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Microsoft To Buy $100M More SUSE Support Vouchers 157

Posted by timothy
from the whole-lot-of-sweetness dept.
CWmike writes "Microsoft will buy and resell up to another $100 million worth of enterprise support subscriptions for Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating system. Two years ago, Microsoft agreed to buy and resell $240 million worth of the vouchers. Susan Hauser, general manager of strategic partnerships and licensing at Microsoft, confirmed that some of the subscription vouchers were sold to customers for less than face value, though none were given away for free."
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Microsoft To Buy $100M More SUSE Support Vouchers

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  • Can anyone clarify? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by yincrash (854885) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @01:52PM (#24677577)
    I really have no idea what this means, or why it is news.
    • by jgtg32a (1173373)
      It's news because its unexpected but I don't understand why they are doing it either
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CogDissident (951207)
        To show that they are not a monopoly, anti-monopoly practices in the US can be to a much bigger tune than the pittance 100M is to them.
        • I think more likely they are doing it to stir up FUD in the Linux distro community. They are beating their chest and seeing how many dogs put their tails between their legs.

          • I don't know. I mean, I'm as suspicious of Microsoft as the next geek, but I wonder if it's always warranted.

            Towards that end though, Microsoft are complicit - what is their public relations dept actually doing? A POC who actually addressed the concerns and criticisms levelled at the company would go a long way towards reducing their 'evil empire' image.

            • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:31PM (#24678297) Homepage Journal

              It is called hedging your bets and cutting your losses.

              Let's say I'm a CIO who is considering putting Linux in my shop and dropping Microsoft. I'm a little scared, but I want to take the plunge.

              Microsoft comes in, and says "we'll work with you. We'll see you commercial support for Linux, and push you in the direction of a Linux distro aimed at interoperability with Microsoft products."

              Instead of Microsoft losing money completely, they make up the loss of Microsoft licenses with profits from support contracts, and convince the CIO to not drop Microsoft completely, but rather mix Linux and Microsoft products. They keep a close relationship with the CIO, and establish goodwill in the hopes the CIO will return completely to the Microsoft fold.

              All the while they earn interoperability brownie points with the EU.

              Is this evil? No. It is in fact really smart business and I applaud them following legitimate smart business tactics as opposed to some of their old ones.

              • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                by marcosdumay (620877)

                Well, if their Linux support is anything like their Windows support, they won't stay on the market for long.

                But if that is really their intent, I applaud them for using legitimate business tactic too.

              • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @04:06PM (#24680061) Journal

                I don't know whether it is that,or they are just sticking the Linux boxes in the corner. They tell the CIO "Linux? Sure it is good for email servers,since email is full of spam and malware nowadays,or for a file server that you want access to on the DMZ without authentication,but do you really want to give up the ease of use that is your AD domain? We would be happy to set up Linux servers to do email and file serving FOR you,and we'll do it all at a lower initial cost and with a lower TCO. What do you say?"

                I agree that it is simply good business to offer a full solution like that. And let us not forget that while there are plenty of Windows admins,Linux admins are harder to find and more expensive to boot. Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if in a year or two they don't just take the plunge and buy one of the smaller distros that works well with Windows Server(My money would be on Xandros. They could get it cheap and with the API deal their server product works wonderfully in an AD domain. It also rips off the Win MMC for the interface,so no retraining required.) and offer it as "An integrated end to end solution that minimizes risks thanks to a non homogeneous environment and maximizes both customer satisfaction and server uptime." But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

                • The Yast /etc/sysconfig editor also operates in a tree view that one could compare to MMC. I'm not sure if it intentionally mimics MMC, or not.

                  • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

                    by alexborges (313924)

                    Sure... for different values of "operates".

                  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @06:49PM (#24682743) Journal

                    Well as someone who has used both Xandros server and desktop,and even managed to sell a couple of servers running Xandros to a couple of SMBs,I can say that without a doubt Xandros is the easiest Linux distro I have ever used as far as playing nice in a Windows SMB. And the Xandros XMC is damned near identical to the Winserver MMC,which made showing their admins the ropes butt simple. It will run as a controller or member server in an AD forest,Scalix makes a nice MS Exchange replacement,complete with calendaring and group workspaces,and the built in Xen makes for easy virtualization,plus it already has the hooks for VMWare if you want to go that route.

