Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Novell Gets $348 Million From Microsoft 308

Posted by kdawson
from the money-is-the-root-of-all dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "Novell has published additional details about its agreements with Microsoft concerning Windows and Linux interoperability and patents. It seems the company is receiving an up-front payment of $348 million from Microsoft, for SLES subscription certificates and for patent cross-licensing. Microsoft will make an upfront payment to Novell of $240 million for SLES subscription 'certificates' that Microsoft can use, resell, or distribute over the term of the agreement. Regarding the patent cooperation agreement, Microsoft will make an up-front net payment to Novell of $108 million, and Novell will make ongoing payments totaling at least $40 million over five years to Microsoft."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Novell Gets $348 Million From Microsoft

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:24PM (#16763179)
    Go for it, guys.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      What's up with all the itsatrap tags today, anyway? Does someone think it's funny?
      • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:29AM (#16764351)
        "What's up with all the itsatrap tags today, anyway? Does someone think it's funny?"

        Slashdot finds humor in repetition. For example: I, for one, welcome our $SUBJECT overlords. All your base are belong to us. Imagine a beowulf cluster of $SUBJECT. In Soviet Russia, $SUBJECT $VERB you! No carrier. BSOD. Etc.

        I wouldn't mind, but the same group that always shouts "Hollywood keeps rehashing crap!" just can't let these jokes die.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mgblst (80109)
          And you know, slashdot is only one person, not a group of people.

          I really enjoy when morons talk about Slasdhot as though it were a single entity, rather than a group of distinct people, with different opinions, and different viewing habits. Some people check slashdot every hour at work, some once a week. Some people have a great sense of humour and some don't. Some are just plain annoying.

          As to you final statement, every studies logic? Do you have any evidence to suggest that these are the same bunch of pe
  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@nOSpaM.barbara-hudson.com> on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:24PM (#16763181) Journal

    Microsoft Vader: How much is your soul?
    Novell Spaceballs Skywalker: $380 million and change, and we'll throw in SuSE.
    Microsoft Vader: You fool! We would have paid you 10x as much.

    • by Callaway (842055)
      Indeed it is worth 10x as much. But then you have to factor in an extra compensation package for CEO, CFO, CIO, and any other C*O in the company totaling a measly $81 million dollars as a way of saying thanks for putting the Microsoft deal together.
      • exchange of money (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SgtChaireBourne (457691) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:53AM (#16764163) Homepage

        Interesting that it involves the exchange of money. This lays the ground work for MS to keep collecting after they sever the agreement with Novell. The agreement runs out in 5 years, but there is a clause in the contract which allows MS to terminate it earlier.

        Either way, it tries to fool people into accepting software patents. For the short term, many projects can be moved to European servers, just like when encryption export was illegal in the US. However, in the long term, the US needs to adopt a more common sense approach to patents and revoke any involving intangibles like software, mathematical formulas, and literature. Expression of those is already protected by copyright. What we have now is a broken system which allows restricting ideas.

  • this has anything to do with Microsoft's SCO involvement.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rajafarian (49150)
      this has anything to do with Microsoft's SCO involvement.

      My own personal conspiracy theory is that Novell found something in the MS-SCO deal that the US Attorney General, even under the Bush Administration, would not have liked at all.
    • by killjoe (766577) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:12AM (#16764803)
      Yes. Novell is the new SCO.

      If you really want to understand what's going on go read groklaw. The headline here is wrong. There is no patent cross licensing, that would violate the GPL. There is a promise which is not a license not to sue. It's a weird thing. There are also some unsaid, unprinted, nobody knows about exception.

      So MS promises not to sue novell customers for MS patents with some exceptions. Most likely those exceptions involve some companies (for example google) or some technologies like XML.

      MS has promised to sue other companies. Ballmer said that anybody who uses linux from anybody except novell is under a threat of a patent lawsuit from MS.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sadler121 (735320)
        MS is promoting pure fud. MS would NEVER sue a company for patent violation. IBM has a lot more patents on softare than MS and has already promised to let Open Source use those patents. By the amount of patents IBM has, Microsoft is violating one of them. That is why MS will never sue, but threaten to sue, ie FUD.
  • by Salvance (1014001) * on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:25PM (#16763193) Homepage Journal
    As scary as this initially sounds (Microsoft Linux anyone?), the partnership makes sense. Microsoft gains the capability to run Linux better in a virtualized environment (or vice versa), and Novell gets a ton of much needed cash. For years, it's been obvious that at some point Microsoft would have to start recognizing the fast growth of Linux as an enterprise platform, and it appears that this move is Microsoft's first step.

