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A 5-Year Deal With Microsoft To Dump Novell/SUSE

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the wake-up-call dept.

174

Nicholas Petreley writes, "Wake up little SUSE, wake up. No, that's not good enough. Wake up SUSE customers, wake up. Novell is jeopardizing the future of Linux for its own short-term rewards. If you want to see Linux flourish, let alone survive, after Novell's five year deal with Microsoft expires, I suggest we make an alternative five-year deal with Microsoft. In this case, our part of the deal is to spend the next five minutes, months, or years migrating away from every shred of Novell/SUSE software in our home, office, or enterprise."

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174 comments

This makes no sense (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785271)

Linux needs to get its act together

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

Take installation. Linux zealots are now saying "oh installing is so easy, just do apt-get install package or emerge package": Yes, because typing in "apt-get" or "emerge" makes so much more sense to new users than double-clicking an icon that says "setup".

Linux zealots are far too forgiving when judging the difficultly of Linux configuration issues and far too harsh when judging the difficulty of Windows configuration issues. Example comments:

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Linux?"
Zealot: "Oh that's easy! If you have Redhat, you have to download quake_3_rh_8_i686_010203_glibc.bin, then do chmod +x on the file. Then you have to su to root, make sure you type export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.2.5 but ONLY if you have that latest libc6 installed. If you don't, don't set that environment variable or the installer will dump core. Before you run the installer, make sure you have the GL drivers for X installed. Get them at [some obscure web address], chmod +x the binary, then run it, but make sure you have at least 10MB free in /tmp or the installer will dump core. After the installer is done, edit /etc/X11/XF86Config and add a section called "GL" and put "driver nv" in it. Make sure you have the latest version of X and Linux kernel 2.6 or else X will segfault when you start. OK, run the Quake 3 installer and make sure you set the proper group and setuid permissions on quake3.bin. If you want sound, look here [link to another obscure web site], which is a short HOWTO on how to get sound in Quake 3. That's all there is to it!"

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Windows?"
Zealot: "Oh God, I had to install Quake 3 in Windoze for some lamer friend of mine! God, what a fucking mess! I put in the CD and it took about 3 minutes to copy everything, and then I had to reboot the fucking computer! Jesus Christ! What a retarded operating system!"

So, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that what seems easy and natural to Linux geeks is definitely not what regular people consider easy and natural. Hence, the preference towards Windows.

Lets Get Biblical? (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785279)

By the end of this day, SUSE Linux will no longer soil my hard drive. I'm taking a stand. How about you?
All I can answer this with is another quote:
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. - Matthew 5:30 NIV
Funny, I've always found this to be a little extreme and Old Testament. I guess what I'm saying is I'd rather respond with open arms and understanding/forgiveness than a knife. Is it really that bad that Microsoft and Novell made this deal?

HELLO EDITORS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785289)

Replies to replies are currently broken - fixplskthx.

yeah but... (-1, Offtopic)

oldbamboo (936359) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785313)

am i first?

SuSE and Microsoft (5, Insightful)

tannhaus (152710) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785319)

I understand people hate Microsoft. But, how is this any different than the mono project and their microsoft deal?

Microsoft advertises on slashdot as well.

Microsoft is, in the end, just a company. It may be a monopoly, but it is just a company. It's not going to destroy linux if one company makes a deal with another one. Linux is an operating system that spans MANY companies. If anything, this may get linux into more of those pro-windows IT shops. The ones that aren't pro-windows won't care about the deal either way.

It just seems odd to me that people are foaming at the mouth over this.

ATTN: Discussion system is broken! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785335)

The threaded display of comments is FUBAR.

Please let the editors know that they need to get off their lazy A5535 and fix this thing!

Actual Knowledge (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785345)

People who have actually seen the agreements: 10.

People who have seen the comments who have publicly shared the exact details on /., digg, or anywhere else? 0.

Honestly sometimes the /. paranoia gets to me. While there may be downsides to the agreement the fact of the matter is that Suse customers will benefit as long as it exists and probably after it is no longer. Linux users at the very least won't be hurt because nothing Novell or Microsoft does will break Linux....neither company owns it, one of them actively contributes, and the other is saying it will help with interoperability.

Sheesh....time for a break from my tinfoil hat and staying indoors.

Re:HELLO EDITORS (0, Offtopic)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785347)

2^24 comments should be enough for anybody

Re:Lets Get Biblical? (1)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785359)

I guess what I'm saying is I'd rather respond with open arms and understanding/forgiveness than a knife. Is it really that bad that Microsoft and Novell made this deal?

I hate questions that require time to sort out. Will the Democrats taking back Congress be a good thing? Who knows? I remain, for some reason, forever hopeful, but if Novell becomes a MS pawn - well... I'm gonna stick with hopeful, because the other end of the spectrum is not that pleasant.

So we'll wait...

I'm doing my part... (3, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785365)

In this case, our part of the deal is to spend the next five minutes, months, or years migrating away from every shred of Novell/SUSE software in our home, office, or enterprise."

I'm doing my part already. I installed the RC2 on my test pc and will be installing the final version on all compatible machines.

hell no (3, Funny)

thejrwr (1024073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785383)

Great!, even now as i speak im trowing my SuSe Disks in the microwave, and burning the man pages now

Re:Lets Get Biblical? (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785395)

I agree, also how the hell am I going to wipe my own ass after having cut my wiping hand off? Furthermore, if I have to start wiping with leftie, won't that cover my hand with sin if I miss, causing me to have to cut off that hand too?

ATTN EDITORS:Thread problem (4, Informative)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785401)

Going to bring up a problem that LiquidCoooled [slashdot.org] brought up in another thread, hopefully it's visible here.

Looks like replies are broken, perhaps data-base limitation, see LiquidCooled's post here [slashdot.org]

Let's look at this objectively (4, Insightful)

Concern (819622) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785407)

The thesis here is a little murky, but the author has enough of a point for me to wipe Novell-related Linux products (though that's easy for me to say, as I don't actually use any that I know of).

In brief: Microsoft has cross-licensed software patents with Novell. The idea is to legitimize their patents before they attempt to sue other Linux distro vendors (and probably others).

The author is correct in their assertion that, if Novell has done so (and it appears that they may have), they are actually now in violation of the GPL. From section 7:

For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

The endgame is where I lose the guy a little on the specifics, but it doesn't really matter. The point here is another anti-Linux legal FUD campaign. suffice it to say, this is hardly a conspiracy theory. Microsoft is the direct author of SCO.

