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Groklaw Guts the Novell/Microsoft Deal 267

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-to-read dept.
walterbyrd writes "Pamala Jones, at groklaw, totally rips apart the Novell/Deal patent protection deal. From the article: 'Justin Steinman reveals that to market their SUSE Linux Enterprise Server against Red Hat they ask, "Do you want the Linux that works with Windows? Or the one that doesn't?" It's just appalling. Let me ask you developers who are kernel guys a question: When you contributed code to the kernel, was it your intent that it be used against Red Hat? How about the rest of you developers? Is that all right with you, that your code is being marketed by Novell like that? I also have questions about antitrust issues, with Microsoft being Novell's partner in such deals and sales pitches. Nothing speaks louder about Microsoft's true determination never to be actually interoperable than this conference.'"
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Groklaw Guts the Novell/Microsoft Deal

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  • No problem here... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spiritraveller (641174) on Monday October 01, 2007 @08:51AM (#20808903)
    "Do you want the Linux that works with Windows? Or the one that doesn't?"

    The one that doesn't, of course.

    To me, that's like asking, "Do you want the wrench that works with the Edsel, or the one that doesn't?"

    I guess if I was an Edsel mechanic, that would matter. But since the Edsel sucks, and my business isn't repairing other people's Edsel's, I really couldn't care less... Yes, I am being glib, and I understand the needs of "the Enterprise" ... but my enterprise needs computers that work and people who are competent enough to use something like pre-installed Ubuntu (hoo boy, guess they'll have to go back to school for that!)
    • And possibly for all the other geeks out there.

      This is all oriented to the PHBs out there that have been told to "investigate this Linux thing" and are afraid to step out from under the Microsoft umbrella.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by sumdumass (711423)
        Well, if this is for the PHB's investigating that linux thing, What is the message being sent? Is it stay away because we will attempt to attack the Linux distro who looks like they are going good in the commercial offerings? Or is the point that there would be no easy inter-operation with MS operating systems?

        Actually, this article is just more FUD at a time when Linux should be doing quite well. It is as if people are afraid of success or something. Most developers wouldn't care about Novell Out doing bus
        • Well, if this is for the PHB's investigating that linux thing,...

          It is not. It is directed at Linux developers and if you're not one you probably don't have the requisite perspective to be calling this "FUD".
          • by sumdumass (711423)
            So I have to be in the "in group" to discuss something posted in a public forum? Or is your comment an attempt to control dissent so that opinions can be swayed to one side only. Kind of like all the freedom that can be had in a dictatorship, right?

            I am a defacto linux developer. The GPL mandates this. I can take the Linux code and do anything I want with it outside what the Kernel team on Linus's project wants done. I can even do what they want too. Anyone who uses GPLed software has the ability to be a de
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SuperBanana (662181)

      To me, that's like asking, "Do you want the wrench that works with the Edsel, or the one that doesn't?"

      The Edsel was a commercial failure (wikipedia says, "The car brand is best known as one of the most spectacular failures in the history of the United States automobile industry"), so...how exactly is your analogy relevant given that Windows is the dominant operating system?

    • Yet Another Dumb Automotive Analogy.
      "my enterprise needs computers that work and people who are competent enough to use something like pre-installed Ubuntu".
      I really hate to point this out but Windows 2000 and XP do work. In an enterprise setting where they are behind a fire wall and locked down correctly Windows XP and 2K work pretty well. Add in the huge amount of custom software that many enterprises have written over the years in VB and you have a system that works well for many companies. So yes Linux
      • Let's see about this "Windows just works" thing - yes, Windows apps are generally quite stable these days, and the system rarely bluescreens. However, on my 1 GB laptop with XP, running quite a few browser/office apps but nothing unusual, and fully patched as a corporate laptop, I have had the following issues

        - have to forcibly reset the system every few weeks when it completely locks up - most recently this morning when I tried to do a standby and the whole system locked up

        - install a new ATI driver to so
  • "Pamala Jones, at groklaw, totally rips apart the Novell/Deal patent protection deal."