                    If you need to switch over a Windows domain into a mixed environment or even completely over to Linux,Xandros seriously cuts down on retraining. To show the SMBs how easy it was I simply had them point out the most clueless user they had and had them use my Xandros laptop to do their work. In both cases the secretaries immediately went to work without a bit of trouble. Both fired up MS Office 2K after logging on to the domain and just kept on chugging. The only question I got was "Can you make a shortcut to the email on the desktop?" and once I gave them that they were good to go. The best part is Xandros has a "make it act like XP" button which when called will make all the keyboard shortcuts and context menus behave like WinXP,so if the user can run Windows he/she can run Xandros. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by pfleming (683342)

                  I don't know whether it is that,or they are just sticking the Linux boxes in the corner. They tell the CIO "Linux? Sure it is good for email servers,since email is full of spam and malware nowadays,or for a file server that you want access to on the DMZ without authentication,but do you really want to give up the ease of use that is your AD domain?

                  No. Microsoft is not going to tell people that *nix is good for mail servers. Nor are they going to tell people that it's a good file server. They offer those products already.
                  What MS might do is play, "Oh you're thinking about using Linux in your network? You know, Linux is hard to use but we got your back with these support contracts. And you wouldn't want just anyone selling you a support contract, we have a fully paid up perpetual license for Linux"

                • I don't know whether it is that,or they are just sticking the Linux boxes in the corner. They tell the CIO "Linux? Sure it is good for email servers,since email is full of spam and malware nowadays,or for a file server that you want access to on the DMZ without authentication,but do you really want to give up the ease of use that is your AD domain? We would be happy to set up Linux servers to do email and file serving FOR you,and we'll do it all at a lower initial cost and with a lower TCO. What do you say?"

                  I agree that it is simply good business to offer a full solution like that. And let us not forget that while there are plenty of Windows admins,Linux admins are harder to find and more expensive to boot. Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if in a year or two they don't just take the plunge and buy one of the smaller distros that works well with Windows Server(My money would be on Xandros. They could get it cheap and with the API deal their server product works wonderfully in an AD domain. It also rips off the Win MMC for the interface,so no retraining required.) and offer it as "An integrated end to end solution that minimizes risks thanks to a non homogeneous environment and maximizes both customer satisfaction and server uptime." But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

                  Why do they need to compete by selling a linux-based windows-clone, when any sale of windows for more than 0$ makes profit?

              • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                by rktechhead (1348421)

                It is called hedging your bets and cutting your losses.

                Let's say I'm a CIO who is considering putting Linux in my shop and dropping Microsoft. I'm a little scared, but I want to take the plunge.

                Microsoft comes in, and says "we'll work with you. We'll see you commercial support for Linux, and push you in the direction of a Linux distro aimed at interoperability with Microsoft products."

                Instead of Microsoft losing money completely, they make up the loss of Microsoft licenses with profits from support contracts, and convince the CIO to not drop Microsoft completely, but rather mix Linux and Microsoft products. They keep a close relationship with the CIO, and establish goodwill in the hopes the CIO will return completely to the Microsoft fold.

                All the while they earn interoperability brownie points with the EU.

                Is this evil? No. It is in fact really smart business and I applaud them following legitimate smart business tactics as opposed to some of their old ones.

                I agree that it's just smart business. Microsoft is well aware that they need to have a shift in business model in order to survive as we've turned into a new century.

                As much as I dislike Microsoft I must admit this was a good move on the business side.

                I don't think that this is some deep seeded plot to destroy Linux from the inside. Microsoft probably gave up on doing that years ago, and you know how the saying goes "You can't beat them, jo- sell mediocre support for them for a nice profit"

            • by Ilgaz (86384) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @03:00PM (#24678811) Homepage

              If you look/remember MS Halloween documents which are verified to be true, you will notice they figured out the weak spot of community: Easy to divide.

              So, each person boycotting Novell for a very good reason or doesn't use Gnome because of Icaza is a win for Microsoft. $100M is nothing for them, absolutely nothing.

        • by mweather (1089505)
          But they are a convicted monopoly in the US and the EU. Who are they trying to convince? China?
          • The EU also declared them to be a monopoly. The issue is not what they were judged on in the past, but whether or not future business practices will merit judgments against them. Having interoperability deals, and playing nice with others saves them from possible antitrust judgments.