    The only concern I have is that Microsot continues further down the path and begins to create closed source applications or kernel modules specifically to run Microsoft apps. If they can swing this, the potential for degradation of the upward Linux momentum is high. John Dvorak of PC Magazine figures that Microsoft will develop GPL work-arounds [pcmag.com], and eventually begin releasing Linux apps.

    What then? Mac servers for everyone?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by NineNine (235196)
      The only concern I have is that Microsot continues further down the path and begins to create closed source applications or kernel modules specifically to run Microsoft apps.

      Why would you be at all concerned about that? As always, you can run what you'd like. If you don't like "MS Linux", you certainly don't have to use it. Once MS puts some effort into SUSE, I'd most definitely consider switching some of my 100% MS shop to SUSE for some back end stuff. I need interoperability, and simplicity, neither
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Salvance (1014001) *
        Great point!

        My fear was more on the standard distros including too much MS code that may have security issues. You are right that enterprises could just pick and choose what they want ... but many smaller shops (and definitely home users) just install the basic distro without much customization.

        Is a Linux kernel with MS shims and apps better than MS by itself? Probably ... and your take on "MS Linux" being more interoperable is certainly attractive ...
      • by greenbird (859670) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @12:39AM (#16763741)
        I need interoperability, and simplicity, neither of which are strong points of Linux right now.

        Every time I see a statement like this it pisses me off. Linux is very inter operable with every mainstream OS except Windows. And you know what, Windows isn't inter operable with any other OS that exists. Not only that but the Linux community goes to outrageous efforts to make it inter operable with other OS's (reverse engineering) while Microsoft goes to extreme efforts to ensure no OS can inter operate with Windows.

        Also why is it I find Linux far simpler than Windows. You set it up and it works forever. On rare occasions that there are problems you can find a definitive solution unlike Windows where you just reboot and pray because no one including Microsoft knows what's happening with most problems.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by abaird (1019210)
          It couldn't possibly have anything to do that virtually every common OS besides Windows IS a *nix variant? Linux is far simpler than Windows? Yesterday, I reformatted my hard drive. I decided, after 10 years on a Microsoft operating system I would dual boot XP Pro and a generic install of Ubuntu. Reinstalled XP Pro in about 40 minutes, including time spent downloading and installing drivers. To get Ubuntu to install on my machine, I had to manually edit a config file to get the screen to display correctl
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Snover (469130)
            I've had quite the opposite experience with most of my equipment. Unlike Windows, most of what I've needed with Linux has worked out of the box with no need to install 3rd party drivers. I've installed Ubuntu on 4 desktops and 2 laptops and Debian on another 3 desktops and have had only minor issues with a couple of these systems related to networking equipment (the fault of these issues lying squarely with Broadcom for not providing drivers nor documentation for their wireless chipsets). It is really a cas
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by ookaze (227977)
            It couldn't possibly have anything to do that virtually every common OS besides Windows IS a *nix variant?

            Perhaps. There are still no effort on interoperability on Windows.

            I decided, after 10 years on a Microsoft operating system I would dual boot XP Pro and a generic install of Ubuntu

            Why ? So you never used Linux before (at least, not in the 10 last years), point taken.

            Reinstalled XP Pro in about 40 minutes, including time spent downloading and installing drivers

            Must be a pretty streamlined process then, w
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Trelane (16124)

              So far, every machine I've installed Linux on I've had serious compatibility issues in every case. I'm not trying to install Linux on my alarm clock here, these are every day, very common PC parts. I've yet to have a smooth Linux installation. It's simply not for mom and pop yet.

              Mom and pop don't install Linux. Mom and pop don't install Windows. Linux is just as ready for them as Windows is (in fact, it's arguably superior in several categories). However, it does require vendor cooperation--just like W

          • Opposite experience (Score:4, Interesting)

            by DrYak (748999) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @07:15AM (#16765717) Homepage
            The current machine I'm typing on, Celeron 1.4Ghz (P3 family) ABIT MoBo with BX chipset, Voodoo 3 Graphics card.

            Linux has always "just installed" on it. (First install on it was SuSE 8.0, upgrade several times up to openSUSE 10.1 ... I should consider the status of the Novell/MS deal before going beyond 10.2 ...)

            Windows is a another story. At the begining the machine was my brother's (still a teenager at that time). I managed to install him Windows XP, after several weeks fiddling with BIOS settings trying to find that peculiar configuration on which the installer of Windows XP SP1 won't b0rk. Got windows running for a couple of months. Then a massive Windows crash fucked up the installation beyond any hope. Tried to find again 'that magic BIOS configuration' that allows the installer to run (Was it compatibility problems with ACPI ? Something else ?). I just gave up. My brother preferred to try using Linux until he upgraded to a newer machine better supported by Windows. (As a side note, once I did the initial installation / configuration of Linux, he managed to do well. Granted a tennager may be more apt to adapt himself to a new OS than the average Aunt-Tillie...)

