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Novell Gets $348 Million From Microsoft

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the money-is-the-root-of-all dept.

308

An anonymous reader writes, "Novell has published additional details about its agreements with Microsoft concerning Windows and Linux interoperability and patents. It seems the company is receiving an up-front payment of $348 million from Microsoft, for SLES subscription certificates and for patent cross-licensing. Microsoft will make an upfront payment to Novell of $240 million for SLES subscription 'certificates' that Microsoft can use, resell, or distribute over the term of the agreement. Regarding the patent cooperation agreement, Microsoft will make an up-front net payment to Novell of $108 million, and Novell will make ongoing payments totaling at least $40 million over five years to Microsoft."

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308 comments

OK, NOW you can use the 'itsatrap' tag (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763179)

Go for it, guys.

New tag: itscrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763267)

No, that's so last week. The new tag is "itscrap". Thanks thelost (808451)!

Re:OK, NOW you can use the 'itsatrap' tag (2, Interesting)

goofyheadedpunk (807517) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763791)

What's up with all the itsatrap tags today, anyway? Does someone think it's funny?

Soul for sale (4, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763181)

Microsoft Vader: How much is your soul?
Novell Spaceballs Skywalker: $380 million and change, and we'll throw in SuSE.
Microsoft Vader: You fool! We would have paid you 10x as much.

What about CEO rewards? (2, Interesting)

Callaway (842055) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763855)

Indeed it is worth 10x as much. But then you have to factor in an extra compensation package for CEO, CFO, CIO, and any other C*O in the company totaling a measly $81 million dollars as a way of saying thanks for putting the Microsoft deal together.

Payment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763187)

Rumour has it that Novell will be payed in pieces of silver.

Re:Payment (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763763)

Do you think the leaders at Novell will subsequently hang themselves?

Re:Payment (1)

gripen40k (957933) | more than 7 years ago | (#16764001)

You do mean pieces of eight [wikipedia.org] right?

Re:Payment (1)

WhiteWolf (95535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16764073)

Almost certainly he meant pieces of silver [wikipedia.org] . [Wikipedia.org]

<mode="zealot">Given the Microsoft Playbook, not an entirely inappropriate reference.</mode>.

Re:Payment (1)

gripen40k (957933) | more than 7 years ago | (#16764103)

Errr.... 'Note to self: stay away from that guy [wikipedia.org] '....

I'm left to wonder if (1)

Associate (317603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763189)

this has anything to do with Microsoft's SCO involvement.

Re:I'm left to wonder if (3, Insightful)

rajafarian (49150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763889)

this has anything to do with Microsoft's SCO involvement.

My own personal conspiracy theory is that Novell found something in the MS-SCO deal that the US Attorney General, even under the Bush Administration, would not have liked at all.

Re:I'm left to wonder if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763997)

I don't care, don't ruin my mood!

-Microsoft spends 348 million on linux
-Democrats win control of house
-Java goes GPL

Someone pinch me, please

Good move on both sides, for now ... (5, Insightful)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763193)

As scary as this initially sounds (Microsoft Linux anyone?), the partnership makes sense. Microsoft gains the capability to run Linux better in a virtualized environment (or vice versa), and Novell gets a ton of much needed cash. For years, it's been obvious that at some point Microsoft would have to start recognizing the fast growth of Linux as an enterprise platform, and it appears that this move is Microsoft's first step.

The only concern I have is that Microsot continues further down the path and begins to create closed source applications or kernel modules specifically to run Microsoft apps. If they can swing this, the potential for degradation of the upward Linux momentum is high. John Dvorak of PC Magazine figures that Microsoft will develop GPL work-arounds [pcmag.com] , and eventually begin releasing Linux apps.

What then? Mac servers for everyone?

Re:Good move on both sides, for now ... (2, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763241)

The only concern I have is that Microsot continues further down the path and begins to create closed source applications or kernel modules specifically to run Microsoft apps.

Why would you be at all concerned about that? As always, you can run what you'd like. If you don't like "MS Linux", you certainly don't have to use it. Once MS puts some effort into SUSE, I'd most definitely consider switching some of my 100% MS shop to SUSE for some back end stuff. I need interoperability, and simplicity, neither of which are strong points of Linux right now. I'm looking forward to see what is going to happen to SUSE, because there might be a very good, useable Linux to come out of it.

Re:Good move on both sides, for now ... (2, Interesting)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763311)

Great point!

My fear was more on the standard distros including too much MS code that may have security issues. You are right that enterprises could just pick and choose what they want ... but many smaller shops (and definitely home users) just install the basic distro without much customization.

Is a Linux kernel with MS shims and apps better than MS by itself? Probably ... and your take on "MS Linux" being more interoperable is certainly attractive ...

Security Issues -- non-issue if they release code (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763915)

I wouldn't worry about MS writing bad code and introducing security holes that way. MS has some great programmers -- the company's problem with security holes is architectural. It's designed itself in to a corner it can't code its way out of. As long as Microsoft releases the code to its contributions I wouldn't worry about MS developed Linux software any more than Linux software developed by anyone else.

