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Novell/Microsoft Deal Punishment for SCO?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the stranger-things-have-happened dept.

Novell 148

An anonymous reader tipped us off to an article on the Information World site looking at the Novell/Microsoft deal from a new angle. Article author Tom Yager is of the opinion that the deal is Microsoft's punishment for throwing in with SCO. The very public announcement was made, in his opinion, as a stopgap measure against a future lawsuit on Novell's part. From the article: "Novell has exhibited the patience and cunning of a trap door spider. It waited for SCO to taunt from too short a distance. Then Novell would spring, feed a little (saving plenty for later), inject some stupidity serum, and let SCO stride off still cocksure enough to make another run at the nest. That cycle is bleeding SCO, which was the last to notice its own terminal anemia. When it became clear that SCO wouldn't prevail, Microsoft expected only to face close partner IBM. Microsoft did not brace for Novell, an adversary with a decades-long score to settle with Redmond. Through discovery, Microsoft's correspondence with SCO is, or soon will be in, Novell's hands, and it's a safe bet that it will contain more than demand for a license fee and a copy of a certified check."

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148 comments

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262048)

vanilla ice 4eva!

decades-long score to settle (2, Interesting)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262052)

Make it sound like a bunch of children or something. I assure you, it's strictly business.

Strictly business (3, Funny)

ENOENT (25325) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262200)

Does that mean that someone is going to wake up next to a horse's head?

Re:decades-long score to settle (4, Funny)

mysticgoat (582871) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262744)

Make it sound like a bunch of children or something.

That would make reporting and editorializing about these matters extremely difficult, since the central figure around which all this stuff appears to revolve is a tantrum-prone, potty-mouthed, chair-throwing monkey-dancer.

Re:decades-long score to settle (5, Interesting)

quill_n_brew (1011327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262748)

"Make it sound like a bunch of children or something. I assure you, it's strictly business."

IANAL -- but I have worked with several through the years, particularly the corporate variety. Whether their true character is so or not, many lawyers feel a professional obligation to act as scraping, vindictive rats on behalf of their parent/client. They are best rewarded by said parent for this. The paradox: you might assume their company officers lead and encourage this MO, but the truth is they are often surprised (though secretly delighted) when the more aggressive, nitpicking, predator patience from the legal pack pays off.

It's never really clear who navigates a company, after it gains a certain shape and size. Lawyers think the parent wants X; parent thinks lawyers want X... (Y? I dunno...) In short, they *are* a bunch of children flicking sand about from their box in the play yard. It's just how things get done -- so, yes, it is strictly business.

Try not to ascribe too much higher thinking here. Intelligence, yes -- enlightenment, no.

I know: it all sounds like a lot of simple-minded lawyer bashing. Believe it or not, most I've worked with were cool humans. But with their suits on, Mr. Hyde had rein.

I am inclined to think that in *less* than the prescribed five years, Novell might be saying to MS from their deathbed, "You had me at hello."

Re:decades-long score to settle (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263548)

I am inclined to think that in *less* than the prescribed five years, Novell might be saying to MS from their deathbed, "You had me at hello."

WHO'S deathbed, MS or Nov?

Re:decades-long score to settle (3, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263754)

WHO'S deathbed, MS or Nov?
We'll tell you in five years. Be patient.

Re:decades-long score to settle (2, Insightful)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264162)


Make it sound like a bunch of children or something. I assure you, it's strictly business.


Ob Quote
Micheal Corleone about his father - "It's all personal, every bit of business. He takes
everything personal. Like God."

Re:decades-long score to settle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17265746)

from the article...

Through discovery, Microsoft's correspondence with SCO is, or soon will be in, Novell's hands, and it's a safe bet that it will contain more than demand for a license fee and a copy of a
certified check. .

Microsoft buys indemnity.

Re:decades-long score to settle (1)

echusarcana (832151) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265876)

I deal with Novell. Novell is not big. Novell is not smart. Novell is a bunch of marketing guys having "conversations" with each other selling a bunch of old crap and half-integrated products purchased from other people.

Novell is gonna get obliterated. They just don't have a clue.

Oracle, Redhat, Ubuntu, Sun, and IBM should pool their resources and take on Microsoft cause that's about how big an army it is going to take.

I fear for the future (2, Insightful)

Praedon (707326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262064)

My personal opinion was that Novell should not have accepted such a deal, and that the end result would bring a major shock wave all through the world. With todays growing number of lawsuits, the continued smack talking (like Palmer did earlier last month) and other things, I feel this may be a turn for the worst.

Another growing concern that I have, is that the GPL may have to go rounds with all of this, and everyone who has contributed over the years, many many useful tools and services that plays an active role in a linux OS. Here's hoping that these fears are not made into reality....

The GPL *should* go rounds with all this... (2, Interesting)

brennanw (5761) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262142)

I'd like to see the GPL upheld in court once and for all. A valid license is a valid license, and it'd be nice to see at least some of the FUD surrounding it smacked down via a court ruling.

Re:The GPL *should* go rounds with all this... (4, Informative)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262418)

I'd like to see the GPL upheld in court once and for all. A valid license is a valid license, and it'd be nice to see at least some of the FUD surrounding it smacked down via a court ruling.

It has been... several times in several countries... most recently is was the fool Wallace who got told where to go by an American court [groklaw.net]

Re:The GPL *should* go rounds with all this... (3, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262564)

It has been... several times in several countries... most recently is was the fool Wallace who got told where to go by an American court

And to add the usual point...even if the GPL were somehow found invalid, it means you have NO license to distribute the software, and thus have not helped your case any! As you point out, Wallace's assertion that the GPL was somehow synonymous with public domain won't stand scrutiny by even the dumbest judge. ANd that's saying something.

Re:The GPL *should* go rounds with all this... (1)

One Louder (595430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263298)

...even if the GPL were somehow found invalid, it means you have NO license to distribute the software, and thus have not helped your case any!
It depends upon what you're trying to accomplish.

If you're trying to use the code without releasing the source, then you're right.

However, if your purpose is to destroy the entire GPL ecosystem, then a rejection of the license on that basis would be quite a coup - you'd render all redistribution of GPL-licensed software illegal.

Re:The GPL *should* go rounds with all this... (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264822)

However, if your purpose is to destroy the entire GPL ecosystem, then a rejection of the license on that basis would be quite a coup - you'd render all redistribution of GPL-licensed software illegal.

What would be the case? For example, would I sue to invalidate a license granted to me by the GPL? That doesn't make much sense. Would I claim some strange entrapment argument?