            When this machine became mine, I never bottered to try to install Windows again, and it has swallowed without complain all the Linux upgrades.

            The next machine my brother had was a Athlon 64, K8T mobo, with 1 Go DDR, Radeon 9600XT I bought and assembled for Christmas. Athlon 64 were a very recent newcomer on the swiss market back then (we even had problems of shortages).
            Linux installation was almost a kind of "put the CD in the drive and click 'Ok'" simplicity, even if the AMD64 version of SuSE 8.2 that I had in my posession was supposed to be experimental. Mostly no other complaint as of today (just having some problems to get AIGLX and Beryl working nice).

            On the other hand, Windows SP1 installer kept b0rking. I took several month, a few BIOS upgrades (not searching for an update. waiting for a new release from the manufacturer) and then a newer Catalyst (same stuff : had to wait for a few new releases) before we had a stable Windows installation that would accept the whole 1Go RAM and not showing massive graphical corruption. And that with a plain 32-bit version. (I gave a few tries with Windows XP 64 in the begining but that wasn't a success either).
            In the meantime my brother had once again to use linux.
            The same difficulty installing Windows XP on Athlon 64 was experienced by several friends who were early adopter to jump into the 64 bits wagon. Even as of today, Windows can't boot correctly with 3Go RAM, the third DIMM rests usually out of the computer unless I need to borrow the computer to do some scientific calculation under Linux.

            This two detailled examples and numerous other situations are the reason I *CAN'T* honestly consider the experience of installing Windows XP 'stellar'.

            And Linux installation, on the other hand, has regulary proved to be very felxible, with possibility to install over network and even over internet (no need to have original media), to install on headless servers (SSH is my friend), etc... which is either hard or impossible to replicate with Windows.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by drinkypoo (153816)

            Reinstalled XP Pro in about 40 minutes, including time spent downloading and installing drivers.

            Today, if you start with XP Pro with SP2 slipstreamed (or just an XP w/SP2 disc from MS) you will have about 30 minutes and four reboots just to download updates (at broadband speeds) to bring you up to current. How long ago did you do this install?

            Starting with SP1, or with no-SP and installing SP2, you end up with about six reboots and an hour downloading/installing. Mind you, I'm talking about a fairly

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by gripen40k (957933)
          Maybe he meant interoperability as in it will work with WinXP, which is a very logical argument, and 'every mainstream OS' means it works with.... Linux? :P But really, what is this 'interoperability' you speak of? What exactly does that include, networking? At our university, we have linux and win32 platforms networked and working fine together... So I'm just not sure what you speak of when you say that it's 'inter operable'...

          Anyways, the Parent has a point, a very good one. I don't want to reinstall wi
        • by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:48AM (#16764131) Homepage Journal
          Every time I see a statement like this it pisses me off. Linux is very inter operable with every mainstream OS except Windows.

          I don't think he meant interoperability between operating systems, but rather applications and services. Active Directory integrates seamlessly with Exchange, Group Policy, DNS, all forms of ACLs, and allows easy authentication of Windows users and computers. Exchange connects and works great with Outlook and offers a feature set not yet matched by any open source solution. MS Office applications can simply and quickly communicate and transfer information back and forth. -- The significant thing is that it all just works together.

          Also why is it I find Linux far simpler than Windows. You set it up and it works forever.

          I know this is Slashdot, and the same discussions are re-hashed in every article about Linux, but this kind of broad sweeping statement needs to DIE.

          Linux is not simpler than Windows. You don't simply push a button and suddenly everything works. I just installed Ubuntu on my laptop and had to fight a small war to get accelerated graphics working. I had to change the wireless network stuff so it used ndiswrapper instead of whatever it was the installer wanted to use to prevent it from constantly dropping connections.

          I'm tired of giving examples just to have them shot down by people who think everybody is a hardware expert, has the contents of /etc/ memorized, and oh who cares because nobody needs accelerated graphics on Linux because there's no games to play anyway. If the average user (and my install was very average) needs to manually edit config files, then Linux is still failing at being simple to install and use. To your average user these are not small configuration issues, they are glaring *problems* with the software.

          you just reboot and pray

          Funny, but I find myself doing this very thing with Linux (what's broken? Is it GDM, Gnome, Nautilus? Did one of the services break? Which one? Ah, screw it, just reboot.)
          • by strider44 (650833) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:39AM (#16764395)
            I don't think he meant interoperability between operating systems, but rather applications and services. Active Directory integrates seamlessly with Exchange, Group Policy, DNS, all forms of ACLs, and allows easy authentication of Windows users and computers. Exchange connects and works great with Outlook and offers a feature set not yet matched by any open source solution. MS Office applications can simply and quickly communicate and transfer information back and forth. -- The significant thing is that it all just works together.

