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SuSE Businesses Microsoft

OpenSUSE Opens Up to Questions About the Microsoft Deal 288

NewsForge is reporting on the recent IRC meeting that the OpenSUSE team held to answer a few questions about the controversial deal between Novell and Microsoft. The most prominent questions are highlighted and the complete IRC log is available from the article while the questions that didn't make the discussion will be posted on the OpenSUSE wiki.
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OpenSUSE Opens Up To Questions About the Microsoft Deal

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  • Novell (Score:4, Informative)

    by loconet ( 415875 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @11:53PM (#17011622) Homepage
    Who else thinks Novell mis-underestimated the magnitude of the uproar due to this deal? This was a very bad move.
  • Dumbass (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul ( 629286 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:06AM (#17012122) Journal
    They clearly state that they are paying up to prevent frivolous lawsuits. Furthermore, in their GPLv3 conversation, they go on to say that Redhat and HP offer the same protection, only they are agreeing to pay for the legal costs if their customers are sued. Read the whole article first.
  • by fuego451 ( 958976 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:47AM (#17012380) Journal
    The single best place to go for information on this ms/novell deal, best estimates of what it means to the FOSS community and the GPL is Groklaw. PJ, as usual, has put a lot of effort into gathering information, explaining legal points, providing links to more information and getting opinions form many in the community. She has about four posts up on this subject and each is worth the read.

    Just my two cents worth.
  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:53AM (#17012424) Homepage Journal
    Red Hat and HP are offering to help you if you get sued by a patent holder who is not them. In contrast, Novell has this friend "Big Mike" who was going to beat you up, but Novell made a deal with him so that Big Mike will now promise not to beat you up. Hopefully everybody can see the difference.


  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @01:58AM (#17012458) Homepage Journal
    QuantumG is correct. There are simply so many software patents, on so many fundamental principles, that no non-trivial software program could exist that was licensed by all patent holders with claims reading on the algorithms used. This is regardless of whether it is proprietary or Free Software.


    Protest the Novell-Microsoft Patent Agreement [].

  • CVS predates it (Score:3, Informative)

    by Shawn is an Asshole ( 845769 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @09:34AM (#17015226)
    CVS started in the mid eighties:

    CVS developed from an earlier versioning system called Revision Control System (RCS) [], still in use, which manages individual files but not whole projects. Dick Grune has provided some brief historical notes [] about CVS on his site. To quote:

    I created CVS to be able to cooperate with my students Erik Baalbergen and Maarten Waage on the ACK (Amsterdam Compiler Kit) C compiler. The three of us had vastly different schedules (one student was a steady 9-5 worker, the other was irregular, and I could work on the project only in the evenings). Their project ran from July 1984 to August 1985. CVS was initially called cmt, for the obvious reason that it allowed us to commit versions independently. --Dick Grune []

    The code was publicly released to mod.sources on June 23, 1986: the original usenet post [] is still visible via Google Groups.

    The code that eventually evolved into the current version of CVS started with Brian Berliner in April 1989, with later input from Jeff Polk and many other contributors. Brian Berliner wrote a paper introducing his improvements to the CVS program [] which describes how the tool was extended and used internally by Prisma, a third party developer working on the SunOS kernel, and was released for the benefit of the community under the GPL.

    Source: Wikipedia, Concurrent Versions System [].

  • Re:What is this? (Score:2, Informative)

    by mshmgi ( 710435 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @09:35AM (#17015252)
    Dis is a nice operating system you'se gots here. It'd be a shame if sumtin' were to happen to it ...
  • by Vitriol+Angst ( 458300 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:37PM (#17022092)
    That "investment" was when Jobs had Gates over the barrell with a sawed off shotgun aimed at his head. Microsoft was found guilty of stealing the API of Quicktime in its Video for Windows 1.4c (if memory serves) - the rip-off was so blatant, the compiled binaries matched up (on Windows, of course). It was either give Apple some marketplace credibility with this "investment" or finally get caught red-handed being software pirates. The second option would have hurt Microsoft a lot more, but helped Apple, their stockholders, and any chance at getting Office compatibility.

    So the one example you found, of Microsoft "doing the right thing" is because it was a backroom deal.

    Please note, that Microsoft almost destroyed Java by "embrace and extend" and their "niceness" was after years of legal battles. They stole lots of design and API ideas from Apple to create Windows -- but through legal loophole, used a developer agreement to create a competing product -- so a combination of Jobs being too trusting, and a lousy Judge. So while not fatal is like saying; some people survive cancer ... I don't know of anyone who wants to contract it, just because some people survive.

    Microsoft has benefitted greatly by stealing ideas, embrace and extend, monopoly bundling, and anti-competitive practices... the slaps on the wrist they've received have never equaled the profits created. So I don't see any reason for them to change. Perhaps they can grab a lot of LINUX patents, and ruin the corporate marketplace with a lot of lawsuit FUD. I'm willing to bet, that they helped another prominent company attempt to do the same thing a few years ago.

    And SUN is GPLing Java -- they are not Microsoft... and again, that "Deal" was because Microsoft had to due to their anti-competitive behavior with Java.

    Please come back with some actual examples, of good business practices by Microsoft where it concerns a competitor. I don't know of any. Though I think they might have done OK for the group that made SoftImage, because they abandoned 3D development.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972