Say it with me, kids. Software Patents are Insane.

Software Patents are Insane.

No one can read 200,000 of them, or the few thousand new ones each day. No human being can validate code against the patent base. All software is a ticking patent timebomb. It is (vaguely) legalized barratry, and the rest of the world (who has soundly avoided this insanity) will be laughing at the American software industry all the way to the bank.

There is no solution short of immediate and complete invalidation of all current and future patents on software.

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785427)

For five full years, Microsoft says it will promote SUSE.
This is old news, check out this reputable newspaper from December 6, 1933 [theonion.com] . You can clearly see an article detailing these actions in the left most column.

Re:This makes no sense (3, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785431)

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

I assumed you meant "less than 1%" in which case it should have been " Which means you'd better stay away from Linux anyway because you'll be absolutely rubbish at redirecting STDIN, STDOUT and STEDERR at the command line...

firsT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785439)

How About a Third Option (4, Informative)

ClubStew (113954) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785441)

I see only two explanations for this apparent contradiction, neither of them good.

Perhaps there's a third option: SUSE will contain code covered under Microsoft patents, since Microsoft is helping both the distribution and Windows interoperate better, which might mean breaking a few of its own patents, since Microsoft has that right.

How about a fourth? The article thinks Novell is spreading FUD. Maybe out of this deal is code for use in other linux distros, but Microsoft is helping to energize SUSE given how much money was dumped into Novell.

Now for a fifth: the article referenced in this post is just spreading FUD. It's the typical, "It stinks of Microsoft so it must be bad." I don't see how better interop is bad.

HEY YOU DIPSHIT MODERATORS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785451)

Replies to replies are B R O K E N.
Why the fuck are you modding down people trying to get the attention of the editors so that this can be fixed?

Novell is doomed, and they will hurt Linux (1, Redundant)

Theovon (109752) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785455)

It is kinda scary what they're doing. Everyone knows that Microsoft WILL do something evil. They already are by saying that only SuSE customers are safe. But they have a rug they're just waiting to pull out from under Novell. Novell is making a deal with the devil, and they're going to pay for it.

Re:Lets Get Biblical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785463)

Is it really that bad that Microsoft and Novell made this deal?

It's bad because Novell seem to be claiming that you have to get Linux from them to avoid "bad things" happening to your business. It's sort of like teaming up with the biggest bully on the playground... fine, you can do that, but if he's been beating up all of your old friends for the last few years, you shouldn't expect to keep them.

Re:Lets Get Biblical? (2, Informative)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785467)

Is it really that bad that Microsoft and Novell made this deal?

No, but at the article maintains...

Perception has always mattered more than facts.

And if you are a Linux booster, your first thought is that SUSE/Novell has sold its soul to the devil. But don't kid yourself; all arguments about patents and the GPL aside, the frightening thought is that Microsoft might steal ideas from Linux, wrap them in subtle obfuscations, and try to pass them off as original concepts that were natural outgrowths of Windows development. The thought that Linux and Windows might procreate... well, that's gotta be kinda shocking. But then again, doesn't this potentially lead to the Linux community getting a better look at Windows and perhaps pulling the same in reverse? In the end we end up with something that will probably be stillborn. As to the death of SUSE, I think the threat is greatly exaggerated.

Goodbye, little SuSE (2, Funny)

thewiz (24994) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785499)

I'm no longer in love with your scaly green skin since you started going out with that snake-in-the-grass, Micro$$$$$$oft.

I'm dating a nice lady from Africa named Ubuntu. And she has all the features I need!

Another person upholding the elitist stereotype (5, Insightful)

RichMeatyTaste (519596) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785509)

Listen.

Do you want in the door at Fortune 500 companies? I mean lots of them? Then this is a good thing.

If Linux is to displace Microsoft then it needs exposure exposure exposure. It needs people seeing if they can run complex Excel spreadsheets with VB Macros on other platforms. It needs people seeing if there are alternate Exchange backends that allow full Outlook frontends.

If Linux works well with Microsoft more people will at least *try* Linux, plain and simple. When people try it, they either stay with it or come back and say why it won't work.

For example, there are tons of popular PC platforms that various Linux distros won't work on without changing things. Just 2 weeks ago I attempted to install the newest Ubuntu build on a 3 year old P4 IBM business class PC and you know what, it wouldn't install. I was able to troubleshoot it to a lack of onboard video memory, but a quick bios fix took care of that. Unfortunately the error that came up was so vague that the "average" user would have probably given up.

Linux needs all the "new" users it can get. They are the ones that find the funky errors, the ones that the "elites" otherwise consider a "minor" issue.

One of the reasons that Windows is so popular is that for the most part it installs without any problems, especially on PC's from major manufacturers (which Fortune 500 companies tend to buy).

Enough now, I'm at work.

Yes (1)

Concern (819622) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785523)

Is it really that bad that Microsoft and Novell made this deal?

Yes.

Microsoft is the author of SCO.

They are continuing to do anything and everything they can to sabotage Linux specifically and open-source in general, not out of any particular malice, but just because it's business, and that's how they interpret their duty to their shareholders.

There are very few reasons why it would be worth it to Microsoft to make such a big payout to Novell to "cross-license" ludicrous "software patents" with them. A rather transparent continuation of the quasi-legal FUD campaign against Linux is the only really credible one.

Microsoft is a monopoly. Their engineering has improved since the 90's, but it's part of their corporate culture to compete by means other than quality and price.

Hands up - who could see this coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785529)

Hands up, who could see this coming? I would have _never_ believed Novell would do something like this. Microsoft trying to destroy Suse, Oracle trying to destroy RedHat. This two distributions are one of the most respected Linux distributions among corporate customers. Enemies have found clever ways to hurt Linux, but they can never kill it.

did already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785535)

quite some time ago ...

i used suse quite some time, but the gentoo package system and the debian package systems both are just another new dimension compared to rpm

Dancing with the Devil (1)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785545)

I've been a long time SuSE supporter and always pushed that it was great for an end user and great for any number of server configurations. Whatever the deals outcome may be I'm definetly not going to stop using it (personally) for fear of microsoft. I've long thought that SuSE may be one that could give end users a good incentive to switch away from microsoft, when Novell bought them I was even more excited (never been a big novell fann though). I'm not going to start running until I see them coming over the top of the hill at me.... and even then I plan to throw a couple rocks first ...

Great! A Chance to Express Myself! (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785547)

People seem to be complaining about some 'reply' function being broken or something.