If Microsoft contributes binary blobs, then yeah, I'd worry about security issues, but that concern applies to anyone's blobs.

Re: Interoperability? (5, Insightful)

greenbird (859670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763741)

I need interoperability, and simplicity, neither of which are strong points of Linux right now.

Every time I see a statement like this it pisses me off. Linux is very inter operable with every mainstream OS except Windows. And you know what, Windows isn't inter operable with any other OS that exists. Not only that but the Linux community goes to outrageous efforts to make it inter operable with other OS's (reverse engineering) while Microsoft goes to extreme efforts to ensure no OS can inter operate with Windows.

Also why is it I find Linux far simpler than Windows. You set it up and it works forever. On rare occasions that there are problems you can find a definitive solution unlike Windows where you just reboot and pray because no one including Microsoft knows what's happening with most problems.

Re: Interoperability? (3, Insightful)

abaird (1019210) | more than 7 years ago | (#16764071)

It couldn't possibly have anything to do that virtually every common OS besides Windows IS a *nix variant? Linux is far simpler than Windows? Yesterday, I reformatted my hard drive. I decided, after 10 years on a Microsoft operating system I would dual boot XP Pro and a generic install of Ubuntu. Reinstalled XP Pro in about 40 minutes, including time spent downloading and installing drivers. To get Ubuntu to install on my machine, I had to manually edit a config file to get the screen to display correctly, but could only do so *after* the Ubuntu installer crashed (like, duh?). I found this out after digging through Ubuntu forum posts for about an hour (there was nothing in the Wiki related to this). I like the idea of moving to open source software, but the reality is it is not as universal or simple as Windows. XP crashes for me (in the last 4 years of using it) have been rare, and when it is it is usually a memory leak from a particular application, not XP itself. So far, every machine I've installed Linux on I've had serious compatibility issues in every case. I'm not trying to install Linux on my alarm clock here, these are every day, very common PC parts. I've yet to have a smooth Linux installation. It's simply not for mom and pop yet.

Re: Interoperability? (2, Insightful)

gripen40k (957933) | more than 7 years ago | (#16764079)

Maybe he meant interoperability as in it will work with WinXP, which is a very logical argument, and 'every mainstream OS' means it works with.... Linux? :P But really, what is this 'interoperability' you speak of? What exactly does that include, networking? At our university, we have linux and win32 platforms networked and working fine together... So I'm just not sure what you speak of when you say that it's 'inter operable'...

Anyways, the Parent has a point, a very good one. I don't want to reinstall windows let alone switch to a different OS, as the amount of time I have spent catering to this particular install is quite a bit. However, on my media server, I have thought about switching over to a new OS (I have winXP right now, and it's kinda crappy to leave on 24/7). This new... er... frankenSuSE might be the answer, although I probably won't wait that long for it to come out. BUT, businesses might find it appealing, as the IT people can be like 'w00t, we use linux!' but they can go to their employer saying they have the utmost confidence it still works with their Vista workstations...

Re:Good move on both sides, for now ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763793)

What do you hope to gain by switching to Linux? I know why I use Linux, what makes you interested? What deficiencies have you found in Windows that you would like to remedy by the use of Linux? Forgive me if I find your statements about possible future use of SUSE linux hollow. You complain about shortcomings in Linux and point towards this deal between Novell and Microsoft as being the key to all of your problems with Linux. Might I suggest you're focusing on the wrong areas? Linux is not Windows. If all you want Linux to be is Windows you're probably best to stay with Windows. I have a lot of Microsoft in my shop and I'm making great use of Linux everyday (and have for a while). I dont need to wait for some mystical improvements at some point in the future.

Bad news for Red Hat (1)

sanyam_y (982945) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763843)

After Oracle's Unbreakable Linux, this is second bad news for Red Hat. Novell is a company whose committment towards Open Source has always been suspect.

Nope (2, Interesting)

mrcparker (469158) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763565)

Novell gets to scare people out of Red Hat, and Microsoft only has to compete with Novell in the future.

Sure, Novell claims that the patent issue is not an important part of the deal, but I bet they use it as a selling point.

Re:Good move on both sides, for now ... (2, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16764075)

figures that Microsoft will develop GPL work-arounds, and eventually begin releasing Linux apps.

That's just silly - you don't need to use the GPL for your applications - only for other people applications that are already licenced that way. Even Halliburton have been selling commercial software that runs on linux for several years.

I think PC Magazine have to go out and buy a better keyboard for cats to walk over and generate articles - that Dvorak one doesn't seem to be working very well.

The modern value of 30 silver coins... (5, Funny)

ezh (707373) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763205)

is $348 million. How do you call it? Inflation!

Fishy.. (4, Funny)

Renraku (518261) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763209)

Something seems fishy here.

And its not the corporate sushi bar, or koi pond.

Or that nasty intern on the fourth floor.