The only arguments I can see is on the fringe, as to what constitutes a program, and people playing weasel games (as some have been known to) to try an end around the GPL by releasing a GPL-compliant stub program and a larger closed-source program that actually contains the real functionality. But that doesn't really invalidate the GPL so much as potentially require tightening of the language.

Can anyone think of a legit type of case that could cause real problems for the GPL?

Re:The GPL *should* go rounds with all this... (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263466)

And to add the usual point...even if the GPL were somehow found invalid, it means you have NO license to distribute the software, and thus have not helped your case any!


You seem to think that a license can only be found completely valid or completely invalid by a court.

That is not the case.

Re:The GPL *should* go rounds with all this... (5, Insightful)

fedorowp (894507) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262642)

It has been upheld in the courts in Germany, but the reason why it hasn't been litigated in most countries, including here in the US, is because it's clear and simple.

Here's a comparison. Let's say a town counsel passes an ordinance that says you are not permitted to park your car on the street without a parking permit available for purchase from the clerk at city hall, and if you have such a permit, you are only allowed to park on the street according to the conditions on it. You then go to the clerk, buy a parking permit which reads right on it, "The holder if this permit is entitled to park one vehicle on roads in the town for not more than seven days." You then proceed to park your Hummer for three months on Main Street, and as might be expected, your vehicle gets towed.

You get pissed, so naturally, you want to hire a lawyer. The only two approaches your lawyer could argue are either:
A) The parking permit is invalid.
-or-
B) You can park anywhere you want, and you never needed a permit to begin with.

Which argument has a chance of succeeding?

Consider that there is a history of cases unanimously upholding that towns can pass any parking laws they want, and that they can tow your vehicle if you don't follow them.

Your only chance of success is arguing the parking permit is invalid. Unfortunately, NOTHING ELSE GRANTED YOU PERMISSION TO PARK YOUR VEHICLE. With that pertinent piece of information, perhaps one might be better off not spending a lot of time and money challenging the parking permit.

The GPL is like that parking permit. Nothing else grants you permission to distribute the software copyrighted by other people unless you agree to its terms.

So of course it _could_ be tested in court, but spending a lot of time and money to do so will never result in you being permitted to distribute the software without following the terms of a valid license. At best, all could ever accomplish is loosing your right to distribute the software at all.

Re:The GPL *should* go rounds with all this... (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264920)

At best, all could ever accomplish is loosing your right to distribute the software at all.

Which is fine for some, as long as everybody loses that right. Some would pee in the fountain, so long as it ruins the resource, and preserves monopoly privileges for the few.

Re:The GPL *should* go rounds with all this... (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265928)

Well, it's not exactly a car analogy but close enough!

Now we just need the little guy with the mustache to be done.

Re:The GPL *should* go rounds with all this... (1)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264116)

I'd like to see the GPL upheld in court once and for all. A valid license is a valid license, and it'd be nice to see at least some of the FUD surrounding it smacked down via a court ruling

Its not that easy, I don't think you can have a once and for all case. There are two issues that need to be established. It is pretty clear that the GPL does give permission to others to use the code in pretty much any way they choose. It is not so clear that the restrictions on redistribution are enforceable.

On the Novell thing I really don't think it is at all likely that there is anything incriminating written on paper. Microsoft and SCO both know what the score is there.

It makes perfect sense for Microsoft to pay SCO $20 million rather than spend the more than $50 million IBM has spent littigating the SCO/IBM case so far.

The Novell deal is simply another logical step in Microsoft's efforts to keep alive some semblance of competition and to clear the decks of any and all potential IPR issues. I would not read anything more into it than that. Novell is a rather sick bunny. If Novell goes under the assets are likely to be bought by a patent troll and they will go after Microsoft. Much better to cut a reciprocal deal now while Novell has an incentive to come to the table and license Microsoft IPR.

why shouldn't they? (2, Interesting)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263176)

My personal opinion was that Novell should not have accepted such a deal


Why ever not? They received several hundred million dollars from Microsoft, without giving Microsoft anything or committing to anything.

I agree (2, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264686)

For similarish reasons. One threat I see is that if Microsoft violates the GPL on a Novell product, there may be something in the contract Microsoft can use to void the GPL as a whole even if they lose. They know how to work the system and we should assume that they have not entered this contract with any more respect for the spirit of it than they did with the Windows 95 non-integration deal, the Spyglass IE deal, or any other deal they've ever entered.


For all we know, Microsoft entered this deal to secure indemnity against actions they have performed that threaten Novell's very existence, but which Novell know nothing about. It's not like they've never been prosecuted for unethical business practices before, or been found guilty of them, so one must wonder why they were so keen on this agreement BEFORE Novell learned the full facts. It is possible that the full facts will prove fatal only because the deal was entered - again, that has happened before and we cannot ignore that as a possibility.


Paranoid? No, you're not paranoid when they really ARE out to get you. Seriously, I'm not saying that Microsoft is doing anything shady here. All I can say is that the "Get The Facts" campaign, the EU lawsuits, prior actions by Microsoft involving agreements with other companies (such as spyware/anti-virus vendors) and prior comments by Microsoft indicating extreme hostility and antipathy towards Linux and its vendors, are all indicative of motives that are somewhat less than snow white, pure and radiant. They are not stupid and did not enter this for Novell's benefit, any more than their deal with anti-virus vendors ending with crippling those same vendors was in the interests of those other parties.


If a banana plantation enters an agreement with an 800 lb. gorilla armed with a machine-gun, it is safe to assume that the gorilla will be extremely happy with the outcome - no matter what.

Enough (3, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262078)

Can we stop treating this as some kind of corporate soap opera? I'll be happy when Slashdot can once again focus on the technical features of SuSE Linux or other Novell software, together with how well it respects the freedoms of its users. Those are things we can have some knowledge of and discuss sensibly, rather than speculating and fanboying.

Re:Enough (4, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262166)

I'll be happy when Slashdot can once again focus on the technical features of SuSE Linux or other Novell software, together with how well it respects the freedoms of its users. Those are things we can have some knowledge of and discuss sensibly, rather than speculating and fanboying.