            The last judgment was over $500 million, plus interest. So they're spending $100 million here, but they recoup some of that by selling the licenses. Even if they take a 50% loss (unlikely) they're dropping 50 million to prev

            • by mweather (1089505)

              The issue is not what they were judged on in the past, but whether or not future business practices will merit judgments against them.

              I don't see how leveraging their monopoly to gain advantages in a new market is going to prevent future judgments.

              • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:41PM (#24678501) Homepage Journal

                Antitrust isn't about market share so much as how well you play with others. You can be anti-competitive without a commanding market share. For instance, Intel is in hot water for demanding retailers not carry AMD products and without shipments from retailers who did. Intel doesn't have a 90% market share, but they can be held responsible for their tactics.

                Conversely, the local utility company has no competition, yet they are a legal monopoly. In some states, these "natural" monopolies are regulated.

                Microsoft can have a 93% OS market share, and get a pass if they behave well and play nicely with the other kids in the sandbox. Interoperability is precisely what the EU called for.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by HitoGuy (1324613)
                  True, but I remain persistently suspicious. Microsoft has been known to pretend to be playing nice, but I've seen too many of Microsoft's "partners" get run over by Microsoft for me to believe that Microsoft is actually genuinely looking out for any interests beyond their own.

                  I would NOT be surprised if I would see Microsoft do something to ultimately bury Novell. When I read the Halloween Documents for myself, I find it odd Microsoft would be any more genuine about supporting Linux than they were about
      • by mls (97121) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:01PM (#24677737)

        $100MM seems like a lot, but is this an under the table way to fund Moonlight (Mono version of Silverlight) to help them gain traction on Flash?

        • I support that theory. But even if it is Microsoft, as long as they pushing to open up their technology to other platforms I support it.

          I'm a .net developer myself but use Ubuntu at home. I'd love to see mono and silverlight developed fully on Linux so I can use it outside business applications.
          • by Ilgaz (86384)

            What if you had perfect .NET replacement on Ubuntu which performed up to 30% faster and more secure than Windows version? Wouldn't you recommend your clients to use Linux/Mono instead of Windows? What happens to their corporate Windows sales than?

            Unless Microsoft does the inevitable true paradigm shift, don't hope anything. They try so hard to prove they are the old Microsoft, e.g. dropping PowerPC support last second with Silverlight 2.0 and forcing their own customer/client NBC to abandon entire PowerPC M

            • by jefu (53450)

              What if you had perfect .NET replacement on Ubuntu which performed up to 30% faster and more secure than Windows version? Wouldn't you recommend your clients to use Linux/Mono instead of Windows?

              Not unless I had some serious confidence that there would be no licensing/IP/other hidden issues that would not come out and bite me. Run Mono/.NET on linux for five years, get all the code running nicely and suddenly hear that you're now expected to pay out the nose for a hidden patent? Doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

            • by Firehed (942385)

              While I certainly can't speak for the Mac community as a whole, I'd personally much rather see an effective revamp of the Flip4Mac WMA/WMV codec pack rather than WMP11OSX. With the latter, I'd have to write off media using MS codecs entirely as I won't touch any version of WMP with a 10-foot pole; at least with the former I'm not bothered by it.

              Ideally, decoding at the very least would be open-sourced and dropped into Perian [perian.org] (which should be integrated directly into the next version of OS X, IMO), though I

              • by Ilgaz (86384)

                By not supporting an official binary player like wmp 7 for OS X which they keep shipping/let download while they know there will be major consequences on Intels and modern OS X, they guarantee you can't buy content from very major sites who were tricked/bribed to serve Wmedia DRM content.

                That is their idea and the stupidity of shipping anything paid in a non standard (non mpeg4) format strikes me too. Especially while 3G really begun to take off.

                BTW do you think they don't know the consequences of installin

        • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:08PM (#24677863) Homepage Journal

          $100MM seems like a lot, but is this an under the table way to fund Moonlight (Mono version of Silverlight) to help them gain traction on Flash?

          Well it's certainly an under-the-table something. Microsoft always hides large money transfers for underhanded deals under some other guise. It could be that, or it could be that Microsoft is trying to get SuSE to do something else that would further splinter the free and open source software communities further.

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            Well it's certainly an under-the-table something. Microsoft always hides large money transfers for underhanded deals under some other guise. It could be that, or it could be that Microsoft is trying to get SuSE to do something else that would further splinter the free and open source software communities further.