Re:Fishy.. (3, Insightful)

b1ufox (987621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763613)

Yes the Fishy thing which i see is Microsoft's well known staretgy of "Embrace, Extend and Extinguish".

I hope people at Novell understand this. Since it is evident that FUD tactics cannot be applied by MS for open source products, they have decided to give their "EEE" startegy a try.

Lets see whats there in store for Novell and for open source community.

Good or bad a chapter worth learning is pending i guess ...:)

NOOOOOOOO!!! (1)

bangenge (514660) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763211)

IT'S A TRAP!!!

I know the joke is getting quite lame now, but I really hope MS is for real on this one. I guess they will never satisfy everyone, but I really hope they're trying.

Re:NOOOOOOOO!!! (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763263)

Someone want to explain the joke? As in, why it's in every story on the front page (except for one with the close variants "!itsatrap" and "itsnotatrap")?

'Cause if it's a protest to bring attention to the total failure of tags to accomplish anything useful -- I'm all for it. The only tags anyone puts on a story anymore are

-obvious indicators of the topic ("microsoft", "australia")
-contradictions ("fud" tag AND "notfud" tag, or "yes" AND "no" tag)
-buzzwords related to the subject ("bigbrother")

Re:NOOOOOOOO!!! (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763519)

think about admiral ackbar, assault on the death star, radar being jammed, must know that they're coming....

if you still don't get it, you need to just turn around, head right back out the way you came in and leave your geek membership card with the doorman on your way out.

Re:NOOOOOOOO!!! (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763607)

'Cause if it's a protest to bring attention to the total failure of tags to accomplish anything useful -- I'm all for it.

I think it is, but more specifically I suspect it's a protest that for about a week every single MS story got an itsatrap tag.

Re:NOOOOOOOO!!! (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763657)

Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, the main character, Ash, who had been battling the dead for two previous movies, encounters another 'deadite' (as it is called in this sequel) which screemns and such and then falls down apparently dead after ash shoots her/it. Next as some of the noobs to the dead's tactics start to approach the body, Ash warns, "It's a trap. Get an axe."

Of course it is a trap, as 'it' gets back up and is finally put more out of its misery.

So 'it's a trap' is a warining that a perceived victory over a foe may be just the foe merely setting a trap for another opportunity to pounce on the unsuspecting victor(s).

Re:NOOOOOOOO!!! (1)

Scoldog (875927) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763797)

Isn't the actual quote from AoD is "It's a trick"?

Anyhoo, the "it's a trap" is more commonly known for Return of the Jedi

ibm and redhat? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763225)

i don't know anything about law but now that SCO v. IBM is winding down, and many think SCO will lose big, won't IBM and RedHat do something? I'm guessing copyright infringement was the first salvo against Linux and the next attack will be patent based. I've heard IBM has a huge software patent portfolio...wouldn't RedHat and IBM do something similar to the Microsoft/Novell deal? Unless their current involvement in the SCO lawsuit forces them to stay quiet until the case is over. If it's true that Microsoft funded part of SCO v. IBM then this does seem like their next method of attack in Microsoft's war on Linux.

Its' Not a Patent Deal. (4, Interesting)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763275)

Read the press release, it is not a patent deal, that would put them in violation of the GPL. Instead it is a conenant not to sue.

So if I understand correctly. Microsoft is admitting that their software violates some of Novell's patents.

However, instead of protecting themselves and their customers by doing a cross licensing deal with Novell, Microsoft is keeping themselves and their customers at risk by entering into a non binding revocable 'covenant ' instead.

I wonder how well this will sit Microsoft's shareholders knowing that this risk exists and it is not being addressed permanently when such an option exists.

Re:Its' Not a Patent Deal. (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763525)

I read the form 8K on Edgar. Don't count on press releases.

The companies are paying each other for covenants not to sue. It's there in black and white. I don't see that this is any different from a license, and I don't see that a judge would be swayed that a covenant in this context is any different from a license.

It still sounds like a GPL violation to me. Now, we have to watch what FSF does. They own the C library that literally every program on Novell Linux uses. They have a reasonably strong case to enjoin Novell from distributing it, which would kill SuSE entirely. They have Red Hat to pay for the lawsuit.

Bruce

Re:Its' Not a Patent Deal. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763845)

Um, a covenant not to sue is a two party contract. Others who have ownership or control over code covered by the agreement can still sue as the covenant is obviously not binding on them. That's why they didn't enter into a license, because they couldn't over any code they don't have sole control of. As long as Suse/Novell is not trying to reduce the rights granted to people who have received GPL'd code from them I don't see where FSF has a case.

Re:Its' Not a Patent Deal. (3, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763955)

Um, a covenant not to sue is a two party contract.

Yes, but that's not the only contract in this picture. The most important one is a contract between Novell and Microsoft in which they agree to make these covenants to each other's customers. The full details of that contract are not public knowledge but are certainly discoverable.