At any rate, I'll make some statements to start a conversation and if the rest of Slashdot agrees with them, do not respond or refute them:
  • Microsoft is the awesomenest company ever--assimilating Novell's SUSE is just another sign that we need to worship MS.
  • Vote Republican or you kill babies.
  • Linux is a deformed version of something I threw up last night after too much whiskey.
Once again, remember that silence is complacency, I await your responses if you disagree with me!

Re:This makes no sense (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785553)

Wow, what a difference a few years makes. The comparisons you use are strange. I take it you never used windows before NT or 95. What you are _REALLY_saying is that windows has been around so long, the windows way of doing things is what users expect... No, I'm not going to tell you that is a lame way of looking at things, but you seem to think that most users _KNOW_ how things are supposed to be and how they are supposed to work. I deal with users every day that don't know how to do even the simplest tasks in windows, and are amazed when someone knows such things off the top of their head. My point is that your comparison is falacious in that it makes an assumption about what _regular users_ know and want.

What I find is that they want a magic disc that they can put in the slot in the front of their "hard drive unit" and magically everything either works, or fixes itself. They are just as confused about having to run setup from a CD as they are about running an install script. Either one is a kind of "black magic" to them as they don't understand either. Many of them don't know if they have installed software or not, despite having run the installation CD.

The hunt for drivers or updates is something that all computer users used to have to do. The Linux desktop, while not exactly a shining example of easy to use/install software, is still a viable alternative, and if _regular people_ have to learn one OS or another, there is no reason not to learn Linux. Remember, _regular people_ are baffled by every OS, not just Linux. Your ranting is counter productive, and seems to settle on windows simply because its been here for a few years, and until every other OS looks and works like windows, then windows is the only OS to use. This is not sound logical reasoning.

Re:How About a Third Option (1)

drdanny_orig (585847) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785559)

Parent wrote: '"It stinks of Microsoft so it must be bad." I don't see how better interop is bad.'

Man, some smells are just plain BAD, know what I mean?

Alternatives to Suse please (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785583)

First off i like Suse over Debian as cd wise there are less patch bandwidth issues (over quota come back next month) that you get with apt-get, otherwise you have compile it from scratch.

The way we use suse means theres still plenty of config file editing in vi. So don't just think gui config tools

Yes I agree novell will 'die in 5 years' becuase of ms deal. - I guess Umbunto will be the new linux desktop os, but for the servers ? fedora ? / fds ?, Were not willing to go 'enterprise' linux.

Suggestions

Re: ATTN EDITORS:Thread problem (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785593)

Hmm, Slashdot comments mysteriously stop working in the middle of the night. I wonder if this has anything to do with this article [slashdot.org] ? Maybe they should have delayed the release a few more days.

Re:Lets Get Biblical? (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785597)

Switching Linux distros is nothing like cutting off your hand. This deal is a bad deal for Linux and Linux users, and we should not support it.

Awesome plan! (3, Interesting)

Magic5Ball (188725) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785605)

"Microsoft is attempting ... eradicate Linux, sabotage it..."

So the best option is react with:

"Novell/SUSE users and customers should wipe Novell/SUSE off their disks and install virtually any non-Novell/SUSE alternative in its place."

Also:

"I seem to recall Microsoft made five year (or similar length) deals with Sybase, Symantec, Corel, Borland, Citrix, and other companies that thrived before the deals only to be reduced to insignificant gnats afterward."

It's the same plan that they used to kill Apple. Oh, wait...

Frequently asked? (2, Funny)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785611)

Would the question
"Novell's November 2 press release states that, "Novell will also make running royalty payments based on a percentage of its revenues from open source products." Are these payments for a patent license to Novell?"

Really be a question a lot of people made?

Then why is the question:
"Is this a trap?"

Not in there?

THe point is: the term "FAQ" is used too loosely these days. I bet there are better engrish words for this reports.

All right, all right we get the message already... (4, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785617)

I have never used SuSE anyway. I have installed it a couple of time, and I found it bloated and needlessly complicated.

Some companies may buy SuSE, because of the Microsoft deal, but I strongly doubt it. SCO has shown that legal threats do not work. Do you really think IBM will beg for mercy if Novell (or Microsoft) knocks on the door, legal papers in hand? Do you think HP will do the same? What about Sun? I don't think so.

As a matter of fact, the Novell/Microsoft deal may be excellent for the future of Linux: I can see a lot of companies (HP, IBM, Red Hat, Mandriva, Sun, etc) get together and pool legal resources to fight any such threat. And that means -- worst case scenario -- that their combined economic power will simply crush any attempt by Microsoft to be "legally" naughty. The fact is, Linux cannot be stopped right now: there is simply too much interest and too much money at stake for too many people. And I suspect Microsoft knows this: it's simply trying to dip a toe in the water, see how this Linux thing really is working, try to work out some sort of compromise and preserve its profit margin. But it knows it can't fight Linux anymore (or, at least, some parts of Microsoft know that -- some other parts may ignore it).

Open source is an idea whose time has come. And it was Victor Hugo who said: "You can't fight an idea whose time has come". Again, I suspect Microsoft knows this. Hence the Novell deal.

evolution? (1)

ErisCalmsme (212887) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785643)

you ever notice how similar evolution is to outlook? I always thought it was odd to name a program evolution that did more to mimic another application than actually improve anything. I'm not sure I want to stop using it though... it is pretty handy to have all of that stuff bundled together in one app. I bet thats why microsoft has a patent somewhere that says they own the idea.

Re:This makes no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785647)

Novell is jeopardizing the future of Linux for its own short-term rewards.

What, companies thinking in a shortsighted way??!? I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked! This is unheard of, ab-so-lu-te-lay unheard of.

Re:Lets Get Biblical? (1)

SeaPig (649774) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785655)

Actually - Matthew is in the new testament. But I guess that doesn't change your point any.

Re:This makes no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785669)

How about not making this a flamebait thread. I'm a system administrator who won't touch linux because of the lack of simple end-user functionality for my business.

Until Nix can come up with something that Frieda the idiot receptionist can use, it's worthless outside of a server room.

Re:HEY YOU DIPSHIT MODERATORS (1)

fudgefactor7 (581449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785687)

'Cuz the Admins already know about the problem and are working on it. Blasting them in every thread/story/post doesn't make them work faster, you know.

Re:Lets Get Biblical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785689)

Is it really that bad that Microsoft and Novell made this deal?

That depends if Microsoft decides at a later date to go "Old Testatment" and get medieval on other Linux vendors' asses for alleged patent infringements.