You must be new here :)

Re:Enough (0, Flamebait)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263162)

by Ed Avis (5917) on Friday December 15, @05:02PM (#17262078)
(http://membled.com/)
Can we stop treating this as some kind of corporate soap opera? I'll be happy when Slashdot can once again focus on the technical features of SuSE Linux or other Novell software, together with how well it respects the freedoms of its users. Those are things we can have some knowledge of and discuss sensibly, rather than speculating and fanboying.

  by drinkypoo (153816) on Friday December 15, @05:07PM (#17262166)
(http://www.hyperlogos.org/ | Last Journal: Tuesday November 28, @05:14PM)

        I'll be happy when Slashdot can once again focus on the technical features of SuSE Linux or other Novell software, together with how well it respects the freedoms of its users. Those are things we can have some knowledge of and discuss sensibly, rather than speculating and fanboying.

You must be new here :)

lets see 5917 vs 153816 last I checked 5917 (four digits) was smaller then 153816 (six digits) so who is new? Ed Avis (in web years) is like really old. So yes I'll get off your lawn now Ed.

  and yes my number whatever it is is a lot higher...

Re:Enough (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263528)

The war for oil is a war for the beast
The war on terror is a war on peace

What rock have you been living under?

Paraphrase a popular Sci-Fi movie.

Listen. And understand. Those terrorist are out there. They can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. They doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

Sure flame bait me but this tag shows just how clueless you are.

Re:Enough (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265102)

You must be new here :)

Well, he did post his e-mail address in cleartext as his sig.

Re:Enough (1)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265120)

Look at the user ID's. It's you who is new here. In fact, he was here a long time ago, when slashdot really was a place to read about cool technology innovations and geeky subject matter. Now, ever third story is policital in nature and every 10th story is nothing but a link to a groklaw article.

I miss the old slashdot as well.

Re:Enough (2, Insightful)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262348)

I'll be happy when Slashdot can once again focus on the technical features of SuSE Linux or other Novell software, together with how well it respects the freedoms of its users.

We may not be able to do this for much longer, if any of these idiotic lawsuits actually succeed.

Hence, the keen interest in the proceedings.

Re:Enough (2, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263152)

'The proceedings' of important lawsuits are fine. I'm quite happy to read about what happened in court or Groklaw's analysis of the latest ruling. That does not include witless speculation and vapour from pundits on Infoworld or anywhere else.

Re:Enough (0)

bonch (38532) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262686)

I miss the days when Slashdot was a little more technical in its articles. There was some nice science and math coverage along with the programming stuff. It's a bit more sensationalist now, and the stories seem a little more "mainstream," though they are still geek-centric.

Such a transformation happened to Digg this year, which used to post a lot of programming articles and technical news and became a more mainstream, sensationalist link site. And the same happened to Kuro5hin before that, which used to draw me because of its fine science news until it became a political mouthpiece for liberals (No offense, liberals. I just wanted science news).

The features of Novell software no longer relevant (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263280)

The moment they signed this secret deal to insert MS patented IP into their Linux software all their products became toxic. They can't undo it. They've taken the money and signed a pact in conflict with the well being of their customers. All balking from the deal would do now is make them dishonest both ways. Stick a fork in them. They're done.

Re:The features of Novell software no longer relev (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264524)

That's not what happened or is happening, the deal is M$ will not sue the customers of Novell for infringement of M$ patents in Novell products; M$ isn't even saying that they found patented technologies in Novell product, just that they will not sue. There is also work to insure interoperability of SuSE Linux and M$ products for which Novell is getting paid, considering how well Linux plays with M$ when given half a chance, I'd consider it free money and likely paid more from guilt in hopes it'll be seen as a peace offering

I respectfully disagree (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265542)

MS says patent infringements are in linux, implying SuSE. Novell says they didn't admit to it -- not the same thing as denying it. They took the money, and the public assurances from MS that they won't sue the customers. Implied here is that Novell is performing a service for their $300M, to wit: inserting patented methods into their linux products. More than implied, it's directly stated with their immediately following project announcements. The point of the secret agreement is to provide a five year window where Novell linux products have enhanced features for integration with MS platform of products to the detriment of other Open Source companies. After the five years, just when Novell's linux products are really taking off, MS gets to nix the renewal and eat Novell's corpse, to the detriment of everyone else on the planet except Microsoft's lawyers.

There is no guilt money here, no peace offering. This is the basic sale of soul for brief wealth and certain damnation deal popular in classical fiction and Microsoft business strategy. It keeps working because after four years of phenomenal returns the C?Os get to exercise huge options and retire; their long term strategy doesn't require the survival of any of the other players.

In short, nobody wise would have anything to do with any of these people. They have made a secret agreement between them not to bargain with us in good faith.

Re:Enough (3, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263492)

It's hard to do that when it takes years and millions of dollars to deal with one case like SCO, even when it's clear to the industry that they don't have a leg to stand on. At least with the dollars and legal teams behind Novell and IBM it'll eventually be settled once and for all -- hopefully leaving SCO and company wide open for damages.

Another spin I've wondered about is whether Microsoft might be preparing for the possibility of renewed anti-trust investigations and a future breakup. Such a conviction would likely demand that they divest themselves of either Office or Windows, so having Novell ready with a POSIX-compliant OS that runs Mono/.Net, Java, and other key Microsoft applications would be very good for the Microsoft user community.

Novell is already very well prepared and experienced to take up the file, print, and authentication services as well, should that prove necessary.

Time will tell...

Re:Enough (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263560)

Someone is bound to say "No way! Microsoft would never..."

But a good businessman covers the possibilities, regardless of how likely they seem. No one would ever accuse Bill Gates or the rest of Microsoft's management team of being incompetent in that regard.

Look at IBM. Once renowned as the biggest and slowest changing organization in the industry, they're now more agile than most, and still huge. Even a bankruptcy or breakup aren't that scary to people who manage such large organizations. If anything, the bumps and pratfalls are kind of expected.

They'd sign a permanent deal, in that case. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262130)

No, that makes no sense when their deal will expire in 5 years. If that was the intent, they'd have signed some form of permanent, non-revocable license (see IBM's licenses with SCO).

That way, no matter who ends up purchasing whom or whomever's patents, the deal is still safe (again, look at IBM's licenses with SCO and how many companies they were passed through).

Re:They'd sign a permanent deal, in that case. (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262276)

MS likes making 5 year deals. It worked out good for Apple in the long run, they became more successful then ever before.

Never ascribe to malice... (4, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262134)

... what can adequately be explained by incompetence. In this case, SCO's incompetence, and utter lack of any kind of sane case. What might look like Novell slowly but surely bleeding SCO dry could just be SCO's braindead stubbornness in pursuing their case, or lack thereof.