Certainly there is clear documented intent to structure the deal as covenants rather than a license with the sole intent of circumventing the GPL. Now, you can show that to a judge and make a pretty good case that the companies are licensing each other and going through circumlocutions with covenants with the sole intent of welshing out of a license's obligations. Then, you ask the judge to consider the result for what it really is.

Bruce

There is no such thing as a patent deal (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763927)

There is only such a thing as licensing.

This does not have to put Novell in violation of GPL, for multiple reasons:

1)Novell owns IP that has nothing to do with Linux.

2)Even if some code is in Linux, and available under GPL, if Linux are the copyright holders of the code, then they can also release it under different lisences too.

Re:There is no such thing as a patent deal (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16764109)

1)Novell owns IP that has nothing to do with Linux.

I can't yet see why you believe this would be germane. Perhaps you could elaborate.

2)Even if some code is in Linux, and available under GPL, if Linux are the copyright holders of the code, then they can also release it under different lisences too.

It sounds almost as if you think Linux is a company that owns the copyright. The number of copyright holders is a rather large number. I think they are just barely able to make changes in the letter but not the spirit of the license as a group. They are not able to license the whole under something that substantially departs from the GPL.

Bruce

Novell defends it's move ... (5, Informative)

breem42 (664497) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763281)

From the same site (different page - http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS4685037869.html [linux-watch.com] ) :

"Under the patent cooperation agreement, Novell's customers receive directly from Microsoft a covenant not to sue. Novell does not receive a patent license or covenant not to sue from Microsoft, and we have not agreed with Microsoft to any condition that would contradict the conditions of the GPL. Our agreement does not affect the freedom that Novell or anyone else in the open source community, including developers, has under the GPL and does not impose any condition that would contradict the conditions of the GPL. Therefore, the agreement is fully compliant with the GPL,"

Re:Novell defends it's move ... (2, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763605)

Rather than the FAQ, I suggest you look at the form 8K on Edgar, and the covenants that have been published so far. FAQs are Public Relations writing and can shade the truth.

It's clear that the two companies are paying each other for similar covenants that will extend to their customers. I guess they buy the theory that if you do something indirectly, you aren't as guilty as if you do it directly.

So, this is like a shakedown artist who does not propose to damage your business at all, and only threatens to beat up your customers in your parking lot - if you don't pay.

Would a judge be confused by this? I don't see how.

Bruce

Bill + Steve ( extended version ) (5, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763295)

Bill: "I'm worried, Steve. We're losing more ground to Linux. It's on the verge of becoming a non-nerd OS."

Steve: "I've got an idea. Let's buy another version of Linux."

Bill: "Are you crazy? The SCO gambit didn't fool anybody."

Steve: "No, not like that. Instead of trying to fool a judge, we'll try to fool our customers."

Bill: "So? That's already company policy."

Steve: "Yes, but we'll release our own version. We tell the public that we're joining the Linux bandwagon, and with our marketing clout, it will soon become the dominant version on the market. Then when the public is convinced that MS-Linux IS Linux, we make gradual changes to turn it into an unusable bloated wreck. Linux will be finished!"

Bill: "No way! Remember, Steve, I used to write software. No self-respecting programmer would deliberately wreck an OS. Where are we going to get a bunch of programmers to do that?"

Steve: "We have all the guys who wrote Vista. I think they could do it."

( Steve exits )

( 10 minutes later, Steve returns, slamming the door quickly behind him. He looks like he has seen a ghost )

Bill: "So, how did it go?

Steve: ( shaking his head ) "Bad, bad, bad, bad, b-"

Bill: Get a grip! What happened?

Steve: "They won't do it...I mean they'll do it, but they want to do it well! They won't wreck it."

Bill: "You explained the plan to them?"

Steve: "Yes, very clearly. Twice. But they just started chanting. One word, over and over and over and over and over and ov-

( Bill picks up a chair, bashes Steve over the head with it. )

Steve: "Wh..? Uh..thanks...I needed that."

( Bill puts down the chair, walks to the door )

Steve: "Nooo! Please don't op-"

( Bill opens the door. From down the hall a chorus of voices can be heard. )

Voices: "-ux! Linux! Linux! Linux! Linux! Linux! Lin-"

( Bill slams the door )

Bill: "That's bad."

Steve: "It's worse. They now refuse to work on Vista any more!"

Bill: "That's ok. We aren't going to support it for very long anyway."

Steve: "So what are we going to do?"

Bill: "I think I can still make the plan work. Listen: we'll let them produce a good version of Linux. We'll make it very good for servers."

Steve: "Suse? You mean we'll take over Novell?"

Bill: "Yes. That gives us a big step up to dominate the Linux market like you suggested. But instead of trying to convice the world that Linux is junk, we'll tell them that Linux is only for servers."

Steve: "But it will migrate to the desktop! We have to kill it!"

Bill: "No, we'll let the guys downstairs make it the way they want it. Keep it for nerds. Each update will be more and more technical. Let them gradually turn it into something that only a Linux pro can use."

