Novell Ain’t the Bad Guy

by Dustin Puryear

It’s in all the news of course: IBM is collaborating with Red Hat and Novell to offer “Microsoft-free” PCs. That’s not news (at least not in the blogosphere, which has had the story for a few days now).

However, the story does highlight something that I think is important to note. Namely, the near revolt by many Linux users against Novell for the Microsoft/Novell partnership is proving to be much adieu about nothing. Moreover, for Novell, it is not necessarily a bad deal. I have not seen any numbers coming out of the deal, but it is at least nice that Novell can claim the partnership when they are pushing for a big deal in a Microsoft-heavy shop.

All that said, let us not forget that there is something to be said about “either being for me or against me,” and some may feel that applies here. What do you think?


2008-08-11 04:37:28
Personally, I think Novell got suckered. Here's my guess on how.

They thought the deal was about the interoperability thing, and getting MS to distribute Suze licenses. Well they did get some of that.

Then, because in their big 'enterprise' world it's common practice, they included the patent cross-licensing clause. That's what MS really wanted.

From that day, Ballmer could point to that deal as evidence that Linux *is* infringing and spread lots of old fashioned FUD.

Dustin Puryear
2008-08-13 09:10:27
Dylan- Perhaps. I just don't see how a blanket "we agree not to sue each other and we are including a cross-license" means "I, Novell, admit that I have code that belongs to you, but we now agree not to sue over it."