    What's that Novell/Deal? Something along the lines of GNU/Linux?
  • by he1icine (512651) on Monday October 01, 2007 @08:55AM (#20808945)
    Classic Microsoft - leverage a partnership with a company seen as your enemy, yet try to do so to keep them at the mercy of the guys in Redmond. That's why MS has always tried to do with Apple - prop them up so they can be seen as viable, but make them your bastard stepchild anyway. This is just a more appalling trespass as they managed to get Novell in a position to market the hard work of thousands of contributors, who simply wanted a free viable alternative for those not wanting to be held to MS's will, in a way quite opposite of the motivation of that work.

    I've always liked SUSE as a distro, but once the Novell deal went through, I knew it was only a matter of time until the sour taste was just a little too sickening, making it unconscionable to fathom dealing with them for the foreseeable future. There are better distros out there anyway.
    • by El Lobo (994537)
      Hmm... Sorry but that have that half worng. MS wanted to work with Apple but I'm sure that Apple was more willing to work with MS than the other way around. Remember that in those times, Apple was a dying company, Stevie Jobie was not back yet and the Mac was losing more users than I'm losing my hair. Apple needed desperatly some cash (and moral) injection and this is when MS came in.

      In this case, I would say that Novell is in absolutly the same situation. When Ubuntues and RedHats and Mandrivas and the

    • by Znork (31774)
      "I've always liked SUSE as a distro"

      SuSE the company had a long history of straddling the fence, never quite embracing the freedom in free software. The Novell takeover seemed promising for a while, but now it's back to the old proprietary language and attitude.

      I find such vendors inherently untrustworthy. Perhaps it's internal wrangling or bad habits from a long history in the proprietary business, but it makes it very difficult to extend any benefit of the doubt to them.

      "There are better distros out there
    • by Shados (741919)
      Considering where Apple was back then, and where Apple is now... if the same happens with Linux, its more than we could have expected any other way, IMO.
  • by capnkr (1153623) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:01AM (#20808997)
    On the one hand, there is the M$ deal.

    On the other hand, there are the Good Things that Novell has done, and does, for GNU/Linux and F/OSS.

    On the third hand, there is me, and others like me, that I'm sure wonder about the MPD that Novell exhibits. To whit: I understand and agree that Open-solution based entities should be willing and able to work with proprietary companies. But it seems that in this instance Novell is going about that the completely wrong way, with the completely wrong company.

    It's like there is Novell Darkside, and Novell Lightside, and ne'er the twain shall meet.

    Maybe these are just the actions of a corporation that is so large that the different divisions inside of it are unaware of what others are doing, a la Sony.
    • by rbochan (827946)

      On the one hand, there is the M$ deal.

      Yes, and Novell should know better - they've been dicked over my Microsoft before.

      On the other hand, there are the Good Things that Novell has done, and does, for GNU/Linux and F/OSS.

      Novell, to some extent - yes. SuSE - absolutely - but don't confuse the two.

      On the third hand, there is me, and others like me, that I'm sure wonder about the MPD that Novell exhibits. To whit: I understand and agree that Open-solution based entities should be willing and ab

    • Novell, the ingenius company that tried to sell UNIX to SCO until Novell realized that SCO didn't have the cash.
    • by Starky (236203)
      "On the one hand, .... On the other hand, .... On the third hand, ...."

      Would that be the gripping hand [wikipedia.org]?
  • by saterdaies (842986) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:01AM (#20808999)
    As disgusting as this might be, it's going to have very little impact on Linux. It's marketing and unfortunately even Free Software is not immune from marketing. RedHat markets as well with slogans like "more than mission critical".

    While I can't defend what Novell is doing here, I do want to point out that after buying SuSE, they created an open-source community project around a distribution that was one of the most closely kept. The openSUSE project now releases free SUSE downloads - something SUSE had been against. Novell also bought Ximian which I think has a great reputation in open-source development and Novell has been continuing the work that they have done.