Steve: "We're gonna pay them to write Gentoo?"

Listen to me (2, Funny)

Mongoose (8480) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763545)

We're all getting a little sick and tired of all the 'slashdot playwrights'. If you want to enroll in a local college course, and produce an off broadway production of "The Chair and I" that's great. That's the American Dream. This isn't the place for your dreams. Here I will step on them... like this... and that.

Please keep this in mind, and "Welcome to the world of tomorrow".

Tough crowd tonight (2, Insightful)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763921)

Not only must we put up with grammar nazis and spelling nazis, but now slashdot has a genre nazi?

Re:Tough crowd tonight (1)

zcsteele (924719) | more than 7 years ago | (#16764029)

Worse yet, I'm forseeing an new type of "obligatory..." post format.

Re:Listen to me (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763939)

We're all getting a little sick and tired of all the 'slashdot drama critics'. If you want to write for your local paper and disparage the efforts of those with some meagre amount of creative talent, that's great. That's the American Dream. This isn't the place for your dreams. Here I will step on them... like this... and that.

Please keep this in mind, and "Welcome to the world of tomorrow".

Re:Bill + Steve ( extended version ) (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763715)

Steve: "We're gonna pay them to write Gentoo?"
::dies laughing::

Re:Bill + Steve ( extended version ) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763849)

lovely, just plain lovely, and the end, HEART STOPPING!!!

Re:Bill + Steve ( extended version ) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763969)

http://mslinux.org/ [mslinux.org]

The big question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763297)

What does Linus think of this? Time for a "bitkeeper 2.0" apology to the OSS community.

Re:The big question (1, Flamebait)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763549)

So far, Linus is being Alfred E. Newman, the character in Mad magazine whose motto was "What, me worry?" He said something about not assuming that everyone has to be enemies. I think he does fine at programming. Strategy outside of programming isn't his forte.

Bruce

Re:The big question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763609)

I've always held the belief that the greatest piece of software shipped with "linux" was the GPL. i think we're all about to find out if that's true.

Re:The big question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763931)

Unfortunately the Linux kernel developers have allowed some non-free binary only firmware/microcode in to the kernel source. It is freely distributable, but it is binary.

I myself have switched to Gnewsense just recently, found out my ethernet card in my laptop wasn't supported because it required binary only firmware (e100 ethernet), so I had to get a pcmcia card, gnewsense now works beautifully.

Re:The big question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16764089)

The firmware runs on the device it self. Not in the Linux kernel.

Some distribute a binary blob that runs in kernel. That it totally different and should be stoped.

The firmware that runs on the device is seperate from the kernel. Many devices have flash memmory for this firmware and do not need the Linux distros to distribute because of this.

Binary firmwares in the distros is just a alternative to more expensive ROM or flash ram on the devices it self.

OpenBSD is very strict on this subject, but they do allow binary firmware that runs on the device. They do not allow binary blobs that runs in the OS it self.

Re:The big question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763859)

Err, his strategy is great. It is to not tie himself to the rigid and
probably bad strategies and predictions of the so called "strategists".

My bet (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763305)

that this includes a deal to not persue much further the SCO case. While the feds may go after MS for their involvement with the shady deal with SCO, this is probably an early payoff to Novell to drop it. I just wonder if this allows Novell to go after Sun or did MS protect them as well?

I am reporting all disgusting posts. (0, Offtopic)

Edna_Bambrick (973247) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763317)

I have 3 names and counting.

All software sucks. (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763321)

Y'all can quote me on that.

I'll not get into the reasons, but just remember; "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" is apt. Operating systems are no different. They are "software" too. With all the compromises and good intentions built in.

Ok, so if you want to use Windows and Linux, in the near future, it might be best to use Suse for the "Linux" side. So What?

Sounds more like a counter to "IBM+RedHat" than anything else.

So the "free" software supports the "closed, but popular Windows" software. How is that different than non-DRM mp3 files running on iPods?

Re:All software sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763577)

"the road to hell is paved with good intentions" is apt.

Don't you mean apt-get?

(Debian user here, couldn't resist :p)

Re:All software sucks. (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 7 years ago | (#16764055)

I'll not get into the reasons, but just remember; "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" is apt.

No, the road to Hell is paved with Cat-5 cable. I read it on Slashdot.

Muahahahaahaha History Repeats Itself (3, Interesting)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763333)

Remember when Microsoft gave Apple $3XXM, and the Mac Vs. Windows lawsuits were settled? Chances are that Microsoft is now doing the same with Novell, and Novell still owns some patents for Unix that it did not sell to SCO, and Novell was a major player in the IBM vs. SCO lawsuit. Microsoft is just trying to CYA itself, because obviously Vista infringes on some Unix/Linux patents. This is just a way of Microsoft saying to Novell, we'll give you some money to save your company, like we did to Apple, if you promise not to sue us.

I wonder if there will be a SuSE version of MS-Office, like the OSX version of MS-Office created out of the Microsoft-Apple deal?

