and compete with the official branch, but seeing as how Novell just lost their chief Samba hacker that's not likely to be a very good plan. Even if they could keep up Novell will still have the added expense of maintaining its own branch of Samba all by itself. Hardly a winning strategy.

    Now, it is possible that the lawyers at Novell and Microsoft will find a way to circumvent the GPLv3. The question is whether or not the lawyers will be able to come up with a way to circumvent the GPLv3 that customers will actually bite on. Remember, to a certain extent it is accepted that the GPLv2 doesn't cover this particular case simply because Eben Moglen said so. Microsoft and Novell would be unwise in the extreme to distribute some else's copyrighted material that was covered by the GPLv3 under terms that Eben says are contradictory to that license. After all, he would likely make a very compelling witness if a court case should come up, and the penalties for distributing someone else's copyrighted material illegally are ridiculous.

    Novell has a serious problem. Somewhere along the line it forgot that it doesn't actually own the copyrights to most of the software that it distributes as SuSE Linux.

  • by Jason Earl (1894) on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:12AM (#17333900) Homepage Journal

    Sure, Novell could swap out Samba for something written by Microsoft that does the same thing. Of course then Novell would be 100% dependent on Microsoft for an important piece of its network operating system stack. Beta versions of Samba are currently able to completely replace an AD domain controller. What do you think the chances are of Microsoft delivering something like that to Novell? If Microsoft's Samba replacement is anything like the other bits and pieces of UNIX software Microsoft has written over the years Novell will be lucky if it doesn't turn every single file served up into kiddie porn.

    Samba is already an entrenched part of the enterprise, and it is shipped by every large vendor except Microsoft. Windows filesharing for basically every OS on the planet (except Windows) is based on Samba, and a new version of the GPL isn't going to change a thing.

    Well, Novell will be left out in the cold. That will be different. The once mighty king of fileserving will be relegated to depending on Microsoft for a Windows filesharing solution.

    What a clever plan!

  • by ricky-road-flats (770129) on Friday December 22, 2006 @05:50AM (#17335196)
    I, for one, am getting pretty tired of people whining that Microsoft gets unfairly bashed here on Slashdot too often. I regularly read plenty of responses that defend Microsoft that get modded +5 Insightful.
    It's incredible, it's almost as if some people have a different viewpoint to your own! How could that be?

    What?! Microsoft's CEO basically threatens companies that use Linux, and Microsoft isn't at fault?! And I suppose if Guido says, "Bad things might happen to your family, Mr. Anonymous Coward, unless you pay me some 'protection' money...", then it isn't Guido's fault if you pay him for protection you don't actually need???
    Bravo, another way-overblown analogy. Microsoft's 'threats', as you put them. Where are they, and how seriously has anyone taken them? Me, my boss and his boss keep our eyes open for potential problems - technical, legal and practical. We have seen nothing which give us anything whatsoever to worry about on this front. At my work, we have servers running AIX, Solaris, assorted RedHats, but mainly Windows. Can you seriously point me to anything which actually points to a legal problem we may have running what we run? Something concrete I can take to my boss, not some whiny blog or impractical philosophical rant?

    As to the why-still-use-Windows people, my philosophy is to use the best hardware and software tools for each job - and 'best' is a hazy function of suitability for the task, purchase cost, maintenance cost, admin training cost, user training cost, support quality, compatibility with other systems, industry reputation... the list goes on. And as long as the license for whatever it is allows us to do what we intend, that's all I care about. I have problems to solve and solutions to provide, and I need to solve them today. Some of what I need is best served by Windows. Some isn't. It would be good from some aspects to use all-OSS software, but I can't do everything I need to do with it, and neither can my users, and neither can my customers. Meanwhile, there are 'closed' or 'non-free' systems that do deliver what we need, and fit the other criteria above. I'm sure a couple of dozen talented programmers and a couple of years would be able to remedy that, but that is completely impractical from a cost and timescale point of view. Live with it. I do.

UNIX was half a billion (500000000) seconds old on Tue Nov 5 00:53:20 1985 GMT (measuring since the time(2) epoch). -- Andy Tannenbaum

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