Re:This makes no sense (1)

THE ROCK (127208) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785693)


Linux is user-friendly, but it is not idiot-friendly.

Windows is idiot-friendly.

test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785699)

Andy Zebrowitz [encycloped...matica.com] is a faggot

Dont you get it? killing Novell is what MS wants (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785707)

Dont you guys get it?

This 5 year deal with novel is nothing more than a smoke screen.. they are counting on our hatred of Microsoft to blind us and have the same exact reaction you're having right now... a call to boycott Novell... then Microsoft wins... don't you understand? Novell dies... as does SUSE along with them, and there is one less distro for MS to deal with... and for a 5 year thing to burry a company $350 mil is not a bad deal... Trust me, they would get what they wanted for cheap.

Throwing out SUSE today (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785739)

So I'm going to throw out SUSE today in light of this article. Companies who put their effort into FOSS aren't supposed to be making money anyways, right guys? I'd rather make a deal with the devil than give way to Red Hat and Oracle without a fight.

Dumping Novell (4, Insightful)

jdfox (74524) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785741)

quote from TFA:
Novell/SUSE users and customers should wipe Novell/SUSE off their disks and install virtually any non-Novell/SUSE alternative in its place.

Not so easy in a server room, especially in a mixed Windows/*nix server room where Novell's deal with Microsoft doesn't bother management in the slightest, even if you can explain it to them.

An "upgrade" to Red Hat might be the sort of thing that could be explained to the average PHB though, especially if you can make a cost-savings case for it.
We can expect marketing campaigns from Red Hat and Oracle [slashdot.org] anytime now, with "upgrade" deals waved around.

Dump all MONO development for any of the many excellent alternatives, and abandon your investment in all Novell-based open or closed source tools.
Sounds easier: Mono hasn't established a significant base in the corporate market yet. And if Sun GPLs Java [slashdot.org] , you could even start presenting Java as not just more open, but also least-likely-to-be-sued.

Weird times.

SuSE lost me when Novell picked them up. (2, Interesting)

rindeee (530084) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785773)

Perhaps it was an unfair prejudgement on my part, but when Novell picked up SuSE, I went on. Having ridden the "Big Red" bus in the past, I wanted no part of Novell's nonsensical business decisions. SuSE was/is a fine distro, but there are so so many others out there that are better and truly free (CentOS anyone). What is their consumer base these days? Have they really grown since Novell bought them? They used to be huge in Europe, are they still? Perhaps it's ignorance talking, but SuSE just doesn't seem to be anywhere near the distro player that they used to be. Will they really be missed?

Re:SuSE and Microsoft (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785779)

Can you blame people for their paranoia? Microsoft habitually tries to destroy anything that they get involved with -- Apple, Javascript, IBM, etc.

It is not that Microsoft will turn Linux proprietary -- the GPL gets in the way. But consider this scenario: you can run your Linux (SUSE) server, and now, you can use Microsoft technologies! Get the integration you need, you can more easily manage a mixed environment! Five years pass Now, Linux is just a kernel that Microsoft never touches. But they essentially dominate the Linux server market, by simply offering a separate suite of software, all proprietary, that runs on a SUSE platform. Contract expires, and suddenly Microsoft's foot-in-the-door can be used to, say, suddenly migrate their software to another Unix-like OS, under a less restrictive license...and so Linux on the server takes a major hit.

Now, I don't mean to scream "Conspiracy!" but these tactics are typical of Microsoft. As you say, in the end, they are a company -- that must secure profits, both long-term and short-term. Securing a long-term profit by putting the heat on companies like Redhat, IBM, and organizations like Debian is more likely than a sudden philanthropic urge in Redmond.

Re:HELLO EDITORS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785785)

test

Re:Let's look at this objectively (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785789)

and the rest of the world (who has soundly avoided this insanity) will be laughing at the American software industry all the way to the bank.


You mean they will be laughing as they watch the American software industry make repeated and frequent trips to the bank, probably in the form of semi-trailer loadfulls of $100 bills?

Re:Novell is doomed, and they will hurt Linux (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785791)

Time for the Linux community to shun SuSE.

It is not out of line to say that Microsoft is an enemy of the Linux community, and that SuSE just sold out.
It costs us nothing to drop SuSE and switch to an appropriate distro instead.

The only power we have as users of Free and Open software is the power to include and exclude by our choice.

The ideals behind Debian look better every day.

Re:Novell is doomed, and they will hurt Linux (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785795)

It is kinda scary what they're doing.
Yeah I know, I feel the same way. Maybe I just don't understand the intricacies the modern business world, but how is making a deal with your competitor so they won't sue you going to help you any? I understand that M$ is the 800 lb. gorilla in the room and fear of death by lawuits is a real concern, but I can't see that paying "protection money" to M$ is a viable solution to this. Its like negotiatoting with hostage-takers, sure you might gain something in the short-term but in the long-term you're only encouraging them to strike again. By making this deal, isn't Novell is telling M$ (and the rest of us), that there paying this "protection money" is necessary?

Interoperability? (1)

parseexception (516727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785803)

does this mean all those nifty windows virus's I miss out on my SuSE box will now function as designed?

Re:Dont you get it? killing Novell is what MS want (1)

THE ROCK (127208) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785823)


Why would they have to? I was a long time Novell fan, but I eventually had to admit that Novell is no longer relevant in the world today.

The truth is that MS just needs to standby if they want Novell to go away. This seems more like an attempt by them to keep the company alive so they can site them as "competition" for antitrust purposes.

I doubt that Novell will be able turn themselves around like Apple did, they have a history of making terrible business decisions.

Should I do it again?... (4, Insightful)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785825)

As I offered earlier:

"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,"

http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS4685037869.html [linux-watch.com]

That reminds me of another, historical, agreement:

"Under the treaty, England receives directly from Germany a promise not to attack Poland. England does not receive a promise not to attack Germany, and we have not agreed with Germany to any condition that would contradict the conditions of previous treaties. Our agreement does not affect the freedom that Poland or any other country in Europe, including France, has under previous treaties and does not impose any condition that would contradict the conditions of such treaties. Therefore, the treaty is fully compliant with all previous treaties."

Sincerely,

Neville Chamberlain


Re:Mono (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785827)

Mono sucks. Beagle is the best example of something that, if you don't remove it, will regularly max out your cpu. There is no room for a .exe on my massive hard drives.

Novell apparently did this because they wanted to protect mono. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

And now that Java is being open-sourced under the GPL, mono will become even more irrelevant. Talk about bad timing.