Re:Muahahahaahaha History Repeats Itself (1)

x3nos (773066) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763765)

Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal. - A. Einstein

Always has been. Always will be.

Well... (5, Funny)

tooyoung (853621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763351)

... I guess now we don't like SLES. Shoddy security, I've heard.

does anybody know what's happening with SLED? (2, Interesting)

alizard (107678) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763677)

That's something I've seen NOTHING about from Novell since the Microsoft merger, I mean deal.

I've been wondering if the deal is intended to basically, persuade Novell that it doesn't need to be in the desktop space and to slow down the R&D in the desktop area. Perhaps MS actually got nervous when all the articles came out calling SLED10 the "Vista-killer"?

Having reviewed two desktop distros (Lin/freespire and SLED10) for publication lately and I'm working on getting FC6 running (for review? Don't know yet, I'm getting VMware running on it at this point), I'd say that if the driver issue can be dealt with (preferably in a way that doesn't benefit Novell), the next rev of almost any Linux desktop distro will be ready for the unsupported home user assuming the OS is pre-installed by the computer builder. Linux desktops are generally ready for any company that can provide in-house support, but that was true last year.

While Fedora Core has the reputation of being more difficult, one can run one script (Fedora Frog) and install practically all the hard stuff in a couple of hours, starting with multimedia. Note that of the two hours or so, you need to spend about 5 minutes around the computer. Similar scripts are available for other distros. (note: yes, Frog works in FC6, with minor glitches)

RTFA - it's obvious what is happening. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763363)

Novell is in huge financial trouble. If you read the article, they are trying to negotiate with their major debtors to come to an agreement and continue payments. Wells Fargo and Citibank are calling two of their major loans out against Novell. Also note the rumors of layoffs, investigating other financial mishaps, and the late filings of their earnings. This is what causes many companies to start heading down the tubes. The whole Microsoft agreement is essentially Microsoft cashing in on Novell after they made some financial mistakes and need someone to bail them out of it. Just watch as Microsoft ends up having major influence in the direction of Novell. This isn't a bad thing though. It means there will still be two main players in the Linux Business market. It's Microsoft's way of also creating some feirce competition against Redhat. Not to mention Oracle has their sites on Redhat and are taking shots at them. The whole support agreement with Oracle deal is meant to take out Redhat's major market. With that and a soon to be beefed up financial stability of Novell and push for SLES, Redhat will had some hard roads to go through. It's no surprise that MS sided with Novell when they saw Oracle make their move against Redhat. Interesting times in major Linux vendors are ahead. It should be interesting to see how it all turns out.

Re:RTFA - it's obvious what is happening. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763413)

Well, that's slightly reassuring, at least. Microsoft bailed out Apple but now Apple's doing fine.

I pay then you pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763377)

I'll pay you now and you pay me later. Sounds like a tax scam or a quarterly "earnings" issue.

Embrace and Extend (4, Interesting)

Mr Bubble (14652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763379)

Maybe Microsoft thinks that they can gain a significant share of enterprise Linux installations with a distribution they control. Then, they will do their classic embrace and extend to use the leverage to their advantage.

Microsoft knows that no one ever got fired for buying IBM of Microsoft. IBM is pushing Linux and that doesn't help Microsoft. By providing a Microsoft-approved Linux, they can get a slice of the pie and out themselves into a position to do to Linux what they have tried to do with every other standard technology - embrace and extend it.

Re:Embrace and Extend (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763633)

Or maybe Novell has accepted that Microsoft still owns the desktop, and Microsoft has accepted that Novell and Linux do servers better than they do. Seems like a mutually beneficial partnership to me.

firing offences (1)

toby (759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763655)

no one ever got fired for buying ... Microsoft

If, in fact, that is still true, I make it my sworn mission to set the precedent, by firing anyone under me who tries it. I can think of few greater proofs of incompetence.

...no one ever got fired for buying IBM (1)

anonymous_echidna (1019960) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763761)

> Microsoft knows that no one ever got fired for buying IBM [or] Microsoft.

IBM managed to get itself in a bit of a hole in the late eighties, as I recall. IBM seemed to be untouchable, and then was outmanouvered from a near monopoly position. Microsoft faces a few of the same issues: the need for upward compatibility, difficulty being able to respond quickly to pressing concerns, in MS's case, security.

Linux provides a chance to regain some of the flexibility that MS needs to maintain dominance. It may even be possible to for MS to produce a clean product which is outstandingly good. They have the capability; we just haven't seen it for a while...

Re:Embrace and Extend (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763771)

embrace and extend it.

That's the idea. Embrace and extend Linux in order to make it useful for mixed platform environments. Sounds like everybody wins, to me, except for poor ol' Red Hat. But, Red Hat has made more bad strategic moves than I can count, so I won't be shedding any tears for them.

I can see it now... COM objects for parts of Linux... complete file system interoperability... oooh... maybe even a coherent desktop platform! I know that it'll be years away, but now I'll start to more seriously considering adding SUSE into the mix at my all MS business if I need a Linux for something.