            Well, remember, this is Novell. So, the details of the deal with Novell and MS are already public and well known.

            This could have an ulterior motive by MS, but it could still be an above-board deal

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Not sure Silverlight is that big of a deal, but getting it onto the Linux desktop would win it some non-trivial mind share because of the sub par flash implementations.

          And I guess the same is true of .NET and mono in general to a lesser extent.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by rathaven (1253420)

            Silverlight will be big whether we like it or not - the MS based dev houses will use it because MS tells them its going to be big. Do you support it on other platforms or not? The same argument goes for .Net except that its already well on the road to replacing a lot of the architectures of recent MS based products that I see shipped.

            Mono and Moonlight make sense but they need to be supported by the community and they need to be better than the MS versions with more functions and less buggy.

            People forg

        • by Ilgaz (86384) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:56PM (#24678719) Homepage

          Does anyone actually believe that Microsoft will fund anything which will provide exact or better experience than the same thing on Windows?

          Why would people use Windows than? Why does MS create Silverlight at first place absolutely knowing industry will laugh at them? They were so bugged by Adobe changing policy and shipping Flash to all big three platforms at same time. A person enjoying Youtube on Linux is the Microsoft's worst nightmare. It shouldn't work!

          Also Flash is way more than Youtube, you can even ship a full feature media player on 3 different platforms just by some Flash/Flex/Air stuff. E.g. Adobe Media Player.

          The "Flash Lite 3" plans to ship it for free to multiple handheld platforms must be particularly alerting for MS.

          If MS really wanted to race with Flash as a "new option", not "another opportunity to lock people to windows". I tell you what would happen. SilverlightInstaller.i386.rpm _and_ 64bit version (bit to bit, PERFECTLY same as windows) would be available from Microsoft site itself. Man, _that_ would raise alarm at Adobe.

          Also, lets not forget Adobe makes money from the Flash creation tools and servers etc. so a future open source flash minus (patented and binary) codecs is not impossible thing. I am speaking about that kind of thing: https://www.helixcommunity.org/ [helixcommunity.org] , what would be the meaning of monkeying with open source code to replicate a microsoft technology knowing you will never achieve windows version?

          • by mls (97121) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @04:13PM (#24680173)

            Microsoft needs Silverlight penetration in order to compete with Flash. Windows is not where MS makes their money, software and tools like Office and Visual Studio is where they make money. Not to mention their want to compete with Google for ad revenue.

            Silverlight gives them the ability to deploy rich web versions of Office for a subscription.
            Silverlight gives them the ability to compete and control some of the advertisement market.
            Silverlight helps them sell servers and Visual Studio.
            Silverlight helps them gain more .NET developers, as well as allowing .NET developers access to newer platforms with the skills and software they already own.
            Silverlight helps them maintain control over Internet technologies, or at least stops some of their loss of control.

            As far as Microsoft doing this because Adobe changed their policy, I think the opposite is true. Adobe changed their policy as a stop-loss against Silverlight and XPS. Adobe needs to maintain their market share in light of their new competition from Microsoft.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Ilgaz (86384)

              They missed something... (in Ballmer way), "Designers designers designers!"

              In worst, most dark days of Macintosh, this platform was choice of designers and they were enjoying simultaneous, generally better performing Adobe/Macromedia software. That is way before OS X or Intel switch and if you look at archive.org , people were discussing if Mac will go chap 11 or instantly die daily.

              You can't tell a designer to use MS "Visual Studio" on Windows to design. Believe me, it won't work no matter how hard you try

            • Windows is not where MS makes their money, software and tools like Office and Visual Studio is where they make money
              really? Every other source I have seen on the matter has claimed that MS has two lines that make them significant money, windows and office (some list windows server too but I wouldn't really consider that a seperate line)

              Hell MS now even gives away a version of visual studio that is perfectly adequate for most non-enterprise development work.

              • by Ilgaz (86384)

                Thank to Linux/FreeBSD/gcc and present day Apple XCode policy on that. Nothing else.

                They were extremely bugged by developers installing/using Linux/BSD to develop using free, available and quality tools.

                It is not like they finally woke up and started to act like 2000s software company. It still doesn't happen.

          • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

            by HitoGuy (1324613)
            Except providing Silverlight itself to Linux wouldn't lock people into Windows.