I don't really know the legality and details of the SCO case or the MS/Novell agreement, but this sounds way too clever and complicated for the average corporation to pull off. If Novell is so smart and crafty, why can't they do a better job competing against MS in the marketplace? Does Novell's business acumen lie only in creating clever trapdoors in risky legal deals? It sounds more like the author is writing the plot for a corporate-legal thriller than any analysis of reality.

Re:Never ascribe to malice... (1)

ballwall (629887) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262372)

It's the same with all sorts of conspiracy theories...

After the fact it's easy to point fingers at people who take advantage of or had something to gain from some action when all of the pieces are known. Before the action though, it's much, much harder to predict how everything is going to play out, which (I think) is giving way too much credit to possible conspirators. Too many things could go wrong in most cases for someone to take a risk in the conspiracy in the first place.

Re:Never ascribe to malice... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262718)

Never ascribe to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

Never ascribe to incompetence what can adequately be achieved through malice.

As in... If you are going to do something bad to someone... The smartest thing to do is make it look like you did it out of stupidity and then plead ignorance.

That way they stay your friend or don't fire you and give you a scolding instead.

Not that I know anything about deleting important user files when they call me up harassing me about deadlines. It was the Sun Spots!

Re:Never ascribe to malice... (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263188)

... what can adequately be explained by idiocy. In this case, SCO's idiocy, and utter lack of any kind of sane case. What might look like Novell slowly but surely bleeding SCO dry could just be SCO's braindead stubbornness in pursuing their case, or lack thereof.
~
~
~
~
:%s/incompetence/idiocy/g


There, now we agree completely...

Re:Never ascribe to malice... (1)

MULTICS_$MAN (692936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264534)

Novell actually does quite well in competition where the playing field is relatively level. Don't underestimate their cunning either.

Novell competing with Microsoft (2, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264844)

If Novell is so smart and crafty, why can't they do a better job competing against MS in the marketplace?

Or, as one of my coworkers put it at our company Christmas party last night: "The Novell/Microsoft deal is easy to explain. Novell has already given Microsoft all its NetWare customers. They don't have any left to give. So they have no choice but to start finding Linux customers to give to Microsoft. Novell is actually the most diabolically clever sales tool that Microsoft ever invented."

Oh, how we laughed.

typical (3, Insightful)

splatterboy (815820) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262186)

I guess this guy has never read/heard of groklaw... He probably thought SCO really had something 3 years ago, and now he's on the IBM/Novell bandwagon. Discovery in the IBM case is over and if there was evidence of Microsoft correspondence they would have found it already. PJ's take on the Novell/Microsoft contract is pretty much the opposite and she has a legal backround with OSS experince as well. He's grasping at straws.

Re:typical (2, Informative)

exspecto (513607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262314)

Just an FYI, this is the first article of Tom Yager's (author of TFA) I could find that mentioned the SCO fiasco:

http://www.infoworld.com/archives/emailPrint.jsp?R =printThis&A=http://weblog.infoworld.com/yager/arc hives/2003/08/its_going_to_ge.html [infoworld.com]

He appears to have been against them from the beginning.

Re:typical (1)

splatterboy (815820) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262516)

Yes, I was too lazy to check out his history. SCO Hasn't been worth more than cursory investigation for awhile.

IBM hasn't said what they found (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262320)

And SCO redacts all kinds of stuff.

The evidence for SCO being an M$ sockpuppet could all still be there, waiting to come out in trial.

And there will be a trial in SCO v. IBM. Even though SCO's case has been reduced to its true essence (nothing...), IBM's counterclaims all still stand.

Re:IBM hasn't said what they found (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262940)

Also: SCO has been fighting to avoid releasing a bunch of info from the IBM/SCO case to Novell, so you really don't know precisely what the IBM case has that would get Novell's lawyers all giddy.

Also, IBM might be saving up their info on the (purported) SCO/MS collusion for later lawyering.

Re:typical (2, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262352)

Anyone who thinks that the Microsoft/Novell deal was anything other than a coup for MS either doesn't get it or has far more inside knowledge than anyone else on this planet.

If this was really a punitive deal... (2, Insightful)

evil_Tak (964978) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262190)

...it would have been entirely one-sided, not give and take like the actual agreement was.

what give and take? (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263214)

In the end, Microsoft ends up giving several hundred million dollars to Novell. All the taking is "virtual"--a small face saver for Microsoft that has no real significance.

No (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262202)

This is not what happened. What happened was that Microsoft offered Novell a deal, and Novell took it, and Novell will die from it. The deadly spider is Microsoft.

Not just Novell. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262360)

Microsoft is more like a roach trap, rather than a spider. Not only will Novell die from the poison, but it's potentially bringing back that poison to everyone else in the open source community before it dies.

Put simply, code from Novell must now be considered "contaminated", whether it actually is or not. It's just not worth it for any open source project, especially the major ones like the Linux kernel, OpenOffice, GNOME, GCC, X.org, etc., to accept code contributed by Novell.

We really don't know how their deal with Microsoft legally affects code produced there. As such, it's in the best interest of protecting everyone else in the open source community to avoid anything coming out of there. There's just too much uncertainty, and the stakes are far too high.

why is this relevant? (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262286)

Every day I read some news about Microsoft and Novell, IBM, etc. What's the big deal? Their "agreements", or whatever, don't change anything we can see. Even if they agree not to step on each other's grass, they keep doing it anyway, because of their "Shark" methods (or just plain western capitalism). Then they sue each other, and the cycle starts all over.

But hey! I don't see the news about their lawyers having dinner together or going to some party. But they do! They take their eyes out in court, but outside they are friends. It's just lawyers justifying their salary. They make a big circus out of it to get a juicy paycheck.

All of this, because these operations are published in slashdot, where people don't understand a thing, but they talk anyway, as if Novell signing with SuSE will change SuSE linux or something. Well, if it does, just get a new distro.

The actual meaning for this (getting published in massive media) is so that "investors" (the ones that don't know jack about corporate operations) will buy/sell more stock of one of these companies. They're just stirring the water to make it less boring.

Early Worm Gets the Bird (5, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262302)

And Microsoft, the most patient and cunning of predators (especially on the Web), coaxes Novell out if the herd with promises to treat it like a pet, not as meat. Then MS attacks the herd, suing the rest of the Linux distributors for patent infringement, including infringement of the Novell patents MS licenses under their Novell deal.

Then MS finds another way to kill and eat Novell, once Novell can't rely on safety in numbers of Linux distributors. Like MS incorporating a "Linux mode" for either "migrating" Linux source code to Windows, or just a reverse "Wine" (Line-ux, anyone?) that runs Linux apps with a (secret) Linux -> Windows API.