There's no reason people can't fork SuSE and OpenSUSE if they want to, or use it as the basis for something else ... or download another distro, or switch to BSD. There are a lot of alternatives - unlike when you get into bed with Microsoft, which is just a case of BOGUS - Bend Over, Grease Up, Sucker!

Re:ATTN EDITORS:Thread problem (0, Offtopic)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785837)

Agreed. I came here to read stuff and all I got what this lousy javascript void(0) error. :P

Re:Let's look at this objectively (1)

cerelib (903469) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785879)

If they are distributing code that is subject to patent, it would only be a violation of the GPL if that code was part of a derivative work of GPL code. They can easily include libraries and applications in their releases without ever linking it to GPL code such as the kernel. If I remember correctly, this is how they got away with keeping Yast closed source for so long. So I am not sure if this addresses what you are after, but I thought I would put in my two cents. The real question is, what code is subject to these patents?

I can see it know (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785887)

I'll run into our director of developement's office,

"Bad news sir, we need to uninstall SUSE right now and migrate all 30 boxes to another linux!"

"What? Why?"

"MS is bad and makes deals with Novel, if we keep SUSE our linux geek cred score will go down by MANY MANY points. We can't have that."

"...are you high again?"

"...maybe"

Re:SuSE and Microsoft (2, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785893)

Every tiny distro out there considers it offensive that they're not included in the deals and financing directly, because they contribute in some way to OSS. Somewhere they've gotten the idea that a small contribution implies ownership of the whole.

It's the same crowd that cries about GPL violations when the software under consideration is licensed under Apache, Mozilla, or a host of other licenses.

Even when dealing with GPL software, they forget that even someone like Stallman who contributed huge amounts of time, effort, and code are still only one team member whose total contribution is still an infinitesmal fraction of the total effort.

If you want to control software, don't use OSS licensing. If you want to share it so everyone can benefit, look into an OSS license that agrees with your personal and business philosophies.

Just remember that virtually every single OSS license out there grants people and companies the right to make money by selling an add on service or product. Packaging and support are a service, and apparently one customers will pay for. The fact that your service or product ideas haven't financed a move out of the basement yet are not the fault of Microsoft, Novell, IBM, or any other company or individual with net-positive revenues.

It's yours. The cheeto-eater. The student with the ideas but no business experience, the theoretician who has proven it works but not built anything useful or saleable from the idea, the idealist who created a great package but has neither mind nor market share.

Figure out a way to convince customers you have something worth paying for, or stop whining that others are more skilled at doing so. Preferably both.

Re:SuSE and Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785897)

Most of us within the open source community are extremely uneasy about the whole idea of Mono, let alone any deals they might make with Microsoft. We think there's far too much uncertainty concerning it. Thus our best bet is to avoid it completely.

And it's not like we don't have options; between Java, Ruby, Python, C, C++, Perl, and a host of other language platforms, we get many of the benefits of Mono without all the legal uncertainty. Furthermore, we often get many technical benefits beyond that which Mono offers.

EXTRA DETAILS ON THREADING PROBLEM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785917)

It appears that if you go to a discussion with a comment whose cid is less than 16777215 and post a reply, the reply works properly. However, if the parent's cid is greater than that, the Parent link won't work or won't show up.

Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785921)

Its called Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish, my friend. We've seen it before, and we'd be surprised not to see it again. A dog kicked several times cowers. Or bites.

Re:HEY YOU DIPSHIT MODERATORS (1)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785923)

Because discussions on the Microsoft/Novell deal aren't the place to talk about the broken comment system?

It's not likely the editors would be able to fix it anyway (plus, they don't even read submissions, why would they read the comments?), if you want it fixed, notify the maintainers of Slashcode [slashcode.com] .

We were standardizing on SUSE... (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785929)

Almost all of our servers were being installed with SUSE. The second that was announced, the company announced it was now standardizing on Red Hat. We'll be spending the next year moving the servers over to Red Hat and all new servers are getting installing with RHEL

Re:SuSE and Microsoft (1)

deanoaz (843940) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785935)

"It just seems odd to me that people are foaming at the mouth over this."

Not if you remember that when Novell made Gnome the default desktop in their Novell Linux Desktop product the boards went berserk claiming that Novell had set out to destroy KDE. It turned out KDE was still supported and is still the default desktop in Novell Enterprise products. The current outcry is predictable if you remember the previous ones.

Novell's mission is to make linux mainstream in enterprises that can afford to pay them for software maintenance, so their strategy makes sense when viewed in that context. Linux suffers from a lot of designed in nuisances that made it a great system for geeks who like mastering diverse, obscure obstacles, but a poor one for general acceptance. Novell is working to improve that, so resistance from geeks who don't really want linux 'dumbed down' for people who just want to get their work done is understandable.

As long as I can still run mono! (1)

twocents (310492) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785941)

What about all of our enterprise apps that are running on mono? As long as my huge company that relies upon those apps 24/7 can still get the support they need, let the world move along as it wishes!

Dang I used to just love SUSE Linux. Their documentation was simply the best. Now their wrapped up with Novell, Microsoft...must ponder this change.

Switching my server. (0)

Skuggi (998859) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785967)

I have a small server that I run FTP and some java game servers on (MegaMek) I've used SuSE as it was my first distro, but I use ubuntu for my desktop environments. Before this post, after hearing about M$ and novell working together, I decided I'm switching my server over to another distro. I have yet to decide which though, but I'm getting rid of SuSE like the plague as is my buddy who I just unfortunatly got hooked up with SuSE.

*BSD IS NOT DYING!!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785969)

Damn!

FreeBSD is starting to look pretty damn good again!

Re:Alternatives to Suse please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785971)

FreeBSD ;-)

O.o (1)

Konster (252488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785975)

MS DNA in the GPL via SuSE?

Gather the troops. :(

Well, the good news is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785985)

... it really didn't take as long as I thought it would to download and
burn the Fedora Core 6 "Zod" CDs.

The bad news is that I bought a copy of SuSE 10.1 that I never got around
to installing, and never will. I'm sorry that Novell didn't bother to notice
that there are some of us willing to go down to CompUSA and buy their
shrink-wrapped product, even it was just to get the paper copy of the manual.

If I had more spare disks, I'd give Debian Etch a try, too.

So long, SuSE - the 10.1 kit was either the 5th or 6th box of yours that I bought -
it's been such a long time, I've forgotten exactly how many. Enjoy getting screwed
by Microsoft...