            That's because they're all owned and marketed by Microsoft. I suppose that would be more intraoperability as opposed to interoperability.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by kestasjk (933987)

            I know this is Slashdot, and the same discussions are re-hashed in every article about Linux, but this kind of broad sweeping statement needs to DIE.

            Linux is not simpler than Windows. You don't simply push a button and suddenly everything works. I just installed Ubuntu on my laptop and had to fight a small war to get accelerated graphics working. I had to change the wireless network stuff so it used ndiswrapper instead of whatever it was the installer wanted to use to prevent it from constantly dropping

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by 10Ghz (453478)
            "Linux is not simpler than Windows. You don't simply push a button and suddenly everything works. I just installed Ubuntu on my laptop and had to fight a small war to get accelerated graphics working. I had to change the wireless network stuff so it used ndiswrapper instead of whatever it was the installer wanted to use to prevent it from constantly dropping connections."

            I spent my entire yesterday-evening fixing my neighbours computer. She complained that it was "running very slowly". It's a XP-machine, an
    • Nope (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mrcparker (469158)
      Novell gets to scare people out of Red Hat, and Microsoft only has to compete with Novell in the future.

      Sure, Novell claims that the patent issue is not an important part of the deal, but I bet they use it as a selling point.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dbIII (701233)

      figures that Microsoft will develop GPL work-arounds, and eventually begin releasing Linux apps.

      That's just silly - you don't need to use the GPL for your applications - only for other people applications that are already licenced that way. Even Halliburton have been selling commercial software that runs on linux for several years.

      I think PC Magazine have to go out and buy a better keyboard for cats to walk over and generate articles - that Dvorak one doesn't seem to be working very well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by molnarcs (675885)
      John Dvorak of PC Magazine figures that Microsoft will develop GPL work-arounds, and eventually begin releasing Linux apps.

      Actually this whole deal is a GPL workaround. Not exactly a violation (that's difficult to prove), but certainly a workaround. As Kurt Pfeifle puts it:

      Novell's FAQ says, they worked out the details "with the principles and obligations of the GPL in mind". Right...., riiiiiight! Yes, with the "GPL principles in mind" -- but not in order to advance these. Rather in order to work around th

  • by ezh (707373) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:27PM (#16763205)
    is $348 million. How do you call it? Inflation!
  • Fishy.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Renraku (518261) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:27PM (#16763209) Homepage
    Something seems fishy here.

    And its not the corporate sushi bar, or koi pond.

    Or that nasty intern on the fourth floor.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by b1ufox (987621)
      Yes the Fishy thing which i see is Microsoft's well known staretgy of "Embrace, Extend and Extinguish".

      I hope people at Novell understand this. Since it is evident that FUD tactics cannot be applied by MS for open source products, they have decided to give their "EEE" startegy a try.

      Lets see whats there in store for Novell and for open source community.

      Good or bad a chapter worth learning is pending i guess ...:)

  • by arthurpaliden (939626) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:36PM (#16763275)

    Read the press release, it is not a patent deal, that would put them in violation of the GPL. Instead it is a conenant not to sue.

    So if I understand correctly. Microsoft is admitting that their software violates some of Novell's patents.

    However, instead of protecting themselves and their customers by doing a cross licensing deal with Novell, Microsoft is keeping themselves and their customers at risk by entering into a non binding revocable 'covenant ' instead.

    I wonder how well this will sit Microsoft's shareholders knowing that this risk exists and it is not being addressed permanently when such an option exists.

    • by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @12:06AM (#16763525) Homepage Journal
      I read the form 8K on Edgar. Don't count on press releases.

      The companies are paying each other for covenants not to sue. It's there in black and white. I don't see that this is any different from a license, and I don't see that a judge would be swayed that a covenant in this context is any different from a license.

      It still sounds like a GPL violation to me. Now, we have to watch what FSF does. They own the C library that literally every program on Novell Linux uses. They have a reasonably strong case to enjoin Novell from distributing it, which would kill SuSE entirely. They have Red Hat to pay for the lawsuit.

      Bruce

      • by afidel (530433)
        Um, a covenant not to sue is a two party contract. Others who have ownership or control over code covered by the agreement can still sue as the covenant is obviously not binding on them. That's why they didn't enter into a license, because they couldn't over any code they don't have sole control of. As long as Suse/Novell is not trying to reduce the rights granted to people who have received GPL'd code from them I don't see where FSF has a case.
        • by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:19AM (#16763955) Homepage Journal
          Um, a covenant not to sue is a two party contract.