Can someone believe the hype?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763401)

I mean. If Microsoft talks to Linux, it is a treat to try to kill the penguin. If Linux talks to Microsoft, they're selling their soul. If it's the beginning to something good, just don't just wait and see. Otherwise, it can't be worst.

But What Does This *Really* Mean? (1)

Skewray (896393) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763421)

So, if I use SuSE now, should I switch? Is Novell now evil-by-contact?

Re:But What Does This *Really* Mean? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763541)

Debian. It's not a company.

Re:But What Does This *Really* Mean? (2, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763625)

So, if I use SuSE now, should I switch? Is Novell now evil-by-contact?

If I put on my worst case hat, MS extends SUSE by using it's lisence for things such as MP3 encoders and patents such as it's WMA and WMV formats and include them in SUSE along with IE and Outlook Express. These additions will not be open source. For those with trouble installing things such as the Lame encoder or other codecs to view online content, this could be a no-brainer install. Expect it to only install alongside Windows. (note the dual OS thing mentioned) After people start using it instead of Ubuntu or Fedora and then they die off, expect Linux features to be included in Windows.

Remember the Netscape/IE thing. This may be just a new chapter. Ours works better out of the box. The other is for geeks only and is hard to configure and get all the plug -in's to get it to work.

After the competition is dead, expect the shell of Suse to be discarded while keeping things such as multiple desktops.

Just my thoughts. The money to Novel rings a lot of alarm bells. Follow the money stupid!

I'm disabling automatic updates NOW! (4, Insightful)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763439)

I've advised all the Suse users I know and support to do the same thing, right now.
I will no longer be doing any updates to any of the Suse installations I support via Novell.

I'm actively seeking a replacement distro.

The poisoning of the well is under way, get out now while you still can.

Re:I'm disabling automatic updates NOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763635)

So, you're the guy that's been tagging everything "itsatrap". Ah, ha! We know who you are, Mr. Pair-a-noyd, if that is your real name. We're watching, and we'll find you.

MS

p.s.
Download the new Internet Explorer 7. Now better

Re:I'm disabling automatic updates NOW! (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763641)

I'm actively seeking a replacement distro.

Desktop, Server, or Enterprise?

Ubuntu, BSD, or Red Hat.

Re:I'm disabling automatic updates NOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763673)

Thanks! more bandwidth to me, the other user :)

Re:I'm disabling automatic updates NOW! (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763691)

I've advised all the Suse users I know and support to do the same thing, right now.
I will no longer be doing any updates to any of the Suse installations I support via Novell.

I'm actively seeking a replacement distro.

The poisoning of the well is under way, get out now while you still can.


You're a sorry picture, you know that?

Re:I'm disabling automatic updates NOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763737)

I'm actively seeking a replacement distro.
Debian, of course. Stable for the servers and testing for the desktops. Can't go wrong with Debian.

Re:I'm disabling automatic updates NOW! (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763753)

That's actually an interesting idea. This way Novell will get an imediate idea what is the reaction of their users.

Re:I'm disabling automatic updates NOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763917)

heh, the only guy i know who like and uses suse prefers windows and thinks IE is the best browser. suse users are a lost cause

Re:I'm disabling automatic updates NOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16764031)

You ran automatic updates before? What the hell is wrong with you?

ibm and redhat (1)

thripper (965380) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763551)

I believe they look the best "gang" out there. IBM has the hardware and RedHat ... well has a bunch of widely distributed programmers. Somehow I like it better when I don't hear smth like "Patents and Linux" , "Microsoft and Linux" ... Sure, IBM holds a lot of patents but it is not getting paid by Microsoft.

Goodbye Novell (2, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763563)

Finally, MS will kill you off. You think 380 million is something they'll even NOTICE? In return, lets see, they get.. your source code, YAST, AppArmor, mindshare, and info on your business.

Mod parent Troll (2, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763839)

In return, lets see, they get.. your source code, YAST, AppArmor, mindshare, and info on your business.

Heh. Nice troll. You really think Microsoft had to pay $380 million for Suse's source code? If that's what happened then Ron Hovsepian must be have been doubled over laughing all week.

P.S. Yes folks, both YaST and AppArmor are GPL.

NTFS support (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763575)

Does this mean someones finally going to get NTFS working in linux?
Because that's the first thing I'd do if I had $348 million to get more people to use linux...

Re:NTFS support (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763667)

look up ntfs-fuse.

or visa versa (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763833)

I'd like just as much to see support for reiser and or ext 2.3 in windows. there might be some gpl issues integrating it into the kernel, but I don't really care about performance as much as simply making it work.

new at hotmail... linux! (1)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763747)

finally, they found a stable platform to replace those old bsd servers that have been running the backbone of hotmail since day 1... :)

Does this mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763861)

that we will get to see a true Lindows box on COMPUSA shelves?

