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Microsoft To Buy $100M More SUSE Support Vouchers

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the whole-lot-of-sweetness dept.

Linux Business 157

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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Can anyone clarify? (3, Interesting)

yincrash (854885) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677577)

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

Fuck you Linux cum-guzzler (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24677609)

Go back to Africa, monkey!

Nice. Have a cup of Boycott Novell. (0)

GNUChop (1310629) | more than 6 years ago | (#24682165)

Boycott Novell [boycottnovell.com] has good information about this slimy deal.

Here's Bruce Perens' 2002 perspective [technocrat.net] . All of this was planned in advance. It is put together very well by a poster named LARS:

However, a licensing dependency injects a control and ownership over otherwise Free systems. What is happening to FOSS distros like Fedora and Ubuntu have been getting infected with Microsoft's licensing (e.g. Mono) could be a risk for Apache. The reminder from these HP memos from 2002 is that MS could just be lining up its shots for a future lawsuit by using funding to leverage injecting proprietary material into general projects like Apache, Ubuntu, GNOME, etc., which it appears to be doing, and then cashing in (assuming MS is still around). Think a case like SCO but where MS has had a few years to ensure contamination has occurred before calling in the lawyers.

Novell is a traitor to software freedom and things will not end well for them.

Re:Nice. Have a cup of Boycott Novell. (2, Insightful)

GNUChop (1310629) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Oh noes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24682821)

It should be noted that "GNUChop" is one of twitter's sockpuppets, and that twitter has been seen lately falling over [boycottnovell.com] how awesome Roy "crapflooding USENET" Shitzforwits is and bragging [boycottnovell.com] about getting frist post [boycottnovell.com] . twitter also haz flowers [boycottnovell.com] .

We can expect twitter to start pushing the "boycotteverything" Schez line from now on? Probably.

Re:Nice. Have a cup of Boycott Novell. (1)

rathaven (1253420) | more than 6 years ago | (#24682897)

And SCO would have been so much better...

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677623)

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

Re:Can anyone clarify? (2, Insightful)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677819)

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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678163)

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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (5, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678297)

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:Can anyone clarify? (1, Interesting)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678877)

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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (3, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24679941)

Microsoft isn't providing the support. Novell provides the support. Microsoft is reselling Novell support.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 6 years ago | (#24682691)

Hence why this is not different from IBM or any of the big5 consulting firms...

MS is taking a move out of the good'ol consulting handbook to make extra profit.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680061)

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

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24681613)

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:Can anyone clarify? (2, Funny)

alexborges (313924) | more than 6 years ago | (#24682723)

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

Re:Can anyone clarify? (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24682743)

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:Can anyone clarify? (0, Troll)

alexborges (313924) | more than 6 years ago | (#24682713)

I would agree, if the vouchers were not FUDed to mean that they are some sort of legal protection against Microsoft's actions. They are saying that if you dont buy whatever they sanction (suse/xandros/linspire), then the CIO is open to lawsuit.

Novel, Xandros and Linspire should be taken out and shot in the head. They are true traitors to the open source community and should be barred from using the Linux trademark.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (5, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678811)

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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678041)

But they are a convicted monopoly in the US and the EU. Who are they trying to convince? China?

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678329)

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 prevent being fined 500 million. That is a pretty smart investment.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (0)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678425)

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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (5, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678501)

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:Can anyone clarify? (3, Insightful)

HitoGuy (1324613) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (0, Troll)

alexborges (313924) | more than 6 years ago | (#24682851)

Interop is a good thing, yes. But Microsoft's "interop" means FUD for anyone not playing into its patent SCAM.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (3, Interesting)

mls (97121) | more than 6 years ago | (#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?