          Yes, but that's not the only contract in this picture. The most important one is a contract between Novell and Microsoft in which they agree to make these covenants to each other's customers. The full details of that contract are not public knowledge but are certainly discoverable.

          Certainly there is clear documented intent to structure the deal as covenants rather than a license with the sole intent of circumventing the GPL. Now, you can show that to a judge and make a pretty good case that the companies are licensing each other and going through circumlocutions with covenants with the sole intent of welshing out of a license's obligations. Then, you ask the judge to consider the result for what it really is.

          Bruce

          • by Asic Eng (193332)
            Not sure I get it yet - they can only make this deal on source they themselves create, right? So if I create a piece of code which Novel is distributing, I can still sue MS if they violate the copyright. Or are the convenants structured so that their customer's can't sue? I didn't see that in the article.
      • by Pecisk (688001)
        Bruce, it is not GPL violation, wake up. There are TON of layers involved in this deal - Novell, Microsoft. All ideological issues aside, don't you think they are already covered their tracks?

        Or you will repeat this mantra just because it is only truly bad thing you can say about this deal (except of course part that you simply don't like it)?

        Sorry, no offence, but it feels like wishful thinking.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by anandsr (148302)
          The deal works out this way. If Novell distributes some code in Linux under GPL that uses patents from MS, and MS sues a third party. Then GPL says that particular software is not distributable by anybody, including Novell no matter what agreement Novell has with MS. The Covenent doesn't matter. I guess nothing can be done before a lawsuit, but after the lawsuit if Novell is found distributing the particular code then they can be sued by the owners of the code from which the patented code was derived. So al
    • There is only such a thing as licensing.

      This does not have to put Novell in violation of GPL, for multiple reasons:

      1)Novell owns IP that has nothing to do with Linux.

      2)Even if some code is in Linux, and available under GPL, if Linux are the copyright holders of the code, then they can also release it under different lisences too.

      • 1)Novell owns IP that has nothing to do with Linux.

        I can't yet see why you believe this would be germane. Perhaps you could elaborate.

        2)Even if some code is in Linux, and available under GPL, if Linux are the copyright holders of the code, then they can also release it under different lisences too.

        It sounds almost as if you think Linux is a company that owns the copyright. The number of copyright holders is a rather large number. I think they are just barely able to make changes in the letter but not the

  • by breem42 (664497) <breem42@yah o o .ca> on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:37PM (#16763281)
    From the same site (different page - http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS4685037869.html [linux-watch.com]) :

    "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,"

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bruce Perens (3872) *
      Rather than the FAQ, I suggest you look at the form 8K on Edgar, and the covenants that have been published so far. FAQs are Public Relations writing and can shade the truth.

      It's clear that the two companies are paying each other for similar covenants that will extend to their customers. I guess they buy the theory that if you do something indirectly, you aren't as guilty as if you do it directly.

      So, this is like a shakedown artist who does not propose to damage your business at all, and only threatens to

  • by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:38PM (#16763295) Homepage Journal
    Bill: "I'm worried, Steve. We're losing more ground to Linux. It's on the verge of becoming a non-nerd OS."

    Steve: "I've got an idea. Let's buy another version of Linux."

    Bill: "Are you crazy? The SCO gambit didn't fool anybody."

    Steve: "No, not like that. Instead of trying to fool a judge, we'll try to fool our customers."

    Bill: "So? That's already company policy."

    Steve: "Yes, but we'll release our own version. We tell the public that we're joining the Linux bandwagon, and with our marketing clout, it will soon become the dominant version on the market. Then when the public is convinced that MS-Linux IS Linux, we make gradual changes to turn it into an unusable bloated wreck. Linux will be finished!"

    Bill: "No way! Remember, Steve, I used to write software. No self-respecting programmer would deliberately wreck an OS. Where are we going to get a bunch of programmers to do that?"

    Steve: "We have all the guys who wrote Vista. I think they could do it."

    ( Steve exits )

    ( 10 minutes later, Steve returns, slamming the door quickly behind him. He looks like he has seen a ghost )

    Bill: "So, how did it go?

    Steve: ( shaking his head ) "Bad, bad, bad, bad, b-"

    Bill: Get a grip! What happened?

    Steve: "They won't do it...I mean they'll do it, but they want to do it well! They won't wreck it."

    Bill: "You explained the plan to them?"

    Steve: "Yes, very clearly. Twice. But they just started chanting. One word, over and over and over and over and over and ov-

    ( Bill picks up a chair, bashes Steve over the head with it. )

    Steve: "Wh..? Uh..thanks...I needed that."

    ( Bill puts down the chair, walks to the door )

    Steve: "Nooo! Please don't op-"

    ( Bill opens the door. From down the hall a chorus of voices can be heard. )

    Voices: "-ux! Linux! Linux! Linux! Linux! Linux! Lin-"

    ( Bill slams the door )

    Bill: "That's bad."