Re:Another person upholding the elitist stereotype (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785989)

I have to disagree with you, from what I've read MS isn't going to allow linux to run MS products and everything will become standards compliant and everyone will be happy. This seems like they will allow SUSE to have a measure of intermingling use but NO other distro. They have always been in the past, and almost certainly will be in the future, openly hostile to FLOSS. Remember when the now CEO of MS said that it was like AIDS? (or some other virus, I forget)

So this should worry us, and getting rid of SUSE is what we should all be ready willing and able to do to support OSS

test (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16785991)

Andy Zebrowitz [encycloped...matica.com] is still a faggot.

Slashdot Paranoia? (1)

astralbat (828541) | more than 7 years ago | (#16785993)

.. Like we're really that stupid to believe everything on Slashdot is a trap.

looks like some FUD, as the article described it.. (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786011)

The article called something FUD, and that part of the article was in and of itself FUD>

So, lets get this straight, the quotes, paraphrased:
(1) Novell admits no infringement on IP or patented code
(2) Novell is paying MS to keep itself and it's customers from being sued for using MS IP in it's products.

So...

The article is saying (2) suggests that (1) is a lie. Now, IANAL, but it seems to me, if you are paying a royalty for copyrighted/patented/IP stuff, then there is no infringement, so in that matter, (2) actually gurantees that (1) is correct with respect to MS, correct?

So, to keep Linux safe, just make sure that the rest of Linux takes no code from SUSE from this point forward.

Re:Lets Get Biblical? (1)

pnutjam (523990) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786033)

I mean come on, get over it. Linux is linux. Suse, Debian, Ubuntu, Slackware, Red Hat, Fedora,Kannotix...
Some have better support for different hardware or slightly different ways of implementing things.

If SUSE screws up there will always be alternatives. OpenSUSE is not connected to this deal in any way and could easily diverge if they disagree with the direction Novell is taking.

Everybody just needs to calm down.

Stupid anti-MS fanatics (4, Interesting)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786037)

Microsoft appears to be making a strategic alliance with Novell. So what. It's unlikely MS will use this to try to crush competing Linux distros- there is no way they would succeed, and we would all boycott MS AND Novell if they tried something stupid and evil like that. See the SCO vs. IBM case for what happened last time MS tried to destroy Linux- we'd all ignore MS's fud, and they would lose a lot of money in court.

Also, Novell's code is under the GPL. This means that anything Microsoft lets Novell do can be used by anyone else. Thus, MS can't use this to make a 'MS only' version of Linux. In fact, thanks to the GPL, anything Microsoft does to help Novell can help the community as a whole.

Microsoft is not the Devil. Everything they touch is not automatically unclean and corrupted. The worst MS could do is help Novell create a Linux distro that is the standard by which other distros are judged. I know many /.ers are afraid of that- but believe me, there are bigger things to worry about. You should use the OS that best suits your needs- be it Ubuntu, Debian, SuSe, Windows, or OSX.

Re:Let's look at this objectively (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786043)

"Software Patents are Insane."

Especially in the EU, where a software patent must be negotiated in each member nation separately. This entire deal is such an obvious sucker, you'd need a lobotomy not to see it. MS is harboring some kind of puerile fantasy that this 'deal' (read 'protection scheme') will enable it to pull a patent rug out from under GPL'd software - except there is no rug. Repeat: there is no rug. The entire deal is complete vaporware.

Buying SUSE to feel safe only supports the scheme - it doesn't seem to legitimize any vaporous MS patent claims. I do agree that someone should slam novel for violation of the GPL, though.

Re: It just seems odd to me that people are ... (1)

deanoaz (843940) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786045)

"It just seems odd to me that people are foaming at the mouth over this."

Not if you remember that when Novell made Gnome the default desktop in their Novell Linux Desktop product the boards went berserk claiming that Novell had set out to destroy KDE. It turned out KDE was still supported and is still the default desktop in Novell Enterprise products. The current outcry is predictable if you remember the previous ones.

Novell's mission is to make linux mainstream in enterprises that can afford to pay them for software maintenance, so their strategy makes sense when viewed in that context. Linux suffers from a lot of designed in nuisances that made it a great system for geeks who like mastering diverse, obscure obstacles, but a poor one for general acceptance. Novell is working to improve that, so resistance from geeks who don't really want linux 'dumbed down' for people who just want to get their work done is understandable.

Re:Alternatives to Suse please (1)

t0tAl_mElTd0wN (905880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786049)

I catch a bit of crap here and there for taking the "easy way out" with Ubuntu, but you know what? I don't care. I've tried Debian, Fedora (Core 3, just as Core 4 came out, and then upgraded), Slack, and I almost attempted Gentoo, but the install guide scared me so I didn't. I've done my time, I deserve to take the easy way out now ;). Besides, it's good to see a Linux install go so flawlessly - it makes non-Linux users confident that more things can go their way, and that Linux isn't a fight all the way through.

Anyway, right now I have 3 boxes running various flavors of Ubuntu. I have a Desktop PC running Dapper with XGL/Beryl [beryl-project.org] , a Laptop running Xubuntu (Ubuntu with XFCE, rather than Gnome), and an Apache/MySQL/PHP5/FTP/BitTorrent-Tracker/whatever- else-I-feel-like server on an old Dell 533Mhz/64MB RAM/Terabyte Raid0 array running the Ubuntu server version. I use Ubuntu server, rather than Slack or something for two reasons: Hardware support, and Apt. I run Ubuntu as a desktop OS because of Apt, Ease of install, and because it's wicked sexy looking.

I've never tried SuSE, but I can't seem to find anything that Ubuntu can't do for me. (And in case you're wondering, yes, Ubuntu does offer Enterprise support, not that it really matters to me at the moment.)

cool down (4, Interesting)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786057)

As I have written previously [slashdot.org] , the whole thing is primarily a publicity stunt on the part of Microsoft. By being able to point at deals like this, they can attempt to claim that there is something to their claims that they have intellectual property that Linux may infringe on. In addition, the reason the whole thing started is, I believe, a bunch of patents Novell asserted against Microsoft, not the other way around.

But in the end, the deal is legally meaningless because Novell cannot protect just its own customers from lawsuits over (L)GPL software; yes, Novell can agree to cover their customers' legal costs, but should Microsoft ever assert any patents against anybody on a piece of (L)GPL'ed software, Novell's customers have to stop using the software in question (well, technically, they'd just not get any updates, but that amounts to the same thing) just like everybody else, since the (L)GPL does not permit redistribution of software that's patent encumbered.