    Is it possible that Novell needs this marketing to overcome the fact that it is a late entrant? Maybe, judging by the other things that Novell has done (opening up a formerly closed distro and continuing important work on open-source projects) it is ok to forgive them for this highly annoying example of stupidity? Maybe I'm just naive and this actually is a bigger deal.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by muffel (42979)

      The openSUSE project now releases free SUSE downloads - something SUSE had been against
      Huh? SuSE has (had) always been free to download via ftp.suse.com.
    • "Do you want the Linux that works with Windows? Or the one that doesn't?"
      This just seems like typical marketing to me. If Ubuntu sunk a huge pile of cash into Windows computability and asked the same question I suspect this forum would be full of congratulations. We would be celebrating the diversity of Linux and the value of competition. Not that I support what Novell is doing, but this just doesn't really seem like a big deal.
  • GPL and Intent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JerryLove (1158461) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:08AM (#20809061)

    Let me ask you developers who are kernel guys a question: When you contributed code to the kernel, was it your intent that it be used against Red Hat?
    I know it's a small piece of a bigger article: but since when does it matter what someone who submitted something to GPL intended their code to be used for. The licese is explicitly and intentionally designed to allow open-source code to be used for any purpose by anyone, as long as it's credited and open-source. I'm sure there's someone out there who wrote code who thinks cell-phones cause cancer and dislikes his LINUX code running on a cell; or someone who'se pissed about millitary research done on LINUX clusters, or most anything else. It's a really baseless argument intended to appeal more to emotion than reason; and I have to say that I'm prone to dismissing the author based on just such an example.
    • Re:GPL and Intent (Score:4, Insightful)

      by kebes (861706) on Monday October 01, 2007 @10:02AM (#20809621) Journal

      since when does it matter what someone who submitted something to GPL intended their code to be used for. The license is explicitly and intentionally designed to allow open-source code to be used for any purpose by anyone, as long as it's credited and open-source.
      You're quite right, of course. But I don't think the intention with that statement was for legal action against Novell for breaking the GPL, or a rewrite of the GPL itself.

      Rather, I think the intention was a "call to action" more along the lines of publicly criticizing Novell/Microsoft, and thereby putting pressure on them.

      You can agree with the GPL and the universal freedoms it provides, while simultaneously putting pressure on particular companies to not be jerks. The "when you contributed code" statement was, in my estimation, intended to imply that Novell is generating bad will among the very people it depends upon for continued software improvements. What Novell is doing may be legal, but that doesn't mean we have to like it, and sit by silently.
    • The licese is explicitly and intentionally designed to allow open-source code to be used for any purpose

      Given that the license is largely the brainchild of Richard Stallman who has emphasized again and again that what's interesting to him is FREEDOM I'd say that the license is explicitly and intentionally designed to promote that freedom. I highly doubt that the propping up of patents which restrict that freedom was part of the intent.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NickFortune (613926)

      I know it's a small piece of a bigger article: but since when does it matter what someone who submitted something to GPL intended their code to be used for.

      Well, the intent seems fairly clear, and Novell don't even bother denying that they sought to deliberately subvert that intent. I guess it only matters if Novell care whether or not they piss off the people who are developing the majority of the code they sell. But to that extent, it certainly does matter.

      The licese is explicitly and intentional

  • by tsa (15680) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:08AM (#20809065) Homepage
    How can Novell not care about that? They are benefiting from code that was written by people who are now not protected from patent claims from Microsoft, and Novell is making money from doing a deal with the company threatening them.

    Need I say more. This deal is a shame.
    • by sumdumass (711423)
      Yea, you need to say more.