    Steve: "It's worse. They now refuse to work on Vista any more!"

    Bill: "That's ok. We aren't going to support it for very long anyway."

    Steve: "So what are we going to do?"

    Bill: "I think I can still make the plan work. Listen: we'll let them produce a good version of Linux. We'll make it very good for servers."

    Steve: "Suse? You mean we'll take over Novell?"

    Bill: "Yes. That gives us a big step up to dominate the Linux market like you suggested. But instead of trying to convice the world that Linux is junk, we'll tell them that Linux is only for servers."

    Steve: "But it will migrate to the desktop! We have to kill it!"

    Bill: "No, we'll let the guys downstairs make it the way they want it. Keep it for nerds. Each update will be more and more technical. Let them gradually turn it into something that only a Linux pro can use."

    Steve: "We're gonna pay them to write Gentoo?"

    • by Mongoose (8480)
      We're all getting a little sick and tired of all the 'slashdot playwrights'. If you want to enroll in a local college course, and produce an off broadway production of "The Chair and I" that's great. That's the American Dream. This isn't the place for your dreams. Here I will step on them... like this... and that.

      Please keep this in mind, and "Welcome to the world of tomorrow".
    • by Shados (741919)
      Steve: "We're gonna pay them to write Gentoo?"
      ::dies laughing::
    • by donaldm (919619)
      Sorry no mod points at this time but I do like it.
  • My bet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:39PM (#16763305) Journal
    that this includes a deal to not persue much further the SCO case. While the feds may go after MS for their involvement with the shady deal with SCO, this is probably an early payoff to Novell to drop it. I just wonder if this allows Novell to go after Sun or did MS protect them as well?
  • Y'all can quote me on that.

    I'll not get into the reasons, but just remember; "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" is apt. Operating systems are no different. They are "software" too. With all the compromises and good intentions built in.

    Ok, so if you want to use Windows and Linux, in the near future, it might be best to use Suse for the "Linux" side. So What?

    Sounds more like a counter to "IBM+RedHat" than anything else.

    So the "free" software supports the "closed, but popular Windows" sof

  • by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar&gmail,com> on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:44PM (#16763333) Homepage Journal
    Remember when Microsoft gave Apple $3XXM, and the Mac Vs. Windows lawsuits were settled? Chances are that Microsoft is now doing the same with Novell, and Novell still owns some patents for Unix that it did not sell to SCO, and Novell was a major player in the IBM vs. SCO lawsuit. Microsoft is just trying to CYA itself, because obviously Vista infringes on some Unix/Linux patents. This is just a way of Microsoft saying to Novell, we'll give you some money to save your company, like we did to Apple, if you promise not to sue us.

    I wonder if there will be a SuSE version of MS-Office, like the OSX version of MS-Office created out of the Microsoft-Apple deal?
    • by houghi (78078)
      1) If there are patent issues with Linux that M$ wants to bribe off, so they don't get sued, they have to bribe RedHat, IBM and others as well.
      2) If there is a SUSE version of MS-Office, there will be a Linux version you can run on every Linux box.
      3) Office is a desktop application. The deal is about servers. It will be extremely unlikely that they will make a version for Linux. So also no flight simulator for Linux,I am sure.
  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by tooyoung (853621) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:45PM (#16763351)
    ... I guess now we don't like SLES. Shoddy security, I've heard.
    • That's something I've seen NOTHING about from Novell since the Microsoft merger, I mean deal.

      I've been wondering if the deal is intended to basically, persuade Novell that it doesn't need to be in the desktop space and to slow down the R&D in the desktop area. Perhaps MS actually got nervous when all the articles came out calling SLED10 the "Vista-killer"?

      Having reviewed two desktop distros (Lin/freespire and SLED10) for publication lately and I'm working on getting FC6 running (for review? Don't know y
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:46PM (#16763363)
    Novell is in huge financial trouble. If you read the article, they are trying to negotiate with their major debtors to come to an agreement and continue payments. Wells Fargo and Citibank are calling two of their major loans out against Novell. Also note the rumors of layoffs, investigating other financial mishaps, and the late filings of their earnings. This is what causes many companies to start heading down the tubes. The whole Microsoft agreement is essentially Microsoft cashing in on Novell after they made some financial mistakes and need someone to bail them out of it. Just watch as Microsoft ends up having major influence in the direction of Novell. This isn't a bad thing though. It means there will still be two main players in the Linux Business market. It's Microsoft's way of also creating some feirce competition against Redhat. Not to mention Oracle has their sites on Redhat and are taking shots at them. The whole support agreement with Oracle deal is meant to take out Redhat's major market. With that and a soon to be beefed up financial stability of Novell and push for SLES, Redhat will had some hard roads to go through. It's no surprise that MS sided with Novell when they saw Oracle make their move against Redhat. Interesting times in major Linux vendors are ahead. It should be interesting to see how it all turns out.
  • Embrace and Extend (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr Bubble (14652) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:48PM (#16763379)
    Maybe Microsoft thinks that they can gain a significant share of enterprise Linux installations with a distribution they control. Then, they will do their classic embrace and extend to use the leverage to their advantage.