Potentially, this deal could be used by Microsoft to establish that their patents are "valuable", but I think courts aren't that stupid either. Furthermore, we have had several "worst-case scenarios" involving patents, open source software, and litigious companies, and their long term effect has been nil: open source seems to be able to work around intellectual property issues quite effectively.

In the end, Microsoft has given several hundred million dollars to an open source company for a legally meaningless move and the ability to spread a bunch of FUD. It probably would have looked better for Novell to turn them down, but I don't see it as a really big problem that they didn't, and it's a big chunk of change that will probably fund more open source development.

So, should you still use SuSE? I don't particularly like the company; I think they have always been excessively fond of software whose licenses I consider questionable (including Java and Qt). But I don't see them as a big threat either, and they are contributing to the community. In the end, the whole thing is a tempest in a teapot, except that an open source company is several hundred million dollars richer, which can't be all that bad.

Re:Dancing with the Devil (1)

Ontology42 (964454) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786061)

Once upon a time there was a man with a red hat, and he fixed computers, lots of computers. And lo and behold he found another operating system to play with. And he did play, and the play resulted in a package management system. And then the binaries were free to be played with by all. And then the germans decided that they would modify this package management system, and lo it was good. I bet the only reason for all of this is so that Microsoft can get in edge wise on the exchange killer setup of Suse + OpenLDAP + Mysql + Imap mail (take your pick as to the MTA). The truth is simple, microsoft shops can setup Exchange installations inside of three days. I distinctly remember three weeks fo pain when I tried to replace all that functionality with one linux box. Mind you it was pretty cool, thanks to people like andrew tridgell I had the joy of saying "Well we don't really need that copy of windows 2000, and we are on a very tight budget right?" however the problems went deeper than that. Active Directory and E-directory are competetiors, Novell ensures that one works seamlessly with the other. Now microsoft is going to ensure that AD can support E-Dir. Homogeny is your friend and ally, that and mabye we can get visio ported to Linux? Hell I'd pay for it.

Re:Let's look at this objectively (1)

lixee (863589) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786063)

Say it with me, kids. Software Patents are Insane.
Not directly related, but maybe even more insane are patents on life forms. I just watched a documentary by the widow of Jerry Garcia called "the future of food", and the facts are mind-blowing. A must see!

http://chomskytorrents.org/TorrentDetails.php?Torr entID=2348 [chomskytorrents.org]

Cant wait for OpenSuse 10.2b2 - due today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16786081)

What a great occasion to celebrate the 1st semi-stable release of OpenSuse 10.2 - beta2.

Re:This makes no sense (1)

James McGuigan (852772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786135)

Thats not really a fair comparison, doubly so if you compare against a modern distro like ubuntu. For the linux version, you assume that the graphics drivers and X are not setup. IIRC ubuntu installs these by default, but otherwise are just an apt-get away. If apt-get is too complex, then just fire up synaptic with all its GUI clickity goodness (and IIRC there is now another GUI package manager than just lists the major package-sets by user-friendly names without breaking it down to all the detailed deb package names). Compare this to a Windows XP machine, while it will come with a bunch of several year old drivers, chances are you will need to spend the next couple of hours looking around the net searching for drivers, and then installing each individual program from a CD or downloading them one by one. Maybe your comparison would be more fair if you said that the Windows XP machine was fully setup and configured by the vendor, and the user knew several friends would would help her do simple tasks like install a new program, and that this user was not willing to spend a little bit of time trying to figure out how to solve problems herself and would be more likely to say "OMG this doesn't work... help!!!" as soon as the first popup box that mentioned the word "error" in it appeared. I admit that learning how to properly sysadmin a linux box does have a steeper learning curve than a windows machine (spreading the learning curve for windows over a decade, while working on fully setup machines does make it seem less steep anyway), I'd far prefer to sysadmin a linux box than a windows box. The biggest points against linux at the moment are mostly non-technical ones. Most people are familiar with windows, already have things setup (or been setup) the way they like things (or at least know which buttons to click), know a couple of "techies" who they can ask questions to when things go wrong, and don't usually want to put any time/effort into learning new things. For linux, which doesn't usually come pre-installed with a tech-support helpline, first requires a crash course in sysadmin'ing a machine (how to I partition my hard disk, backup all my old data, setup a bootloader and find compatable/cross-platform applications so I can keep accessing all my data). The very same problems would plague windows if linux has 90% market share and people wanted to try out windows. Also note that most Vista installs will be on new machines, and upgrades will overwite the old OS (thus skipping the whole backup/partition/bootloader issue). For linux to become mainstream, it needs to be significantly better than windows (or for MS to piss people off enough to overcome their ineria). The next big step will be getting linux installed by the big name vendors (as an option) and offering basic tech-support for it. This is just starting to happen (a few isolated models here and there), but is taking its time.

not a problem, no really (4, Interesting)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786137)

Microsoft are trying to bring linux into its own incarnation of the computing world, as every other major competitor to them in this field has faded into insignificance, or gone entirely. Basically they could beat linux if it was competing in the same way they work.

However it isn't, and I think microsoft just haven't grasped that. Open source (which seems to be a phrase under constant re-interpretation), has one interesting attribute, only the fittest survive, not the 'richest'. Money has never equalled success in the FOSS world. Although it can help a truly good product get better, it can't save a bad one. This is entirely different to the closed source world, where money can indeed prop up crap software (IE anyone?).

SUSE has never been the best distro, and its not very populer among the hobbyist userbase. All it has going for it is that microsoft and Novell have an established history of working together, something microsoft don't have with any other linux distributor.

Microsoft had no choice but to pick SUSE, so they have to get what they can from this deal by way of leverage on the linux install base.

They have already proved themselves capable of throwing billions into enterprises that make no money, so the idea that they could push 'microsoft aproved' linux at a loss to corporations and reap benefits by being perceived as an aproved software portal for the corporate world in this new era is entirely plausible.
That would equal control, and that further means they can 'phase out' linux, because they control it, as it 'just isn't good enough'.

Alas, this is a house of cards, and it just won't work. The plain fact is that open source has never really been something one entity controls, so this deal with Novell will harm SUSE, but not gnu/linux as a whole. Microsofts real target is Red Hat, being as they are the major player in the corporate linux world, and Novell is as close as they can get to the Red Hat camp, close enough (they think) to harm its install base.