The MS/Novell deal looks good to Novell when it discounts the value of its own competitors in Linux vendors, and the collective value of their threat to Linux, instead greedily eying the entire Linux industry for itself. That greed could be its downfall when it ignores the Linux community, blinded by the Linux product for which MS will kill it.

Re:Early Worm Gets the Bird (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262552)

Then MS finds another way to kill and eat Novell

If Microsoft succeed in taking on the other mainstream Linux distributions, they don't need a way to kill and eat Novell. Remember that a lot of Linux development is undertaken by the various commercial entities such as RedHat, IBM et al. If they're out of the equation, suddenly Novell are left with an operating system which is dying on the vine as nobody else is supporting it.

Of course, this is all 5-10 years in the future here and the way Microsoft are going, I think the IT landscape will be very different in 10 years.

Re:Early Worm Gets the Bird (2, Funny)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263024)

suddenly Novell are left with an operating system which is dying on the vine as nobody else is supporting it
Huh. Novell stuck with a dying OS that nobody else is supporting. Why is it that sounds so familiar?

Re:Mod Parent Insightful (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262928)

Parent is exactly right.

I've been trying figure out a way to describe the Novell/Microsoft situation for weeks.

Write this one down because this is exactly how the corporate mind works and how Microsoft's game will play out.

Writer doesn't have a clue. Microsoft doesn't get "punished" by anyone.

Re:Mod Parent Insightful (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265004)

Here here. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer...

Re:Mod Parent Insightful (2, Informative)

strider44 (650833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265910)

No it's not - the corporate mind isn't as stupid as either of you are.

Lets see the holes in the argument.

Firstly, a patent deal doesn't make patent infringements magically appear. Novell's deal with Microsoft has no legal bearing on Linux at all - NONE. If Microsoft can sue with the deal they can sue without the deal.

Secondly, even if there are patent infringements in Linux that probably would only minorly affect Linux - the patents would be only valid and enforceable in the US while the major centre of development is outside of the US in Europe and others. It would only affect people trying to use Linux in the US and, quite simply, there's now more money invested with Linux as a base than there is in Microsoft's whole market cap, so the economic impact of the patents for America would outweigh the impact on the Linux developers. Besides this, the PR for Microsoft would be, let's put it mildly, horrific.

Thirdly, Linux code is GPL - it can't disappear and even if it infringes on Microsoft patents that doesn't mean Microsoft owns the code. They can't incorporate Linux code into Windows without making the Windows kernel GPL - patents != copyright.

Forthly and finally (and pretty much refuting every single word that the grandparent said) there's no reason for Microsoft to want to run Linux apps. There's simply no incentive for them to make a reverse wine - if there was they don't need any patent infringements to do it now...

Re:Early Worm Gets the Bird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262944)

I don't really get what the point of Microsoft killing Linux would be. Microsoft has and continues to carry the stink of a monopoly, a smell which has and continues to get it in legal trouble at home and in Europe. I can't imagine how fast the dogs would be tearing it to pieces if it killed and ate Linux. After all, it's hard to say you're not a monopoly after you just devoured one of your two last real remaining competitors. If Microsoft stands alone in the operating system market, what will happen to it? What happened to the Bell Telephone Company?

I think Microsoft's best bet is to keep Linux alive. It's a large but decentralized (and often divided) enemy. After all, despite it's general hatred for Microsoft it's less capable of a focused assault on MS market share than a unified opponent like Apple, which has been gaining users with a cohesive, easy-to-use product and multi million dollar advertising campaigns. Hell, the best thing Microsoft could do is keep Linux around, and hope that binary driver issues, inconsistent interfaces, idealogical differences, and a "you need to be a computer genius with lots of time to do anything in Linux" stigma keep the average users buying Vista licenses. It's better to attack Apple than Linux, and I'm sure Microsoft knows it.

After all, the foremost goal of the GNU/Linux community is to produce a high quality OS that's an alternative to commercial, closed source operating systems, not to get every last person on the planet using Linux. The goal of Apple on the other hand is to get every possible person paying for a Mac. If you were Microsoft, which enemy would you rather leave around?

The captcha I have to answer to post is "chilling".

Re:Early Worm Gets the Bird (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263418)

MS doesn't get in trouble because of vague innuendos of monopoly. It is a monopoly, even officially declared one in the US. It's market abuse gets it into trouble. But it does it anyway, because monopoly market abuse is profitable.

Even Apple finally broke the "necessary to prove MS isn't a pure monopoly", by getting MS to invest $150M in Apple, a meaningful sum at the time, in exchange for various concessions that make it something of a partnership. Because Apple couldn't compete in the market against Microsoft, even though (but because) MS was one of the biggest Mac SW vendors. And MS continues to compete hard against Apple - harder than against Linux, because Linux isn't as big a competitor as is Apple, despite their complex deal.

There isn't going to be any "my bodyguard [imdb.com] " coming around to make the big bad monopoly stop. We almost got that with the "final" monopoly judgement, but then Bush let MS off the hook, because he loves monopolies, as has his Republican Congress. But the new Democratic Congress has no brief to stop monopolies, least of all Microsoft which usually bribes^Wdonates more money to Democrats than to Republicans.

So the simple answer is that the point of MS killing Linux is to kill competition. Seems simple. The arguments against that are complicated, and ultimately baseless.

Re:Early Worm Gets the Bird (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264644)

They're pretty damn close to their pre-1984 size, especially if the BellSouth merger goes through. Let's see, what's left? Qwest, Verizon, Lucent and Telcordia, and the last two are small fries.

-uso.

just FUD (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263248)

Then MS attacks the herd, suing the rest of the Linux distributors for patent infringement, including infringement of the Novell patents MS licenses under their Novell deal.

MS won't sue anybody for patent infringement because they know it's pointless. I mean, who are they going to sue? You? Me? RedHat? Fedora? My cat? Even if they have a valid and enforceable patent, it will be worked around within a day of them filing any lawsuit.

Furthermore, the Microsoft/Novell deal doesn't protect Novell or its customers: if there actually were a patent infringement lawsuit, everybody would effectively have to stop using the software until the infringing code has been removed.

This entire "Microsoft patent" crap is pure FUD, and you are spreading it.

Your SCP (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263340)

MS can stop distributors from distributing until the court determines that they are no longer distributing infringing code.