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

Van Cutter Romney (973766) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677857)

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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24679025)

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 Mac using market. Or... Giving up further Windows Media Player for OS X development right at time when Apple switched to Intel which should really make things really easier. With their resources, they can ship full feature Windows Media Player 11 for OS X/Intel. Why don't they? "Enemy" right? So long to professionalism.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

jefu (53450) | more than 6 years ago | (#24679377)

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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680943)

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 don't see it happening any time soon. The more they lower the barrier to entry on using their products, the greater the adoption they'll see. Flip4Mac is a half-assed, third-party implementation that works very poorly and is a pain to get even to that state, the net result of which is that sites or products using that format/codec lose my business or attention very quickly (I doubt that they know that, as they'd likely switch to an open standard that anyone can use easily).

Microsoft is a big company with a lot of smart people. I'd like to think that at least one of them realizes that trying to lock people into using their products works against them, as third parties (website owners and such) have to account for non-MS visitors/customers. If MS was using open standards (at least for viewing... if they want to charge for a media encoder, that's fine by me), ANYONE would be able to easily view content that's wrapped up around an MS-designed open standard, which could in turn sell more encoder licenses. OTOH, having it wrapped in an inaccessible format forces those third parties to account for people that don't have access to that format, so they'll opt for something more available like AAC/h.264.

Make your money on content producers, charging them for encoder licenses and such. The vast majority of content out there isn't worth paying for a decoder license, so it will go unwatched. Everybody loses. I don't think anyone thinks for a second that YouTube would have anywhere near it's current level of success if you had to pay Adobe for Flash Player (never mind the Flash platform as a whole). Granted I realize that's not the best example with Linux/Flash issues, but it's at least free as in beer which is what 99% of the population cares about.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677863)

$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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678301)

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 in terms of the paper of it. On the surface, this might be exactly what it says it is, but, as you say, MS could well be hoping for a secondary outcome.

Remember, interoperability is one of the things MS is getting dinged for. This very publicly has them working towards that end even if privately they're also working to scuttle Linux.

Cheers

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680039)

No doubt. That's part of their MO. Look at how they got SCO the money for SCO v. IBM.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24677875)

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:Can anyone clarify? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24678049)

Something like that [boycottnovell.com]

Re:Can anyone clarify? (3, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678719)

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?

Re:Can anyone clarify? (3, Informative)

mls (97121) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:Can anyone clarify? (1, Troll)

HitoGuy (1324613) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680183)

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 having aided them before.

As a programmer, I've always made a point of avoiding "convenience" technologies, such as Java, .net, or Mono.

Java is bloated, slow and unstable. It saves the programmer a lot of hell for porting and a handful of other things, but it royally screws over the end user who has to put up with a runtime environment and all the MAJOR flaws of Java.

.net always struck me as being buggy garbage, and it's not portable, which means only Windows users get the benefit of using the software. On top of that, I'm pretty sure it isn't that hard just to hand-code the functions you need that .net "helpfully" provides.

Mono is much the same way, although portable, but it also has one major disadvantage going towards it: It's contaminated IP. Knowing how likely it is that Microsoft, despite "opening" the specifications for .net, is very likely to sue or threaten to sue the tar out of anybody stupid enough to think they'll be safe using any Microsoft "standard."

This is why many developers are too afraid to trust both of Microsoft's Shared Source licenses. One is laced with an NDA, so it's already a boner, but the second "open source" license is non-commercial only and many believe it is too risky to trust for the same reason I don't trust Mono, people have seen the IP, now Microsoft might have leverage to start making claims it was copied IP.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 6 years ago | (#24682063)

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 I like MS as far as politics, no.. Do I like some of their developer tools, absolutely. Am I paranoid about it, no. I think in this case, you are spreading the FUD.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

The Great Pretender (975978) | more than 6 years ago | (#24679665)

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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

BazilBBrush (1259370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24679739)

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?

Re:Can anyone clarify? (5, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677671)

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:Can anyone clarify? (2, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677805)

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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (4, Insightful)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:Can anyone clarify? (3, Insightful)

HitoGuy (1324613) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 6 years ago | (#24682511)

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.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678405)

"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....

Re:Can anyone clarify? (4, Insightful)

G00F (241765) | more than 6 years ago | (#24679565)

"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.

Whoosh.... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680103)

Whoosh...

Re:Whoosh.... (1)

jorx (975057) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680469)

Uh, G00F isn't the only one this "whoosh"ed over. Care to explain?