      The GPLed code is written and released under a license that says it is Perfectly OK for anyone else to use for anything and for anyone else take advantage of. If Novel had done this and the only thing making the ordeal bad is the Idea of Patents, then I think whoever wrote the code should have made sure they didn't violate any patents. The GPLv3 doesn't do anything to fix this either.
      • by tsa (15680)
        I'm not eloquent enough to put it correctly, but I think what the author meant to say is that if the same code is used in, say, a Redhat kernel and a Suse kernel, and Redhat is sued because of patent violation, then we have a peculiar situation at hand. MS now has a handle to easily do exactly this, and because MS has deeper pockets than almost anyone else they can sue most smaller Linux companies to oblivion, just because these small companies use the same code as MS in the Suse distro they sell. MS will a
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sumdumass (711423)
          Your arguing what if's.

          Novell can to IBM's corner when SCO group was asserting claims and attacking linux. What your describing wouldn't be a problem outside the minds of people thinking about it.

          Novell, redhat, and Microsot all know that as soon as they make it known that a specific piece of code touches another patent, that it would be removed and replaced or worked around in some way. If something is violating a patent owned by someone else, it is a problem more serious then "someone could get away with
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:12AM (#20809093)
    "Before, Linux was this cloud we didn't get. I was high-fiving everyone I could find when Novell bought SuSe. We already won once against Novell." Martin Taylor, Microsoft General Manager of platform strategy link [forbes.com]
  • by jkrise (535370) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:14AM (#20809119) Journal
    Even windows isn't working with Windows these days... what with Vista breaking so many apps that worked on all previous versions upto XP SP2. Novell making money from big corporate customers is only a very transient issue... once they figure out that Linux can work as well as Windows on servers and web-based services on Firefox-Linux desktops; they will eventually explore other non-tainted distros as well.

    For a hospital where I consult, for instance, we have decided to go in with PACS-One deployed on top of Cent OS, not even RedHat. Other corporates will do likewise, once they understand what benefits Linux can bring them. This is a very transient and pyrrhic victory for Microsoft-Novell, and rightly so.
  • Let me ask you developers who are kernel guys a question: When you contributed code to the kernel, was it your intent that it be used against Red Hat? How about the rest of you developers?

    If they wanted to contribute code to a kernel that wouldn't hurt Red Hat, they should have released it under some license that would prohibit competition against Red Hat.

    What Ms. Jones doesn't seem to realize is that competition between software companies is a good thing. It leads to more innovation and a better end-user experience (after all look at Microsoft Word. We had only one major office suite and we have the same interface for over 10 years with minimal changes between 98, 2000 and 2003. OOo comes

    • by NickFortune (613926) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:45AM (#20809437) Homepage Journal

      What Ms. Jones doesn't seem to realize is that competition between software companies is a good thing. It leads to more innovation and a better end-user experience

      That largely depends on how they compete though. If I compete with you by blowing up one of your offices, that doesn't improve the quality of my software, and does nothing for the end user. If you compete back by killing my top developers, the only innovation we're going to see will be in weaponry.

      You can see this in Microsoft: world class PR machine, but in terms of software... well, they can't even design a power-off button without five years of committees, meetings, and focus groups.

      all sales are Microsoft sales to some degree now.
      Except they're not.

      mmm... you cut that paragraph a little too short, I think. Here's a longer section:

      He actually says that before this deal, a customer wanting Linux would go 100% Linux. Microsoft was out of the picture. Now that the deal is in place, Microsoft gets to stay involved with Novell on the sales calls, staying in the picture, and don't forget that Novell is paying Microsoft, so I guess you could say that from Microsoft's perspective, all sales are Microsoft sales to some degree now.

      Keep on like that, and you'll have to change your handle to "quotes_out_of_context"

      This is the first Groklaw article I've read and if this hyperbole is typical of its offerings I'm amazed so many people listen to it. This is of the quality one would typically find in a slashdot rant. I thought groklaw was actually a well respected website.

      Go read some of the legal research. Look at how closely the Groklaw analyse the legal filing in the SCO case. Look at the care they take to be accurate. That's why PJ is so widely respected. For her hard work and dedication to defending free software from a threat against which of the Linux hackers wouldn't have known where to start.

