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A 5-Year Deal With Microsoft To Dump Novell/SUSE 174

Posted by kdawson
from the wake-up-call dept.
Nicholas Petreley writes, "Wake up little SUSE, wake up. No, that's not good enough. Wake up SUSE customers, wake up. Novell is jeopardizing the future of Linux for its own short-term rewards. If you want to see Linux flourish, let alone survive, after Novell's five year deal with Microsoft expires, I suggest we make an alternative five-year deal with Microsoft. In this case, our part of the deal is to spend the next five minutes, months, or years migrating away from every shred of Novell/SUSE software in our home, office, or enterprise."
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A 5-Year Deal With Microsoft To Dump Novell/SUSE

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:04AM (#16785279) Journal
    By the end of this day, SUSE Linux will no longer soil my hard drive. I'm taking a stand. How about you?
    All I can answer this with is another quote:
    And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. - Matthew 5:30 NIV
    Funny, I've always found this to be a little extreme and Old Testament. I guess what I'm saying is I'd rather respond with open arms and understanding/forgiveness than a knife. Is it really that bad that Microsoft and Novell made this deal?
  • SuSE and Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tannhaus (152710) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:06AM (#16785319) Homepage Journal
    I understand people hate Microsoft. But, how is this any different than the mono project and their microsoft deal?

    Microsoft advertises on slashdot as well.

    Microsoft is, in the end, just a company. It may be a monopoly, but it is just a company. It's not going to destroy linux if one company makes a deal with another one. Linux is an operating system that spans MANY companies. If anything, this may get linux into more of those pro-windows IT shops. The ones that aren't pro-windows won't care about the deal either way.

    It just seems odd to me that people are foaming at the mouth over this.
    • by jchawk (127686)
      I'm all for Microsoft working with Linux as long as they don't try to embrace and extend it... I think they see that there is a ton of money to be made in "Linux Space". I run an IT department. We use the best tool for the job. Be it Linux, Microsoft, MAC. Most networks are not homogeneous, they're a mixture of different systems, vendors and software. A good IT staff can make it all play nice together but if Microsoft can further simplify the process and save me time during deployments of new systems
  • Actual Knowledge (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:07AM (#16785345)
    People who have actually seen the agreements: 10.

    People who have seen the comments who have publicly shared the exact details on /., digg, or anywhere else? 0.

    Honestly sometimes the /. paranoia gets to me. While there may be downsides to the agreement the fact of the matter is that Suse customers will benefit as long as it exists and probably after it is no longer. Linux users at the very least won't be hurt because nothing Novell or Microsoft does will break Linux....neither company owns it, one of them actively contributes, and the other is saying it will help with interoperability.

    Sheesh....time for a break from my tinfoil hat and staying indoors.
  • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by megaditto (982598)
    2^24 comments should be enough for anybody
  • I guess what I'm saying is I'd rather respond with open arms and understanding/forgiveness than a knife. Is it really that bad that Microsoft and Novell made this deal?

    I hate questions that require time to sort out. Will the Democrats taking back Congress be a good thing? Who knows? I remain, for some reason, forever hopeful, but if Novell becomes a MS pawn - well... I'm gonna stick with hopeful, because the other end of the spectrum is not that pleasant.

    So we'll wait...

  • by mobby_6kl (668092) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:08AM (#16785365)
    In this case, our part of the deal is to spend the next five minutes, months, or years migrating away from every shred of Novell/SUSE software in our home, office, or enterprise."

    I'm doing my part already. I installed the RC2 on my test pc and will be installing the final version on all compatible machines.
  • hell no (Score:3, Funny)

    by thejrwr (1024073) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:08AM (#16785383) Homepage
    Great!, even now as i speak im trowing my SuSe Disks in the microwave, and burning the man pages now
  • I agree, also how the hell am I going to wipe my own ass after having cut my wiping hand off? Furthermore, if I have to start wiping with leftie, won't that cover my hand with sin if I miss, causing me to have to cut off that hand too?
  • by Anubis350 (772791) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:10AM (#16785401)
    Going to bring up a problem that LiquidCoooled [slashdot.org] brought up in another thread, hopefully it's visible here.

    Looks like replies are broken, perhaps data-base limitation, see LiquidCooled's post here [slashdot.org]
  • by Concern (819622) * on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:10AM (#16785407) Journal
    The thesis here is a little murky, but the author has enough of a point for me to wipe Novell-related Linux products (though that's easy for me to say, as I don't actually use any that I know of).

    In brief: Microsoft has cross-licensed software patents with Novell. The idea is to legitimize their patents before they attempt to sue other Linux distro vendors (and probably others).