Yup, SUSE will be harmed, Red Hat may get pinched a bit, but FOSS is controlled by hundreds of thousands of developers, and will barely notice this event. Politics don't generally hurt hackers or prevent them from coding into the night, that's what mailing lists are for. You can't kill FOSS by finding bit of it and jumping up and down on it, and the open source world will always have a nasty habit of pulling a new unexpected innivation out that will deal a serious blow to any advance microsoft have made.

I won't be having anything to do with any novell products now, not that I did much already, I'd decided a long time back that SUSE didn't do linux the way I liked it.

The important deal to work on: GPLv3 (2, Interesting)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786161)

While companies can work out their own deals, and they might be able to do naughty things while still complying with GPLv2, we should be looking at our big deal. The GPL is the closest thing the free software community has to a social contract. We should be looking into how to prevent such harm for v3 of the GPL [fsfe.org] .

Re:Let's look at this objectively (1)

babelworx (879974) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786179)

If you want to look at it objectively, read the press releases and the FAQs first. There is no patent cross license _anywhere_ here. It is a covenant not sue each others _customers_. Novell can still be sued for patent infringement by Microsoft and vice versa. Novell's _customers_ will no longer be sued by Microsoft. This is completely compatible with the GPL. I wish people would stop spreading bull about this cooperation. It is compatible with the GPL. Basta!

http://www.novell.com/linux/microsoft/faq_opensour (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786201)

Novell has released a FAQ bout the agreement. [novell.com] It includes information about Section 7 of the GPL as well as open document format and what it means for mono.
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.

Tis' better to own, than to invent.... (1, Troll)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786207)

Do you hear that laughing sound, /.?

Microsoft gets ready to launch the new cash cow, while at the same time, Linux deals with a nice fat FUD sandwich for a year or so while all this is sorted out. When a company has enough cash to buy your very soul, no amount of criticism or complaining can substitute for competition.

A lot of time over the past 3 years that could have gone into inproving installs for new users, device drivers, and UI, has gone into endless chatter over the GPL and other issues that in the end, don't forward or develop marketshare.

Watch, as your futures burn. Vista can stink to high-heaven, but by March of next year, it will take over and leave us in the dust. Shelves will begin to fill with Vista-ready software, and we will get to once again remember what it must have felt like to have a network based on OS/2 and wonder where the fuck are the apps!

"Better" aint good enough, it never was, it never will be. Until you are ready to kick the giant in the balls, just as Microsoft did to IBM, nothing is going to change. How about a unified device driver model? How about some consolidation? Microsoft treats software as a business. Linux companies treat software as a self esteem project. "Money and profits? Who cares, baby? I can run five flavors of Linux on a 486, and stream video to my PDA for FREE, bitch!"

Will we ever learn? I doubt it. Listen to the laughter coming from Redmond......

Suggestion for a SuSE replacement? (1)

jdeisenberg (37914) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786271)

One of the reasons I'm using SuSE at home (and on the Linux lab that I run at a local community college) is that SuSE comes with a huge number of packages. If there's something I need, it's probably on the DVD, and I don't have to go through the "infinite regress of dependencies."

I like Kubuntu, but its treatment of root is a bit different than what most books describe. That's minor; I'm certainly willing to write some extra material for my students.

In any event, I'd like to know what people are switching to, and why.

To the author of this article.. (1)

nxsty (942984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786291)

If Microsofts intention with this deal was to destroy Linux you are surely doing them a favor by writing rants like this.

bad start... (1)

volgers (545215) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786315)

In the beginning of the article, Nic quotes Novell:

Novell makes no admission that its Linux and open source offerings infringe on any other parties' patents.

And than a few lines later claims:

Wait. Didn't we just read that no such infringements exist?

Sorry, but I do not read such a claim from Novell. They refuse to admit infringements, but in my understanding, this is not the same. Novell's statement is standard comment to protect them against false claims, such as that there are no patent infringements in their code. (Claiming to be fully patant infringement free is, as we all know, impossible to demonstrate.)

With all due respect for Nicholas Petreley, this article starts off with the wrong premise. The rest is a personal opinion, but not related to its stated reasons.

Rant rant (4, Interesting)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786375)

Sometimes Mister Petreley's rants are informed in the Linux Journal /var/opinion. Sometimes not. He quotes in the first part of his rant from the Novell Agreement FAQ [novell.com] :
Novell makes no admission that its Linux and open source offerings infringe on any other parties' patents.

Then he goes on to say near the end:
Take Novell to court over its violation of section 7 of the GPL.

However question #1 in the FAQ is: How is this agreement compatible with Novell's obligations under Section 7 of the GPL? and the reply is:
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.


It also goes on to say that there was no threat of a law suit. so if he's going to call for lawyers to go after Novell for breaching the section 7 of the GPL.........maybe he should get some proof that they did?

Re:SuSE and Microsoft (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786395)

I think most people are worried what influence Microsoft might make on Linux. In reality, Microsoft has already influenced Linux more than people realize. Do you think Linux would be as popular as it is now if there weren't a need for Free (and sometimes free) alternatives to Windows? The key is to get aggressive on desktops and servers. The Linux community has a unique opening to steal Microsoft's customers here. Might as well make use of the situation. And remember, if you are an OSS developer and Novell knocks on your door with a patch that only benefits them, decide if it makes sense to help them and Microsoft.

I think this Novell stunt might have just woken up the world to what they are really like. Perhaps people will start to understand why I don't like dealing with their products. Try supporting netware or groupwise for a living and see if you like them!

Re:Another person upholding the elitist stereotype (1)

hweimer (709734) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786413)

Do you want in the door at Fortune 500 companies?

Um, no. At least not if it endangers fundamental values of the free software movement.

Re:Lets Get Biblical? (1)

a.d.trick (894813) | more than 7 years ago | (#16786441)

Funny, I've always found this to be a little extreme and Old Testament. I guess what I'm saying is I'd rather respond with open arms and understanding/forgiveness than a knife. Is it really that bad that Microsoft and Novell made this deal?

On the more serious note, this is actually from the New Testament, and the New Testament is extreme. Just read through the Sermon on the Mount. It states that if you even think lustful thoughts towards another person, it's just as bad as having commited adultery. The New Testament makes it painfully clear that we there are no 'basically good people', and we are hopeless without God's grace.

Also grace is not the acceptance of sin, so the whole maiming thing is not really out of place. However, your right hand doesn't actually cause you to sin and only 4 year olds try to get off with that excuse ("my hand make me do it"). The thing that must be killed is much deeper — our selfish will. Hence why Paul writes "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me".

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