      Granted, when she moves off law and on to wider subjects, she can sometimes go a bit over the top. I don't think she has in this particular article, but even if she did - I figure all that hard work earns her the right to voice the occasional opinion.

      • Keep on like that, and you'll have to change your handle to "quotes_out_of_context"
        I misunderstood (and still do) the quote as to me it sounds like she's still saying all sales are Microsoft sales. Although I'll bow to your claim that she only means Novell sales are Microsoft sales.
        • I think they key was "from Microsoft's perspective".

          I'll grant that it's not phrased with her usual clarity, but I don't think she was trying to suggest that RedHat sales were somehow irrelevant, or had gone away.

        • Nice self-deprecation, although I did read your (now modded down) post below [slashdot.org] that claimed PJ was an IBM employee. So, I find your claims of this being the first Groklaw article you've read somewhat suspect.
      • by roystgnr (4015) *
        well, they can't even design a power-off button without five years of committees, meetings, and focus groups.

        To be fair to Microsoft programmers, they weren't just trying to design a power-off button. They were told to design a power-off button that wouldn't work with Linux [lockergnome.com], a much harder task.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by c (8461)
      > This is the first Groklaw article I've read and if this hyperbole is typical of its offerings
      > I'm amazed so many people listen to it.

      As with slashdot, you gotta pick and choose.

      Groklaw's articles following the SCO lawsuits are second to none. Okay, the lawyers and judges involved might have better seats, but otherwise you want to go with Groklaw. A bit of bias, sure, the odd bit of self-referential hyperbole, but generally things are well done.

      Groklaw's coverage of more general "community" issues..
    • by radarjd (931774)

      This is the first Groklaw article I've read and if this hyperbole is typical of its offerings I'm amazed so many people listen to it. This is of the quality one would typically find in a slashdot rant. I thought groklaw was actually a well respected website.

      I tend to agree with you. Another response to you claims that PJ's analysis is respected -- and that might be true of the people who agree with her opinion before she writes it. I think her analysis is sometimes correct, and sometimes not. I think you have to remember it's her blog -- she's not an attorney.

    • by non (130182) on Monday October 01, 2007 @10:36AM (#20810069) Homepage Journal
      have a look at this user's first comment on this story here [slashdot.org]
    • by nuzak (959558)
      > I thought groklaw was actually a well respected website.

      It is when it comes to covering the SCO case. They not only post blow-by-blow detail with the source legal documents themselves, they've scored a few scoops, like being the first to dig up the purchase agreement between Novell and SCO (which for those not following along, is what ultimately hung SCO). Even with those stories though, you have to ignore much of the taunting tone of the analysis.

      And it's not that groklaw's ever been dispassionate,
    • What Ms. Jones doesn't seem to realize is that competition between software companies is a good thing. It leads to more innovation and a better end-user experience (after all look at Microsoft Word. We had only one major office suite and we have the same interface for over 10 years with minimal changes between 98, 2000 and 2003. OOo comes along and despite its small marketshare it still provided the impetus for Office 2007 to actually make real changes to the interface. Same with IE).

      While I will agree tha

      • by jedidiah (1196)
        The moment that Office 2007 was released, OO suddenly became such a thing. The GUI of OO is not remarkable. It is neither great nor horrible. However, it is far closer to what most end users are used to than the "train wreck" that is Office 2007.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by init100 (915886)

      What Ms. Jones doesn't seem to realize is that competition between software companies is a good thing.

      Sure, but misrepresenting the capabilities of competitors' products is not a good thing. Novell's statement leads you to think that other distributions does not interoperate with Windows at all, which is patently false. Instead of claiming that no other distribution "works with Windows", they could argue about their improved integration with Windows domains and group policies.

      Neither are Mac sales.

      IIRC, Microsoft owns some 5% or so of Apple. :)

      I thought groklaw was actually a well respected website.