    Microsoft knows that no one ever got fired for buying IBM of Microsoft. IBM is pushing Linux and that doesn't help Microsoft. By providing a Microsoft-approved Linux, they can get a slice of the pie and out themselves into a position to do to Linux what they have tried to do with every other standard technology - embrace and extend it.
    • Or maybe Novell has accepted that Microsoft still owns the desktop, and Microsoft has accepted that Novell and Linux do servers better than they do. Seems like a mutually beneficial partnership to me.
    • no one ever got fired for buying ... Microsoft

      If, in fact, that is still true, I make it my sworn mission to set the precedent, by firing anyone under me who tries it. I can think of few greater proofs of incompetence.

    • by NineNine (235196)
      embrace and extend it.

      That's the idea. Embrace and extend Linux in order to make it useful for mixed platform environments. Sounds like everybody wins, to me, except for poor ol' Red Hat. But, Red Hat has made more bad strategic moves than I can count, so I won't be shedding any tears for them.

      I can see it now... COM objects for parts of Linux... complete file system interoperability... oooh... maybe even a coherent desktop platform! I know that it'll be years away, but now I'll start to more serious
  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:55PM (#16763439)
    I've advised all the Suse users I know and support to do the same thing, right now.
    I will no longer be doing any updates to any of the Suse installations I support via Novell.

    I'm actively seeking a replacement distro.

    The poisoning of the well is under way, get out now while you still can.

    • I'm actively seeking a replacement distro.

      Desktop, Server, or Enterprise?

      Ubuntu, BSD, or Red Hat.
    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      I've advised all the Suse users I know and support to do the same thing, right now.
      I will no longer be doing any updates to any of the Suse installations I support via Novell.

      I'm actively seeking a replacement distro.

      The poisoning of the well is under way, get out now while you still can.


      You're a sorry picture, you know that?
    • That's actually an interesting idea. This way Novell will get an imediate idea what is the reaction of their users.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by houghi (78078)
      It is amaxing that people are actualy anti Microsoft instead of pro-linux. Also nice to see so many people jumping to conclusions.

      Even if you were to change distributions, I would say it is unwise to stop updating. First the deal is about SLED and SLES, so 'normal' SUSE users, or better openSUSE users won't be affected for a LONG time.

      Second, say that I stop updating my servers, I will need two to three months to test a new distribution. What must I do when in the meantime there is a vurlerability? Leave it
      • nice to see so many people jumping to conclusions

        I counted the use of the word "patent" 16 times in Microsoft's press release. [microsoft.com] Draw your own conclusion.
  • Goodbye Novell (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Gothmolly (148874)
    Finally, MS will kill you off. You think 380 million is something they'll even NOTICE? In return, lets see, they get.. your source code, YAST, AppArmor, mindshare, and info on your business.
    • Mod parent Troll (Score:3, Informative)

      by PCM2 (4486)
      In return, lets see, they get.. your source code, YAST, AppArmor, mindshare, and info on your business.

      Heh. Nice troll. You really think Microsoft had to pay $380 million for Suse's source code? If that's what happened then Ron Hovsepian must be have been doubled over laughing all week.

      P.S. Yes folks, both YaST and AppArmor are GPL.

    • by houghi (78078)
      Hey, they payed for the sourcecode? Wow, I get that for free. The same with YaST, which is available under GPL. M$ does not even need to spread FUD, we are able to do it much better.
  • OIN? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by quantaman (517394) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:11AM (#16763909)
    Novell is a member of the Open Invention Network [openinventionnetwork.com]. A patent collective that is used to defend certain open source projects (if you sue project X or used of project X for patent infringement than they sue you). Afiak OIN is the reason that mono was included in fedora, because they were able to use it to defend against Microsoft patents.

    Thus if Microsoft sues someone for using one of those protected open source projects than OIN sues back.

    This brings up two interesting questions. First, since Novell is a member of OIN would they be considered partial owners of these patents and thus in violation of this agreement if OIN sues MS? (I suspect not).

    Second. What are the state of OIN's current patents? From the site it looks like OIN itself owns the patents (so they shouldn't lose any defensive power) but my strong suspicion is that Novell wouldn't be allowed to transfer any new patents to OIN since they could be potentially be used to sue MS (and thus in violation of this agreement).

