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Linux Business Businesses Microsoft SuSE

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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  • by CogDissident (951207) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @01:57PM (#24677649)
    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.
  • 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 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.

  • 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:i dont know (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moderatorrater (1095745) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @02:19PM (#24678067)
    All of the places that I've worked have been mixed Windows/Linux server environments, with some of the servers being Windows to take care of Outlook stuff and the web servers and database servers running linux. If you've got a smaller shop with just a few servers, and you want support, Microsoft is now able to provide you with a complete solution. If you're a tinfoil wearer, you can go ahead and assume that they're going to use this to push their clients towards windows exclusivity over the next few years as well. If you're naive and don't study history, you can assume that they're doing this because they want to be 100% interoperable, and this is the first step. If you live in the real world with me, you can assume that a little of both is true - interoperability is a goal for them, and they would also like to be in a position to nudge you closer to windows.
  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • by G00F (241765) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @03:39PM (#24679565) Homepage

    "MS$ has never been at war with Novell. MS$ has always been at war with IBM...."

    That is so not true. Here lay NetWare and Word Perfect, May they rest in peace. And not to forget poor DR-DOS.

  • by HitoGuy (1324613) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @04:00PM (#24679985)
    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 OS/2 when they were doing the initial NT development.

    Don't forget also the means of which Microsoft got this "deal" with Novell: Threatening everyone with patent litigation over 235 patents. No, sir, I think Microsoft isn't suddenly playing nice. Pretending, certainly, but actually doing it? No.
  • by HitoGuy (1324613) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @04:18PM (#24680293)
    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.
  • I don't get it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Brandonski (605979) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @05:11PM (#24681361)
    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.
  • by GNUChop (1310629) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @06:25PM (#24682461)

    Here [boycottnovell.com] is another way the deal is bad for everyone, spreading disinformation as if it came from the free software community or commercial Linux vendors.

    The end game is to own free software. The original deal was so transparently bad [boycottnovell.com] that even sleeping antitrust courts will notice. We should imagine the second bribe is on equally crazy terms. Look at how they are trying to cover the bills [boycottnovell.com] and you see what they would like to have as a future business model when people realize that Windows provides no value. Yep, they openly call the coupons "royalty payments." [boycottnovell.com] That kind of language makes the GP look nice.

  • by pfleming (683342) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @08:47PM (#24683893) Homepage 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?

    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"

  • by Ilgaz (86384) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @09:21PM (#24684159) Homepage

    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. Now I hear obviously really funny suggestions like using a Text Editor (!!!) , you can code Silverlight sites. Yea, it should be possible for HTML/Dynamic sites, everything is text right? :)

    They could really shut up people like me by plugging into XCode IDE, shipping some plugins for popular design software (including Adobe) and NOT dropping PowerPC support as early as 2.0 of plugin.

    Staring at that tiny "Flash" icon on my Symbian S60 phone and "Mobile Youtube" coded in J2ME, I really think they lost it this time.

    A last note: I saw kids checking Asus EEE Linux PC , they asked dealer "does this play youtube?" , dealer said "yes", they said "Great" and the other kid said "See, I told you that you would pay $60 for nothing". That $60 is? Additional windows cost.

  • by rathaven (1253420) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @06:18PM (#24696729)

    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 forget where the market share is and how things change and its not by burying heads in the sand. A new tech doesn't mean success unless it is used. Even the big development tools on Linux are ported to MS - why? Because they want market share! Microsoft have a lot of built in market share because of the people who view MS as the only type of computing or applications. Market share comes from being as good at those things and better at the rest...

    Hopefully one day we won't have to support those apps because MS will not have a stranglehold any more, until then...

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives. -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

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