      It mostly is. Groklaw is a blog, which means that PJ will post her view as com

  • by tuxisthefuture (906335) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:23AM (#20809203)
    Developers are free to join a project to help improve it, they are also free to abandon such projects enmass to equally stifle the products development and therefore screw those companies who are relying on the developers efforts to bring to market a good product!
  • The big picture (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:34AM (#20809311)
    Microsoft has some emerging issues it has to deal with:

    - the threat of a free OS commoditizing what they worked so hard to keep unique in Windows
    - the emerging of accepted open standards that turn Microsoft's proprietary alternatives against themselves and wall them from the rest of the world
    - the emerging of plenty of companies ready to deliver free OS components and support to Microsoft's corporate customers (which will directly affect Microsoft's bottom line and the industry trends in adoption of Windows)

    Microsoft's business strategists have done a careful and detailed analysis of their situation and arrived at the infamous "patent deals". They have drawn the decision chart and figured, there's no way for them to lose, no matter how the market or their competition moves.

    Possible outcomes & side effects:

    - The patent threats split Linux community and cause unrest in corporate clients who consider adopting Linux for their servers or even desktops.
    - Novell and the other distros in the patent deal are rejected by the community and Microsoft eliminates one of its more dangerous competitors should Linux' adoption really take off. -OR-
    - Red Hat and the other distros OUT of the patent deal get destabilized and abandoned by the corporate clients and Microsoft gets to "coown" the Linux code together with Novell by means of the patent implementations all over the code. They can't just buy Novell now since it'll destabilize their Windows brand, and cause antritrust lawsuits. But should Windows go down next 5-10-15 years, you can be sure Microsoft will be talking to merge with Novell and offer their Linux distro with all the windows IP in it.

    In essense Microsoft either gets to split the OSS movement, eliminate some of their stronger competirors, and improve the Windows brand and adoption, or gets a second route to quickly enter the market with Linux OS should Windows go horribly down, by utilizing all their Windows IP inside the Linux system.

    What about standards:

    - Where Microsoft has their own standard opposed to an open competing standard, they try to promote it to a full standard (OOXML, Exchange server integration with SUSE, ActiveDirectory integration with SUSE etc., XPS)
    - Where Microsoft doesn't have their own standard, they adopt the publicly accepted standard, and extend it in attempt to create added-value dialect (RSS with own extensions in IE7, .NET and Silverlight competing with Flash and AJAX web apps, XML markup base for Microsoft's new standards such as OOXML and XPS, IIS7 configuration XML files etc.)

    So Novell's deal helps Microsoft make better penetration of Microsoft standards and technologies as something that comes standard with Linux. We're talking about Mono, Moonlight, Exchange integration, Samba integration and all those technologies which might have alternatives outside the Microsoft world.

    This is marked to the public outside as interoperability effort. It sure is improving interoperability, but at the cost of putting more and more MS IP in Linux's distributions.

    So was Novell wrong to sign the deal? If they had the pure intention to move the OSS community and help Linux as a whole, it was wrong. But as a company that competes against *OTHER* Linux distro companies, it was half right.

    Right now if you see above all the outcomes from this deal (which are all good for Microsoft) there's 50/50 about who will survive (the non-patent deal Linux companies, or the patent deal Linux companies). Novell and RedHat are on the opposite sides of a gamble that'll play out in the next years.

    While they're the gamble players, Microsoft is the casino. Never mind who wins, the casino always wins. Good job, MS :)
    • Nice analyses, except for one thing: it's only relevant for the USA. In the rest of the world, there is no patent question. In Europe, for example, MS is forced to open up their protocols, US patents or not. Even if the Novell/MS deals blows all American Linux-companies out of the water because of the patents, Linux will be legally used & developed all over the world. Novell GPL'ed Suse completely, so any Suse/windows compatibility will be used by all. If MS tries to prevent this, it will be kicked in t
    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)
      Interesting read. One thing that I don't see, however, is how it all ends up as a win for Microsoft. The whole ploy could fail and have no effect on the threats you listed at the start of your observation. It might even bring some positive light to what makes these threats so attractive to IT consumers. The only win you've noted at this point would be a weakened Novell. I'm not sure that's all that damaging. Is Novell really THAT much of a threat?
  • Yes... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gillbates (106458) on Monday October 01, 2007 @09:53AM (#20809521) Homepage Journal

    I want a Linux that works with Windows.