    Does anyone know more about these issues and how this agreement might affect OIN?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by quantaman (517394)
      It turns out that the crown jewels of OIN's collection, the Commerce One patents (covering a bunch of XML stuff), were contributed by Novell [livejournal.com].

      Again, I don't think that Novell can withdraw those patents or that the patents would be covered by Novell's agreement with MS but it is still an interesting twist.
  • by Laven (102436) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:13AM (#16763925)
    Excerps from my blog post [livejournal.com] of November 3rd, the day that Novell sold their soul and betrayed the community for a little short-term safety.

    As long as I work on the Fedora Project, Fedora will never compromise on the essential liberties of FOSS nor will it betray the community. But the price of liberty is not free, nor is it comfortable. And unfortunately, some "leaders" of our community [lwn.net] are willing to compromise liberty for short-term convenience. I am disgusted by people like this [lwn.net], and by Novell's betrayal of the community today.

    Novell has effectively traded Long-Term Liberty for Short-Term Safety.

    Red Hat supports causes that matter like providing the original seed money for Creative Commons [redhat.com]. Or being a key partner in the anti-software patent movement [lwn.net] during the miraculous last-minute turnaround at the European Parliament last year. I am proud to be part of an organization that demonstrates such moral and ethical commitment.

    But ultimately, Red Hat cannot change the world alone. That is why the Fedora Project exists. We want to enable the community to work together to improve FOSS at a rapid pace, in partnership with the large and consistent contributions from our engineers. We strongly believe that this is the most effective way for the entire FOSS movement to advance. Yes, we made some big mistakes in our community relationship earlier, but we are learning, and continue to improve at an ever accelerating pace.

    For these reasons that I urge the FOSS community to support the Fedora Project through volunteer contributions of time and effort. Or if you lack time to contribute, please consider monetary donations toward any of the shared causes that we are fighting for.

    http://wtogami.livejournal.com/11305.html [livejournal.com]
    Please read more in the original version in this blog entry.

    Warren Togami
    Founder, Fedora Project
    Software Engineer, Red Hat, Inc.

  • I felt good, almost warm about working with Novell.

    I'm rolling out servers all over the globe, and they were going to be running SLES. This is because it was a solidly supported platform, partnered and certified with Dell, and clearly exhibited potential as a stable, longterm Linux solution.

    Novell could have done without Microsoft indefinately.. Tell them to get their own Linux.

    Many of the people who were in SUSE for Novell will be parting ways.

    Three cheers for Debian and it's offspring!!

    Huzzah! Updates
  • No company that has made a technology deal with Microsoft has come out ahead, some, like Spyglass, lost their shirt! I've been a big fan of Novell over the years, I still say that their fileservers were some of the best and most reliable ever made...but I fear for them with this deal with Microsoft. I hope they prove me wrong.

    ttyl
              Farrell
  • by houghi (78078) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:36AM (#16764059)
    From this page [novell.com]

    Since the announcement of the Novell-Microsoft agreement on November 2, we have been flooded with questions from the open source community about what this deal means to the Linux, the open source community, and even what this deal means for Novell. We will use this page to answer as many of those questions as possible. Check back frequently, as we will continue to add more answers as quickly as possible.

    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.

    Many more questions are answerd there. The fact that they get some money for their service is nice. Microsoft pays for the update service from Novell. Something that wasn'r free for SLES and SLED anyway. You can still get the SLES and SLED for free [novell.com].

    You will need an activation code FOR THE UPDATES as was always the case. openSUSE [opensuse.org] will still be available for free
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ruppel (82583)
      From that same page Novel states the following,

      "...If any of our code is found to infringe someone else's patents, we will try to find prior technology to invalidate the patents, rework the code to design around the infringement, or as a last resort remove the functionality..."

      This is a nice admission of Novell to the fact that they will never pay anyone licensing fees for a patent. This is of course true for most large corporations, but they hardly ever go on record stating it this clearly.
  • by Kerhop (652872) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:03AM (#16764211)
    Microsoft pays Novell $240 million and another $108 million for a total of $348 million. Novell pays Microsoft back $40+ million, so Microsoft is really only paying $308 million.
  • by f8l_0e (775982) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:27AM (#16764623)
    Microsoft is not directly targeting Linux, but rather apps/utilities that might persuade users from switching to it. There are two things that Novell has that Microsoft would want to bury or pollute. Evolution and Xgl. Decent email/collaboration/task management software could help corporate users break away from Outlook; and Xgl makes Aeroglass effects possible on modest hardware. I have a feeling that we'll see these two projects either stagnate (from Novell's end), or newly added features might find themselves getting non GPL code in them. I suggest forking the code on both now.

The first version always gets thrown away.

Working...