            What I see instead is Microsoft helping Moonlight and Mono development in the hopes of torpedoing them in the not too distant future, possibly by prodcing a new version of Silverlight and NOT releasing any specifications on its new features and making sure any Silverlight-producing software only produces those new Moonlight incompatible features. Then Microsoft starts spouting FUD at them about patent violations, despite havin
            • As to .Net being buggy, how so? I've seen very, very, very few references to any .Net framework bugs... Usually bugs creep in with applications that use legacy DLLs or COM. As for portability, Mono *IS* .Net ported, Winforms is pretty complete, and ASP.Net has every feature most people have a need for on mono's implementation. As for contaminated IP, I would submit that Samba/CIFS and WINE have far more IP (patent) liability than mono does, and many people use those without giving a second thought.

              Do
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                > As for contaminated IP, I would submit that Samba/CIFS and WINE have far more IP (patent) liability than mono does

                Yes, but you would be wrong about that.

                Jeremy.

              • by Ilgaz (86384)

                Can you watch NBC Olympics on Linux? Why not? Silverlight right?

                Can you point me to a single commercial quality or major software which ships to 3 platforms (Win32/OSX/Linux) thanks to being coded in .NET environment? I can point you to many Java Applications from scientific to end user multimedia.

                Please don't think everyone not buying their junk is a hopeless "anti M$" FUD monger or claim that. The .NET they ship today is not the .NET they wanted to ship or the "Vista" you see is not the original Vista the

                • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                  by fejjie (192392)

                  NBCOlympics.com uses Silverlight 2.0 BETA.

                  Moonlight is so far only reliable for 1.0 sites (although 2.0 is coming along rapidly, especially since Microsoft has released their Silverlight 2.0 System.Windows.Controls source code as Free Software under the MS-PL which is basically MIT/X11 + GPLv3-like Patent Protection).

                  • by Ilgaz (86384)

                    So the point of Silverlight being multi platform with Moonlight emulator (port!) is gone already.

                    You can't view Olympics if you are using Linux. Period.

                    Situation on OS X is even funnier, they dropped PowerPC support from OFFICIAL plugin without any viable reason. They better think twice before claiming "codecs" since it won't work. Hell, we encode MS only formats for ages on PowerPC as media professionals using non MS software. Why? It performs better.

      • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:08PM (#24677867)

        I would suspect Microsoft is doing this to maintain control of its customer base. They get a new client they run Linux and Windows, with slim chance of them getting away from Linux. Downplaying or dissing Linux will not lead to good relations to the client. Supporting Linux isn't their cup of tea. So they sell them at reduced cost SUSE Support vouchers to their clients, so they can go to them for the Linux Problems, Microsoft Consultants while working with the client can use support which the client paid mostly for, and charge for the hour to sit there and wait for the SUSE support to come with an answer. As well being on location Microsoft makes sure that Linux doesn't creep onto its territory. Their Client is happy as they got Linux support cheap, and Microsoft is not pressing them to get off Linux. Thus having a client happy with Microsoft. Being Microsoft is there to prevent creep in one direction and the customer over time is soften up a bit. Perhaps just perhaps they may decide that they may replace the stressed out MySQL server with an MSSQL server and while MSSQL is there you may want to upgrade their intranet to Sharepoint. Or get Mono working great on their servers and get some new ASP.NET development using MS Visual Studios.

      • So that they can use them all and clog the SUSE support lines with bogus calls, thus destroying the reliability of Linux support in the eyes of the actual consumer, thus protecting their monopoly by proving that Linux support is not mature...Well that's what I expect to hear from the fanatics.

        Personally, it looks like a good way of plowing more money into the company at a low expense to Novell. I'm sure there's probably implications if they just give them the cash.

      • It's news because its unexpected but I don't understand why they are doing it either

        It is quite logical really.

        1. Microsoft has a lot of big customers
        2. Profit
        3. Big customers switch part of their show to superior but nerdy OS
        4. Loss of some profit with potential of more loss unless haemorrhaging stopped
        5. Looks for bandaid
        6. Provide interoperability methodologies including support contracts for both platforms
        7. ???
        8. Bandaid peels off?

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @01:58PM (#24677671) Homepage

      I really have no idea what this means, or why it is news.