    But if I invest in Novell's (Suse) Linux(TM), will my Windows work with Linux? Or will I have to buy the Novell version of Windows for that to happen?

    Those of us old enough will remember when Microsoft had certain licensing deals with Compaq, and if you bought a Compaq server, you also had to buy Compaq Windows NT, which was quite a bit more expensive than the Redmond version. If you tried to get around this by just buying the server and installing Microsoft's Windows NT, you'd find yourself with a dead machine - the BIOS actually checked the Windows version, and if it didn't have the Compaq magic number, would refuse to continue loading it.

    I can foresee a time when Windows will check to see if it is connecting to an "authorized machine" - presumably, to improve security - and that it will simply fail to connect to a Linux box, unless it is running an MS-approved version. (aka, Suse).

    The only reason why Microsoft tolerates Novell is because they realize that Linux has replaced UNIX in a lot of corporate environments. As soon as Linux becomes widely used on the desktop, Microsoft will treat Novell as they've treated all of their past partners. Novell seems not to understand this - they can market their version of Linux only to the extent that Redmond blesses it, and that is truly sad.

  • Old colonial plan (Score:3, Insightful)

    by styryx (952942) on Monday October 01, 2007 @10:21AM (#20809877)
    Divide and conquer:

    "Do you want the Linux that works with Windows? Or the one that doesn't?"
    Might want to watch for those in-community divisions, and then try not to take sides.
  • I'm wondering if Microsoft wants anything to be interoperable. We practically have to pull strings to get different version of MS Office to work with itself. XP and Vista have serious issues when sharing resources (such as printers). Vista network and audio step on each other for performance. These are just a few examples of Microsoft's own products.
  • Citation? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by krgallagher (743575) on Monday October 01, 2007 @12:21PM (#20811543) Homepage
    "Justin Steinman reveals that to market their SUSE Linux Enterprise Server against Red Hat they ask, "Do you want the Linux that works with Windows? Or the one that doesn't?""

    Does anyone have a citation for this quote? There is no link to it from Groklaw. I searched Google for both the quote, and also for Justin Steinman to see if I could find it printed anywhere. I could not find anything. Other than Pamala Jones' I cannot find anyone elses reporting this statement. I do remember an article [slashdot.org] last week, but in it Mr Steinman does not say that Red Hat does not work with windows, only the Suse is reccomended by Microsoft. Saying he is dissing Red Hat is quite a jump from there.

  • Another non-issue (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Monday October 01, 2007 @04:27PM (#20815549) Homepage
    People just want to start pointless arguments.

    Who cares if Novell wants to run attack ads against Red Hat? Where does it say in OSS that companies built on it have to love each other?

    If the ads don't help Novell's pocketbook, they'll go away. If they do help, a Linux company get more business and Linux gets into more shops. That's a plus for Linux. If the ads work, Red Hat will try to become more interoperable with Windows. That's also a plus for Linux.

    At the moment, some companies running Linux and Windows want interoperability. Eventually they're going to see that it's a waste of time and money - i.e., that Windows is a waste of time and money - and they might as well switch to Linux entirely. Then the issue becomes moot - and Linux wins again.

    The problem with PJ is that she's too much into the adversarial nature of law. Everything is a big moral issue and needs to be fought over.

    Ignore all of this. It's a non-issue. Microsoft is still losing against Linux and will continue to do so for the next ten or fifteen years until there is no Microsoft.

    Relax and enjoy the show.

If a listener nods his head when you're explaining your program, wake him up.

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