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:

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…


§299 · November 30, 2006 · Linux, Microsoft, Software, Technology · · [Print]

Leave a Comment to “Novell Reassurance”

  1. Mauriat says:

    Hmm, I guess I’m in the minority. I’m actually glad that Novell and Microsoft did this. Some people have to step up and be the revolutionaries. The current state of Linux on the desktop in general leaves bad tastes in many people’s mouths. They may crash and burn, but I admire Novell trying.

  2. Actually I’m not sure how I feel about it – only because I don’t trust big business motives to be looking out for the geeks.

    Maybe you’ve been so close to Linux the whole time so you can’t see the improvements as dramatically as I can, but for the “state of Linux on the desktop”, well I can say that having stepped away from it for a few years after getting said “bad taste” in my mouth, I think the state has VASTLY improved in the last couple years with top-notch, very slick, very solid distributions like Ubuntu and Suse. And I hear Fedora is pretty good too ;)

    To me, OpenSuse is much better than Windows 2k and at least as good as Windows XP – and I say that as a solid Windows user. A few years ago, the Linux distributions were still behind, in terms of user interface coolness. Now they’ve surpassed it. Having played with a Vista preview (to be fair, this was half a year ago and only very briefly), I don’t think Vista is going to be the quantum leap forward that Microsoft needs here, so I really do think that we’re going to see Windows footprint in the desktop space start to shrink going forward. If I had to wager, I think KDE 4 is going to usher in the era of Linux on the desktop.