      I believe, though I'm not certain, that by providing these vouchers, M$ is in fact helping to support interoperablity across platforms. Or, at least, they can be seen to be trying to help this. As a side benefit, they cycle some revenue through Novell, who they currently aren't at war with.

      I think this is part of the contact they entered into with Novell that everyone initially said would be used to fragment the OSS people by saying that only Novell would be unencumbered by patent claims.

      That's probably oversimplified, but that's my quick take on it.

      Cheers

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gbjbaanb (229885)

        I suppose $100m will pay some Mono developers' salaries for a while longer, though I reckon if they wanted to really support Linux interoperability and suchlike, they'd have bought RedHat vouchers instead/as well.

        • by JohnBailey (1092697) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @03:24PM (#24679239)

          I suppose $100m will pay some Mono developers' salaries for a while longer, though I reckon if they wanted to really support Linux interoperability and suchlike, they'd have bought RedHat vouchers instead/as well.

          They tried to offer the same deal to Red Hat more than once I think. But while Red Hat was quite happy to offer to work work with them on interoperability as much as they liked, they refused to enter into any cross patent protection deal like Novell. So no "You open source commies are stealing our IP" deal was possible.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by HitoGuy (1324613)
            That and Red Hat seems to be a bit smarter than Novell. They knew despite public perception of Novell getting gobs of $$$ from Microsoft in their cross-patent deal, they'd lose in the long term.

            It's the lesson of $5 now vs. $10 in a year, except Microsoft isn't offering the $10 in a year, only more threats.
            • That and Red Hat seems to be a bit smarter than Novell. They knew despite public perception of Novell getting gobs of $$$ from Microsoft in their cross-patent deal, they'd lose in the long term. It's the lesson of $5 now vs. $10 in a year, except Microsoft isn't offering the $10 in a year, only more threats.

              Who can say. The benefit of being associated with Microsoft doesn't seem to have been that beneficial.

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        "As a side benefit, they cycle some revenue through Novell, who they currently aren't at war with."

        MS$ has never been at war with Novell. MS$ has always been at war with IBM....
    • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:02PM (#24677753)

      It seems more like the dubious world of high finance and banking than anything high tech. Microsoft is buying and selling Linux vouchers? Well they could just as easily be selling Indulgences [wikipedia.org].

      And BTW my eyes happened to glance at the top of Slashdot, I thought it read "Don't feed the penguins".

    • by Dancindan84 (1056246) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:17PM (#24678045)
      Linux vendors get a great deal of their revenue through support. The way I see it they're trying to direct revenue to their chosen Linux vendor, thereby hurting the other vendors. If you run a mixed MS/Linux shop and can get subsidized SUSE support through MS, it makes business sense to go that route.

      They look like they're supporting Linux, but they're only doing it for the vendor that's in their back pocket.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JamesP (688957)

        But the main question is: Why go MS + (subsidized NOVL) rather than going 100% Linux (w/ paid support)

        Granted, these are not regular Windows shops, but usually have extra specialized support from MS

        • A lot of places don't "really" have an option. The college I work for has a ton of varying applications, some that run on Windows, some on Linux (mostly virtual servers), and some on Unix. It really isn't an option to dump windows for us. We don't purchase support as we handle it in house but if our two Linux guys (of which I'm one) ever left and the need for contracted support arose, I'd put money on our IT director picking Novell/SUSE simply because we already have contracts with MS.
  • Why? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @01:53PM (#24677593) Journal
    Why would you buy Linux support from MS? You would think you'd get better support buying it from, oh, a lemonade stand perhaps?
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Giometrix (932993) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @01:56PM (#24677631) Homepage

      Why would you buy Linux support from MS? You would think you'd get better support buying it from, oh, a lemonade stand perhaps?

      Because Microsoft is know for excellent support?

      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Funny)

        by SlipperHat (1185737) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:30PM (#24678275)

        Why would you buy Linux support from MS? You would think you'd get better support buying it from, oh, a lemonade stand perhaps?

        Because Microsoft is know for excellent support?

        No, because Microsoft is known for its high quality lemons.

    • Because Microsoft is subsidizing your linux support
    • Microsoft is reselling Novell support.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by homer_ca (144738)

        Microsoft is reselling Novell support.

        at a loss.

        It's pretty clear the $100M is Novell's payback for signing the patent license agreement.