Re:Whoosh.... (1)

Tangerinux (1133055) | more than 6 years ago | (#24681871)

1984 reference?

Please surrender your geek card.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 6 years ago | (#24679639)

Eurasia. MS$ has always been at war with Eurasia.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (1)

jopsen (885607) | more than 6 years ago | (#24682045)

MS is ALWAYS a hostile partner!

Re:Can anyone clarify? (3, Funny)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#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".

Re:Can anyone clarify? (3, Insightful)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:Can anyone clarify? (2, Interesting)

JamesP (688957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24679137)

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

Re:Can anyone clarify? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24678569)

MS is subsdizing SUSE support via Novell.

Re:Can anyone clarify? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24679457)

It means MS is buying itself a share in Teh Lunix.

Now obviously it doesn't approach anything like IBM's almost total buyout of Teh Lunix (they "donated" schools, which produce FOSS programmers who work on IBM projects for "donations")... but hey, it's not like buying out Teh Lunix. IBM just had a few billion dollars laying around, and decided they love FOSS so much they would "donate" that money to them. It's obviously not like a quid pro quo arrangement or anything, they just loves teh FOSS!

Why? (4, Funny)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677593)

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? (5, Funny)

Giometrix (932993) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677631)

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? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24677783)

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?

Yes, Microsoft has indeed a good reputation between monkeys and self-throwing chairs.

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

SlipperHat (1185737) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

HAHAHAHAHAHA! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24677693)

You crack me up...

fucktard.

have you ever actually used the MS support in a production server environment. Those Indians they outsource to are on top of it. We has a SQL server bug that was not known until we discovered it and those guys would call us, anytime we told them to and work with us may times for HOURS until we had the problem identified, and a workaround in place.

It still took MS a service pack to fix the f'ing problem but that is like blaming the girl at the DMV for a pothole the road crew ignores.

Re:HAHAHAHAHAHA! (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677927)

He said nothing whatsoever about MS's customer support for MS products, which your anecdote is about.

He suggested that MS would not be a good provider of Linux support. Similarly, I am sure he would not buy support for MS Windows from Red Hat.

Re:HAHAHAHAHAHA! (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677929)

See, you could have presented all of that information in a polite manner, and in all probability you would have been modded informative for it.

*sigh*

Well, in any case, it seems that there is a huge difference between the Indians that work for the consumer support division and the ones that work for the commercial/server side of things. That is probably not anything out of the ordinary; probably you're really comparing apples and oranges there.

The question should be whether MS server support is better than (e.g.) Red Hat server support. On the consumer side of things, Microsoft does as little customer support as possible; I've never had the opportunity to find out whether they're any good or not. My guess is that they're in a race to the bottom of the barrel with a few of the major computer manufacturers and Verizon DSL tech support.

Re:HAHAHAHAHAHA! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678031)

Those Indians they outsource to are on top of it.

They sure are [youtube.com] .

Re:Why? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677699)

Because Microsoft is subsidizing your linux support

The support is from Novell. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677815)

Microsoft is reselling Novell support.

Re:The support is from Novell. (2, Informative)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678249)

Microsoft is reselling Novell support.

at a loss.

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

Re:The support is from Novell. (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678897)

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 :)

Re:The support is from Novell. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24679235)

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.

That's when you buy and resell Redhat support. Repeat as needed.

At a loss? Are you sure? (1)

Schnoodledorfer (1223854) | more than 6 years ago | (#24679859)

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:The support is from Novell. (2, Funny)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680053)

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

Re:The support is from Novell. (1)

BazilBBrush (1259370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680447)

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 you?
Company XYZ: Hi this is Ben @ XYZ. We have an issue with our server 2008 and SUSE interop.
SUSE support US: Let me put you through to our tech guys.
...
SUSE 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.
SUSE support India> Hi Ben. Oh my golly gosh sir. I am thinking we were just talking before.
Company XYZ: ?!? :Steam: ?!?
SUSE support India: If you will be telling me the details of your problem sir I will be helping you...
Company XYZ: Our server 2008 randomly won't connect with our SUSE servers.
SUSE support India: Ah sir I am thinking you will be needing ms support. Putting you through.
Company XYZ: Click.