When they sue RedHat, they will cripple RedHat's finances and management bandwidth. When they sue individuals, like the RIAA has, they will scare developers away in the short term. The long term will see more developers work on Windows rather than Linux. Both because of the intimidation, and the "winning platform".

The Microsoft deal with Novell licenses MS patents to Novell, which of course protects Novell from lawsuits on those patents.

The strategy I, along with many others, have detailed is legally valid and powerful business. It's debatable, like any prediction of the future, but I have backed up my projections with detailed facts and logic.

While you have done nothing but make empty assertions on bad logic and false facts. With an obnoxious, insulting post. Stupid Certainty and Faith, the new "SCP" sweeping the loudly inane.

Shut up until you have something to say worth hearing.

Re:Your SCP (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263576)

MS can stop distributors from distributing until the court determines that they are no longer distributing infringing code.

Quite right: MS can stop distributors from distributing individual pieces of software that are infringing. They will remain infringing for, oh, probably about a day after Microsoft actually comes through saying what specifically is infringing. Give it another couple of days for the binary packages to be updated. Users won't even notice a hiccup in their update pipeline.

The Microsoft deal with Novell licenses MS patents to Novell, which of course protects Novell from lawsuits on those patents.

No, it doesn't. If RedHat has to stop distributing, then so does Novell. Microsoft may choose not to sue them, but the actual copyright holders of that software very much would, and they could and would get a court order against Novell to do so.

The strategy I, along with many others, have detailed is legally valid and powerful business.

No, the strategy you have detailed is naive and exactly what the GPL was intended to prevent. And it prevents it.

Stop spreading FUD about open source software and licenses.

one more thing (2, Interesting)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263706)

One more thing: because Microsoft actually becomes a distributor of SuSE Linux under this agreement, they automatically grant everybody a license to any patent that any GPL'ed part of SuSE Linux might contain. Well, strictly speaking, they only grant a license to the recipients of those copies, but because that license is transferable, they grant it to the world.

After signing this contract, Microsoft's entire claims of patent violations in Linux pretty much completely collapse.

Re:Early Worm Gets the Bird (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263462)

Then MS attacks the herd, suing the rest of the Linux distributors for patent infringement, including infringement of the Novell patents MS licenses under their Novell deal.

The first half -- okay. Microsoft can obviously sue people for violating their patents, if that is what they think is going on.

The second half... not so much. Licensing a patent does not give you standing to sue for infringement of that patent. Only the holder of the patent has that legal standing.

Re:Early Worm Gets the Bird (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263582)

It depends on the license. But even so, any license that doesn't allow MS to [force Novell to] sue infringers is worthless, so I don't believe it exists that weak.

It's a distinction without a difference.

It's called CygWin. (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264306)

Red Hat supports (used to support?) it.

There are others, but that's the version I'm familiar with. The last time I tried it, over 5 years ago now, it couldn't successfully run KDE unside of MSWind98. Close though. Even then if you were satisfied with native MS windowing, it was quite good.

Stupid Article... (0, Troll)

aJester (954798) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262390)

What is the author smoking?
That was the stupidest (Is there such a word) article, I've ever read.

And these guys get paid for writing such tripe...?

Jester

Re:Stupid Article... (1)

j35ter (895427) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262658)

Considering that you are reading this for free, try to contribute, instead of just bitching around....give us your opinion!

Re:Stupid Article... (1)

Compaq_Hater (911468) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263040)

I thought the Article was as another Member said "sounds like the plot to Corprate legal thriller" was a pretty good description. but the plot in this article just doe's not work, if Microsoft were getting punishment the deal they have sure doe's not look like it to me.
If i were in Novells shoes i would have been a little more than wary of anything Microsoft was offering just because of their track record at screwing everyone on a moments notice.

But i would not call the Article stupid by any means i think the author did at great job at holding my attention just by adding a little bit of good ol fashion conclusion drawing but in a dramatic way.

thats my 2 cents.

CH
     

Who would dare to imagine... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262392)

Microsoft getting screwed over by Novell? Does that mean my old copy of DR-DOS is still worth something?

Re:Who would dare to imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17265282)

No.

Inconsistencies (2, Informative)

steelfood (895457) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262408)

I allow that there are at least two facts that weigh against this theory. Red Hat stated that Microsoft offered it the same deal, and the Microsoft/Novell partnership announcement makes mention of a payment by Novell.
Emphasis mine.

I thought it was Microsoft paying Novell $348mil, [slashdot.org] no?

Novell pays a lot of it back to Microsoft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262714)

Read the end of the summary of the story you linked to: Novell will make ongoing payments totaling at least $40 million over five years to Microsoft.

Yes, Novell did get hundreds of millions of dollars from Microsoft. But Novell ends up paying a lot back to Microsoft, as well. That's one of the reasons many of us are damn suspicious of this whole situation.

The rest of the story... (1)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262742)

Novell also pays MS $40 million a year over the 5 years of the deal: $348M - (5 * $40M) = $148M, Novell net gain. Or so it seems.

Re:The rest of the story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263186)

It's $40M total over 5 years. $348M - $40M = $308M

Re:Inconsistencies (1)

rdejean (150504) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262990)

FTFA:

with Novell demanding indemnity against future Microsoft IP action
Novell demanded nothing of the sort. Ron Hovsepian (sp?) himself said they approched Microsoft for an interoperability deal. Microsoft wouldn't do anything without a patent agreement. So they put the patent stuff in the agreement.

Re:Inconsistencies (2, Interesting)

Mspangler (770054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263904)

I noticed them too.

In 2004 SCO sold Bill some UNIX something that is widely believed to be in Vista, at least the corporate versions. But (and I quote)
"Section 4.16(b) of the Asset Purchase Agreement reads as follows:

Buyer shall not, and shall not have the authority to, amend, modify or waive any right under or assign any SVRX License without the prior written consent of Seller."

Buyer is (old) SCO, now mutated to new SCO. Seller is Novell.

SCO did NOT clear the sale of whatever with Novell. So, although Bill may have acted in good faith, he has misappropriated goods in Vista. Novell found out what was sold while arguing over the UNIX copyrights. And offered to let Bill buy the full rights to what SCO sold him, or "I'm afraid we'll have to ask for an injunction on shipping Vista until this issue is sorted out, or until you remove the infringing code."

Bill pulls out the checkbook. Interestingly, Since SCO got to keep 5% of UNIX sales, and supposedly got about $12 million from Bill, that would make Novell's share of the Unix sale about $240 million.

My favorite conspiracy theory of late.