        • by Ilgaz (86384)

          What if those admin guys who will say the last word about the OS on that huge cluster of servers chooses Redhat Enterprise Linux over SuSE because of these news? Here goes more than $100M in fact.

          I don't really understand the point of using a MS Backed Linux/Mono/Moonlight myself. Why not choose the original? Aka Windows? Seriously I am not trolling, I don't understand the point. I could make good guesses considering the horrible future of Novell before MS deal but that time, I would be trolling :)

          • I don't really understand the point of using a MS Backed Linux/Mono/Moonlight myself. Why not choose the original? Aka Windows?

            UNIX may be greener. In many cases you require far fewer servers to provide the same level of service, even if you can virtualize the Windows environment, and for data centers where power is the main cost (and increasing number of them) that adds up fast.

        • I might have missed something, but I didn't see anything that said MS paid face value, so how do you know that MS actually paid $100M or that it's selling them at a loss? As long as Novell didn't have the customers already locked up, why wouldn't Novell be willing to wholesale at some discount? And how often does Novell give discounts directly to the customers anyway? I'd bet it's pretty common.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by argent (18001)

          Well, yeh, I was just pointing out that there was no danger of getting some Microserf asking you "would you like VBscript with that?"

      • Rrrringgg...
        ms support US: Hi this Bob. How can I help you?
        Company XYZ: Hi this is Ben @ XYZ. We have an issue with our server 2008 and SUSE interop.
        ms support US> Let me put you through to our tech guys.
        ...
        ms support India: Hi this is Anand. How can I help you?
        Company XYZ: Hi this is Ben @ XYZ. We have an issue with our server 2008 and SUSE interop.
        ms support India: Arrh. Sir, I am thinking you are needing Novell SUSE support. Putting you through.
        ...
        SUSE support US: Hi this Jack. How can I help
    • by pilgrim23 (716938)

      Think of it as Carbon Credits for the soul...
      even Dark Overlords care about the enviornment...

    • by MBCalyn (1318657)
      Correct me if I am wrong, but, I was under the impression that the support was provided by Novell and that Microsoft was simply paying for it.
    • by untorqued (957628)
      Yeah, but at least Microsoft is never going to raise their prices simply because their mother stopped giving them free sugar...
  • It's a conspiracy!!! Novell is evil and is in league with Microsoft and Men In Black. They want to take over the Earth for the aliens and satan, and Microsoft selling SuSE support is the first step! Quick we need to make some tin foil hats!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      +1, informative
    • by sumdumass (711423)

      Yea, and they both hate puppies too.

      You see, puppies start with the letter P, neither of them have P's in their names and we know that OSS naming generally means every letter in a name stands for something else. Well, neither one of them though about the puppies and neither one of them put the letter P in their names so they both hate puppies.

      (I hope you were joking to, otherwise I feel I might have needed to add that two P's are like P P's which is the same as two puppies so you end up with puppy P P's.)

  • ....Bill and Melinda Gates foundation sponsored Ringtone [condomcondom.org]

    Like geeks really need this...

  • This has to be the dumbest idea in the history of business .. insert car analogy here ...
  • by FritzSolms (859937) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @03:07PM (#24678943) Homepage
    There do seem some subtle effects on SUSE, though. If you install version 11.0 on a machine which has Windows pre-installed (because you couldn't buy the Laptop without the Microsoft tax), it no longer gives yo a pref=configured option to remove the Windows. The only way, it seems, to remove Windows now is to go through a manual partitioning process which may be a bit daunting for the average home user. In versions prior to the Microsoft partnership, there was a convenient option to do a clean install removing all existing partitions including an MS partition. Fritz
  • I don't get it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Brandonski (605979)
    This time line is just too strange.
    Back in the day. Novell made a lot of money with Netware which was completely dependent on Windows. They get back-doored by Microsoft and flounder for a while.
    Then they buy one of the top three Linux distributions and with out hesitation, they get in line for another anal-raping.
    Novell just loves being Microsoft's biotch.
  • In case you had any doubts as to his thinking..

    âoePeople that use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us.â

    â"Steve Ballmer

    âoeWe believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability.â

    â"Steve Ballmer

    âoeThereâ(TM)s no company called Linux, thereâ(TM)s barely a Linux road map. Yet Linux sort of springs organically from the earth. And it had, you know, the characteristics

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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