Re:Why? (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678433)

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

Re:Why? (1)

MBCalyn (1318657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678503)

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.

Re:Why? (1)

untorqued (957628) | more than 6 years ago | (#24679999)

Yeah, but at least Microsoft is never going to raise their prices simply because their mother stopped giving them free sugar...

Don't you get it? (1, Funny)

BadOPCode (1187615) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677711)

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:Don't you get it? (2, Funny)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678009)

+1, informative

Re:Don't you get it? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678375)

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.)

Re:Don't you get it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24678399)

I love it when people give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this is a new leaf...or maybe someone spray painted the old leaf. All I can say is, you must not understand Mr. Ballmer very well.

i dont know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24677757)

if Id want to buy Linux support from MS. I assume since they're vouchers, its still novell tech support, but still, I just dont get it ...
Maybe i should have read the article.

Re:i dont know (5, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:i dont know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24679391)

sorry to see that you have never worked in a shop that runs real unix instead of that second rate hack version.

Re:i dont know (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680529)

When did he mention IRIX?

And as an added bouns you get a free.... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#24677979)

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

Like geeks really need this...

Microsoft to sell SUSE Support Vouchers .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678025)

This has to be the dumbest idea in the history of business .. insert car analogy here ...

Re:Microsoft to sell SUSE Support Vouchers .. (2, Funny)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678101)

insert car analogy here

It's like Ford reselling support for Toyota cars.

Re: Microsoft to sell SUSE Support Vouchers .. (2, Funny)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678371)

"It's like Ford reselling support for Toyota cars"

and Toyota putting 'Toyota recommends Ford Focus' on every car Toyota sells ..

Re:Microsoft to sell SUSE Support Vouchers .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24678725)

It's like GM selling parts for Ford vehicles.

Oh wait. They already do.

Re:Microsoft to sell SUSE Support Vouchers .. (4, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678531)

insert car analogy here ...

Ford giving you a discount on your next Chevy (and service on the thing while you own it, too!)

Dunno what would be more incredulous - selling the scheme with a straight face, or actually buying into it with one.

(hey, you asked...)

/P

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24678047)

How is this helping MS investors again?

Subtle effects on SUSE (5, Interesting)

FritzSolms (859937) | more than 6 years ago | (#24678943)

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

The fix for this (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24679531)

The fix for this is called DBAN.

This deal has already hurt Novell a great deal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680985)

For example, Novells replacement for Zenworks 7 uses mono/dotnet extensively. Zenworks 10 is the biggest pile of horse manure since i dont know what. On the client side its slow as a dog, doesnt add anything you cant already do with Microsoft offering and bugs out like nothing i have ever seen. The server side is just as messy and truly suck. Compared to its predecessor its quite a step down and not in any way an upgrade. I highly suspect using mono was a corporate decision not in any way connected to what developers or product managers wanted.

Mono evolves in snail pace and moonlight doesn't work but is used by Microsoft extensively to showcase Silverlights "cross platform" support. Mono doesn't bring anything to the Novell customer at all, its just about PR to MS.

The sad thing is Novell was uniquely positioned to stand as the only NOS that could bring disperse networks with Mac, Linux and Windows computers together in a easy managed setup. This is now thrown out the window and most work they do seems to be slaughtering Groupwise, Zenworks, NSS, NCP and NDPS leaving Novell nothing more than a company selling a few tools to manage Windows networks the Microsoft way and a pretty crappy Linux distribution.

Unless they quickly come to some sense Novell will be history as soon as the money from Microsoft stops flowing. At first i thought Novell would atleast try to outsmart Microsoft but looking at what they offer their customers that cant be the case.

Creative business-plan (1)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 6 years ago | (#24681215)

1. Buy lots of services from competing companies.

2. Resell said services.

3. ???????

4. I don't know, but it can't be "Profit!"

I don't get it (2, Insightful)

Brandonski (605979) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.
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