Cheers.

Why microsoft does not violate the GPL? (5, Interesting)

paulpach (798828) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262772)

I understand that novel does not violate the GPL, because they did not license the patents from microsoft, instead microsoft licenses the patents to novel customers. Since microsoft is not distributing the software to them, the GPL does not apply to them.

BUT WAIT, Microsoft is distributing the software, didn't they receive 70,000 copies of SuSE? unless they plan to just throw them in the attic, or use them internally, they will be distributing those copies, and thus are restricted by the GPL. If they put any restriction on the people receiving the GPL code (other than those specified in the GPL itself), then Microsoft is indeed in violation of the GPL.

So I don't understand, how microsoft can use those 70,000 copies without violating the GPL. Can anyone explain that to me?

Re:Why microsoft does not violate the GPL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263278)

It's 70,000 coupons, not 70,000 copies. They're not distributing copies.

that's good... all it takes is one copy (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263460)

So I don't understand, how microsoft can use those 70,000 copies without violating the GPL. Can anyone explain that to me?

Quite to the contrary: if they distribute even a single copy to a third party, then they are effectively giving everybody immunity from patent infringement claims by them because they may not restrict the rights of recipients of the software they distribute under the GPL, through patents or any other means.

Tired of Silly People Potraying This Deal... (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263172)

...as somehow a clever trap that Novell has come up with. It isn't. Novell are stupid and incompetent. Just face it.

They have been slapped around, mainly by Microsoft eating their Netware share away, in recent years and they're making zero headway against Red Hat, and Hovsepian and the executives in charge have no idea whatsoever how to arrest the slide. Many customers have given them mixed messages that the problem is that Novell's software doesn't interoperate with Microsoft's - which of course is intentional. Rather than think their way through this and start making their software better they got down on their knees and begged to Microsoft, and that's exactly what Hovsepian's laughable phonecall was. The Microsoft deal was simply a desperate way of saying to Microsoft "Pretty please, stop?! Will you interoperate with our software so our customers will stop throwing away Netware and eDriectory? We'll give you anything you want." There wasn't even any known attempt at circumventing the GPL, as many people have also said. That was merely a side-effect thrown in by Microsoft.

Novell are desperate.

That's it. Anyone who is trying to portray there deal with Microsoft as anything else doesn't know anything about Novell's situtation, doesn't know anything about their customers and has never touched an environment that uses Novell's software or products with a tenf foot bargepole.

Microsoft preparing the takeover (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263220)

I think you are all missing the point.
Let's consider facts:
1. Vista is probably THE last version of Windows (have you read latest news?). Developing OS like Windows is a way to nowhere and last years of Vista developments proved it.
2. If not Windows AfterVista then what? Nowadays nobody can afford to build an OS anew from scratch. Not without providing an ocean of usefull software on the top of it.
3. Simply accepting Linux and becoming one of many distributors? Oh! no! It's not Microsoft's way, and there is always this infernal GPL mechanism. No, no, no and again NO!

If you were B.G. what would YOU do?
How can you embrace Linux (or UNIX) without violating GPL part? Oh, and remember(!), your customers CAN NOT even think or doubt the superiority of your proprietary software over this Linux toy, otherwise you are out of business - so making an agreement (any agreement) with the main owner of UNIX copyrights and one of biggest Linux distributors, it makes sense.
At least you earn another five years of searching the way to enter this business the way YOU want to.

I can already see (and smell) the ads: Microsoft X - Much Better Then Linux!

I only hope I'm wrong! Please, tell me I'm wrong!

If I were B.G.? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265156)

If you were B.G. what would YOU do?

Hand the company to somebody else.
Cash out.

"Come on ... Take the money and run!"

ovell-Microsoft.... (1)

nikostheater (956769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263254)

[quote] I understand that novel does not violate the GPL, because they did not license the patents from microsoft, instead microsoft licenses the patents to novel customers. Since microsoft is not distributing the software to them, the GPL does not apply to them. BUT WAIT, Microsoft is distributing the software, didn't they receive 70,000 copies of SuSE? unless they plan to just throw them in the attic, or use them internally, they will be distributing those copies, and thus are restricted by the GPL. If they put any restriction on the people receiving the GPL code (other than those specified in the GPL itself), then Microsoft is indeed in violation of the GPL. So I don't understand, how microsoft can use those 70,000 copies without violating the GPL. Can anyone explain that to me? [/quote] I think that Microsoft will give those SUSE licences for free to the customers that want a Linux deployment...

How come nobody punishes me this way? (1)

dslauson (914147) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263314)

I wouldn't mind getting "punished" by receiving a whole shit-ton of money for intellectual property that's not even mine. That's my kind of punishment.

Bullshit (1)

rjdohnert (772699) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263436)

Since Novell is actually coming off of this paying more than Microsoft will pay I think the author has a little bit too much tinfoil in his hat. Microsoft in any ways didnt actually do anything wrong in the SCO vs IBM thing, Remember IBM asked in discovery for ALL of the correspondence from SCO concerning MS and nothing turned up, even when IBM questioned Microsoft employees

Re:Bullshit (1)

wes33 (698200) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263900)

???? MS pays $348m-$440m; Novell pays "at least $40m" ??? Wake up.

No, it's Divide and Conquer (2, Interesting)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263440)

Please bear with me as I refer to the open source community by using generalizations, and also as I tack on my thoughts on MS. But hey, it's only what I think.

It's not payback for SCO, it's divide and conquer. In one move, MS has eliminated Novell as a competitor. Novell has confused and/or pissed off a lot of the open source community by entering into this agreement behind closed doors; That is, without the open approval of the majority of SuSE customers, users, and supporters involved with SuSE, and yet they are claiming otherwise.

Now everyone in the community is paranoid about code touched by Novell post-agreement. Now Novell is no longer of any use to the community as a whole (i.e. those not directly involved with SuSE but still involved with OSS) since they can no longer be trusted by a large portion, which will lead to arguments which will lead to either forks or simply no integration of Novell code and therefore a lot of work that was lost on something that doesn't benefit those who helped build up SuSE or the other OSS projects that share code with SuSE in the first place (by using GPL-compatible licenses and by not restricting them with patent law).

This move has also caused the community to slow down by everyone putting so much attention on Novell instead of building better code, and to fight amongst each other as we decide what to do with Novell code and the SuSE platform.

Now Novell is building its software to be compatible with Windows so that businesses can easily migrate from the Novell platform by slowly phasing out their linux boxes and replacing them with Windows ones.