OIN? (2, Interesting)

quantaman (517394) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763909)

Novell is a member of the Open Invention Network [openinventionnetwork.com] . A patent collective that is used to defend certain open source projects (if you sue project X or used of project X for patent infringement than they sue you). Afiak OIN is the reason that mono was included in fedora, because they were able to use it to defend against Microsoft patents.

Thus if Microsoft sues someone for using one of those protected open source projects than OIN sues back.

This brings up two interesting questions. First, since Novell is a member of OIN would they be considered partial owners of these patents and thus in violation of this agreement if OIN sues MS? (I suspect not).

Second. What are the state of OIN's current patents? From the site it looks like OIN itself owns the patents (so they shouldn't lose any defensive power) but my strong suspicion is that Novell wouldn't be allowed to transfer any new patents to OIN since they could be potentially be used to sue MS (and thus in violation of this agreement).

Does anyone know more about these issues and how this agreement might affect OIN?

Fedora Will Never Compromise (3, Interesting)

Laven (102436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763925)

Excerps from my blog post [livejournal.com] of November 3rd, the day that Novell sold their soul and betrayed the community for a little short-term safety.

As long as I work on the Fedora Project, Fedora will never compromise on the essential liberties of FOSS nor will it betray the community. But the price of liberty is not free, nor is it comfortable. And unfortunately, some "leaders" of our community [lwn.net] are willing to compromise liberty for short-term convenience. I am disgusted by people like this [lwn.net] , and by Novell's betrayal of the community today.

Novell has effectively traded Long-Term Liberty for Short-Term Safety.

Red Hat supports causes that matter like providing the original seed money for Creative Commons [redhat.com] . Or being a key partner in the anti-software patent movement [lwn.net] during the miraculous last-minute turnaround at the European Parliament last year. I am proud to be part of an organization that demonstrates such moral and ethical commitment.

But ultimately, Red Hat cannot change the world alone. That is why the Fedora Project exists. We want to enable the community to work together to improve FOSS at a rapid pace, in partnership with the large and consistent contributions from our engineers. We strongly believe that this is the most effective way for the entire FOSS movement to advance. Yes, we made some big mistakes in our community relationship earlier, but we are learning, and continue to improve at an ever accelerating pace.

For these reasons that I urge the FOSS community to support the Fedora Project through volunteer contributions of time and effort. Or if you lack time to contribute, please consider monetary donations toward any of the shared causes that we are fighting for.

http://wtogami.livejournal.com/11305.html [livejournal.com]
Please read more in the original version in this blog entry.

Warren Togami
Founder, Fedora Project
Software Engineer, Red Hat, Inc.

Novell was the alternative.. (1)

itomato (91092) | more than 7 years ago | (#16763947)

I felt good, almost warm about working with Novell.

I'm rolling out servers all over the globe, and they were going to be running SLES. This is because it was a solidly supported platform, partnered and certified with Dell, and clearly exhibited potential as a stable, longterm Linux solution.

Novell could have done without Microsoft indefinately.. Tell them to get their own Linux.

Many of the people who were in SUSE for Novell will be parting ways.

Three cheers for Debian and it's offspring!!

Huzzah! Updates to Sarge!

Hurray! Ubuntu certified on Sun hardware!

Hip! gNewSense, Knoppix, Puppy, DSL, et al!

mod 3own (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16763949)

I,n aadition,

Foolish Novell... (1)

farrellj (563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16764023)

No company that has made a technology deal with Microsoft has come out ahead, some, like Spyglass, lost their shirt! I've been a big fan of Novell over the years, I still say that their fileservers were some of the best and most reliable ever made...but I fear for them with this deal with Microsoft. I hope they prove me wrong.

ttyl
          Farrell

Novell Answers Questions from the Community (2, Informative)

houghi (78078) | more than 7 years ago | (#16764059)

From this page [novell.com]

Since the announcement of the Novell-Microsoft agreement on November 2, we have been flooded with questions from the open source community about what this deal means to the Linux, the open source community, and even what this deal means for Novell. We will use this page to answer as many of those questions as possible. Check back frequently, as we will continue to add more answers as quickly as possible.

Q1. How is this agreement compatible with Novell's obligations under Section 7 of the GPL?

Our agreement with Microsoft is focused on our customers, and does not include a patent license or covenant not to sue from Microsoft to Novell (or, for that matter, from Novell to Microsoft). Novell's customers receive a covenant not to sue directly from Microsoft. We have not agreed with Microsoft to any condition that would contradict the conditions of the GPL and we are in full compliance.

Novell's end user customers receive a covenant not to sue directly from Microsoft for their use of Novell products and services, but these activities are outside the scope of the GPL.

Many more questions are answerd there. The fact that they get some money for their service is nice. Microsoft pays for the update service from Novell. Something that wasn'r free for SLES and SLED anyway. You can still get the SLES and SLED for free [novell.com] .

You will need an activation code FOR THE UPDATES as was always the case. openSUSE [opensuse.org] will still be available for free
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