I just was flipping around the OpenSUSE site and thought I’d jot some of my very naïve thoughts/musings on the recent Novell-Microsoft collaboration announcement.
Novell and Microsoft recently announced a collaboration in which both companies would continue to expand support for their product lines (SUSE Linux and Windows, respectively) in cooperation with each other. As part of this announcement there was also a notice about “Patent coverage” in which Novell and Microsoft have agreed not to sue each other for patent infringement.
Well, the internet took this story by storm, and in traditional fashion there were many nay-sayers and predictors of doom. Novell responded to this criticism by releasing their own open letter to the community last week. In it, they stress:
our agreement with Microsoft is in no way an acknowledgment that Linux infringes upon any Microsoft intellectual property. When we entered the patent cooperation agreement with Microsoft, Novell did not agree or admit that Linux or any other Novell offering violates Microsoft patents.
It’s also interesting and somewhat humorous to note that Novell claims the following:
Novell has a significant patent portfolio, and in reflection of this fact, the agreement we signed shows the overwhelming balance of payments being from Microsoft to Novell
As a final exercise, let’s look at Novell’s recent stock price performance. Here’s a pop quiz:
- Can you spot when the announcement was first made?
- Can you spot when the deal began to leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouths?
- Can you spot the very almost nonexistent effect of Novell’s reassurance?
So after all this, how will Richard Stallman’s retaliation plan (to update the verbage in GPLv3 to block such arrangements) affect everything?
Anyway, I’m a big fan of OpenSUSE 10.1 right now, so nothing better screw up that slick distribution, it’s helping me through my gradual Windows withdrawal…