This is a move that attempts to funnel Novell customers to MS (I'm just saying now there is a much bigger chance of it happening than before, and MS may have some other moves/FUD/threats/patents/whatever up its sleeve to make this much more likely). This is also a move that attempts to cause in-fighting and to put chinks in the armor of the OSS movement/community/whatever.

MS is trying to figure out how to battle OSS and they are getting more and more successful with every attempt -- even if they are just throwing shit up on the wall to see what sticks, they're tenacious and they're building a strategy around the results of their actions. Slowly and steadily they are figuring out how to "deal with" OSS.

MS is easily forgiven as long as money and other flash are thrown around, but OSS has its integrity and the fruit of our sweat and blood. Let's show them which is most important.

Re:No, it's Divide and Conquer (1)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263794)

Run that by me again. How does creating tools that make in easier to run Windows and MS Office applications under Linux encourage customers to move from Linux to Windows? Even if you believe Novell is lying through their teeth about the objective of the deal, I see absolutely nothing in it that facilitates migration from Netware, Linux or Unix to Windows.

I can (just about) understand a point of view that says that noone should deal with the Great Satan on principle, regardless of whether it is in the interests of your company and stockholders. I can even (while thinking it is stupid) comprehend the argument that there might be some legal strategy Microsoft could use against those that are not a party to the agreement that would otherwise be impossible. But, please do tell me: which part of the agreement provides a "migrate to windows" button in Linux?

Tom has been reading too much fiction (2, Interesting)

nathanh (1214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263628)

If we were to believe Tom then there is some sort of dark sinister plot unwinding with steely eyed CEOs plotting the downfall of their rival companies. The CEO of Novell is sitting back in his leather chair, surrounded by bikini clad girly girls and hired goons with steel brimmed bowler hats, cackling madly in glee as his plan to use SCO's hubris to destroy Microsoft has finally comes to fruition.

That's fiction. The real world is much simpler. Novell is doing what all IT companies eventually do; realise that you can't fight Microsoft, so you might as well make sure your software interoperates. I don't give a shit what conspiracy theories are flying around Slashdot about the Novell/Microsoft deal; the ability for OpenOffice to read Word documents is farking awesome and I'll gladly pay money to Novell if necessary to get in on that. Sun did the same thing (identity software). IBM and HP and Apple as well. The money that changes hands and the lawsuits just serve to obscure the benficial outcomes for you and I; software from multiple vendors that works together. Sometimes (you might say always) the business relationship with Microsoft works to their eventual detriment (R.I.P SGI) but there's no business sense in taunting the 800lb gorilla. You give it a banana as a peace offering and hope it doesn't sit on you.

SCO isn't a pawn of Microsoft. That's a fiction invented by Groklaw and it's the worst kind of conjecture and conspiracy imaginable. SCO's CEO convinced himself that they owned UNIX, that Linux stole from UNIX, and that SCO deserved a piece of the action. "Never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence". There is no doubt that Darl is incompetent, so there's no need to paint him as a malicious figure. It was a stupid lawsuit initiated by a desperate CEO to save a pathetic, dying company. The 1000s of articles generated by The Site Whose Name Makes Even Cthulu Cringe has made an echo chamber, where conjecture is used as proof for the next piece of conjecture. It's like the fishing story where the fish keeps getting bigger with each telling.

This is just business. There's no conspiracy. It must be a slow news day when "journalists" start inventing Tom Clancy plotlines and making stupid analogies with trapdoor spiders.

Re:Tom has been reading too much fiction (1)

ChronoFish (948067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264666)

"...If we were to believe Tom then there is some sort of dark sinister plot unwinding with steely eyed CEOs plotting the downfall of their rival companies. The CEO of Novell is sitting back in his leather chair, surrounded by bikini clad girly girls and hired goons with steel brimmed bowler hats, cackling madly in glee as his plan to use SCO's hubris to destroy Microsoft has finally comes to fruition...."

Sinister plot? Probably not. No only is the "real world much simpler", but often times companies find themselves in lucky situations. Humans have little ability to kill on their own, yet like most predators, have eyes planted squarely on the front of their face. Humans are carnivorous, cannibalistic, and opportunistic scavengers. It may very well be that MS approached Novell knowing that their SCO partnership was dead, and Novell may very well have had enough leverage to ensure indemnity against future Microsoft IP action. Not enough leverage to "take down" MS, but enough to shore themselves up. And this probably fell in their lap with no prior plan.

If MS is the 800lb gorilla here then IBM is weighing in at 2,500. It has more than four times the number of employees as MS, more than double the revenue, and more patents than any other technology company. IBM is pretty shrewed when it comes to IP enforcement - often times acting like Mercedes (which has given up safety related patents for the good of the industry) and it's only until you get on their bad side that they show you who's boss, as SCO is learning now.

MS has missed out on much of IBM's wrath, but IBM is playing the long war here with its investment in Linux. IBM stopped trying to co-develop with MS (IBM-DOS, OS/2) as it has been burned by MS on multiple occasions. It now has over 300 Linux kernel developers and has invested literally billions into Open Source. Tellingly, they also sold off their entire PC/laptop hardware division.

MS has yet to show that it can survive a change at the helm. To make matters worse, Ballmer is no spring chicken. The Gates Legacy will be in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Ballmer's legacy will be his dance.

-CF

And you haven't been keeping up with the facts (2, Informative)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265342)

SCO isn't a pawn of Microsoft.

The evidence certainly doesn't support this position. We already know that MS gave SCO a significant amount of money through various channels with absolutely no visible return (the licenses, the PIPE funding, underwriting the EV1 deal, etc.).

It certainly seems more reasonable to assume that Microsoft is paying SCO to do exactly what SCO is doing rather than assuming that they've decided to start just giving away money for no particular reason.

--MarkusQ

Re: you have been reading too much fiction as well (1)

nathanh (1214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17265478)

We already know that MS gave SCO a significant amount of money through various channels with absolutely no visible return (the licenses, the PIPE funding, underwriting the EV1 deal, etc.). It certainly seems more reasonable to assume that Microsoft is paying SCO to do exactly what SCO is doing rather than assuming that they've decided to start just giving away money for no particular reason.

Conspiracy and conjecture. Exactly the sort of nonsense I was ridiculing. You don't know why the investment was made, or whether there was a return, so you invent the most overwrought and implausible story that it was a mercenary payment for SCO to attack Linux even though that would eventually mean SCO's demise.

Go back to reading Tom Clancy novels.

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