    The author is correct in their assertion that, if Novell has done so (and it appears that they may have), they are actually now in violation of the GPL. From section 7:

    For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

    The endgame is where I lose the guy a little on the specifics, but it doesn't really matter. The point here is another anti-Linux legal FUD campaign. suffice it to say, this is hardly a conspiracy theory. Microsoft is the direct author of SCO.

    Say it with me, kids. Software Patents are Insane.

    Software Patents are Insane.

    No one can read 200,000 of them, or the few thousand new ones each day. No human being can validate code against the patent base. All software is a ticking patent timebomb. It is (vaguely) legalized barratry, and the rest of the world (who has soundly avoided this insanity) will be laughing at the American software industry all the way to the bank.

    There is no solution short of immediate and complete invalidation of all current and future patents on software.
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:11AM (#16785431)
    Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

    I assumed you meant "less than 1%" in which case it should have been " Which means you'd better stay away from Linux anyway because you'll be absolutely rubbish at redirecting STDIN, STDOUT and STEDERR at the command line...

  • by ClubStew (113954) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:12AM (#16785441)
    I see only two explanations for this apparent contradiction, neither of them good.

    Perhaps there's a third option: SUSE will contain code covered under Microsoft patents, since Microsoft is helping both the distribution and Windows interoperate better, which might mean breaking a few of its own patents, since Microsoft has that right.

    How about a fourth? The article thinks Novell is spreading FUD. Maybe out of this deal is code for use in other linux distros, but Microsoft is helping to energize SUSE given how much money was dumped into Novell.

    Now for a fifth: the article referenced in this post is just spreading FUD. It's the typical, "It stinks of Microsoft so it must be bad." I don't see how better interop is bad.

  • It is kinda scary what they're doing. Everyone knows that Microsoft WILL do something evil. They already are by saying that only SuSE customers are safe. But they have a rug they're just waiting to pull out from under Novell. Novell is making a deal with the devil, and they're going to pay for it.
  • by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@NosPAm.optonline.net> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:13AM (#16785467) Journal

    Is it really that bad that Microsoft and Novell made this deal?

    No, but at the article maintains...

    Perception has always mattered more than facts.

    And if you are a Linux booster, your first thought is that SUSE/Novell has sold its soul to the devil. But don't kid yourself; all arguments about patents and the GPL aside, the frightening thought is that Microsoft might steal ideas from Linux, wrap them in subtle obfuscations, and try to pass them off as original concepts that were natural outgrowths of Windows development. The thought that Linux and Windows might procreate... well, that's gotta be kinda shocking. But then again, doesn't this potentially lead to the Linux community getting a better look at Windows and perhaps pulling the same in reverse? In the end we end up with something that will probably be stillborn. As to the death of SUSE, I think the threat is greatly exaggerated.

  • by thewiz (24994) * on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:15AM (#16785499)
    I'm no longer in love with your scaly green skin since you started going out with that snake-in-the-grass, Micro$$$$$$oft.

    I'm dating a nice lady from Africa named Ubuntu. And she has all the features I need!
  • by RichMeatyTaste (519596) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:15AM (#16785509)
    Listen.

    Do you want in the door at Fortune 500 companies? I mean lots of them? Then this is a good thing.

    If Linux is to displace Microsoft then it needs exposure exposure exposure. It needs people seeing if they can run complex Excel spreadsheets with VB Macros on other platforms. It needs people seeing if there are alternate Exchange backends that allow full Outlook frontends.

    If Linux works well with Microsoft more people will at least *try* Linux, plain and simple. When people try it, they either stay with it or come back and say why it won't work.

    For example, there are tons of popular PC platforms that various Linux distros won't work on without changing things. Just 2 weeks ago I attempted to install the newest Ubuntu build on a 3 year old P4 IBM business class PC and you know what, it wouldn't install. I was able to troubleshoot it to a lack of onboard video memory, but a quick bios fix took care of that. Unfortunately the error that came up was so vague that the "average" user would have probably given up.

    Linux needs all the "new" users it can get. They are the ones that find the funky errors, the ones that the "elites" otherwise consider a "minor" issue.

    One of the reasons that Windows is so popular is that for the most part it installs without any problems, especially on PC's from major manufacturers (which Fortune 500 companies tend to buy).

    Enough now, I'm at work.
    • Your imaginative utopian vision aside, have you heard ANYTHING from Novell about SLED (the Novell SuSE-based enterprise desktop distro) since the MS announcement?

      My hands-on review of SLED10 [techbuilder.org] just got published.

      In which I say that "Vista-killer" as applied to SLED10 is hype, but SLED11 might actually be a "Vista-killer". I define this as a Linux distro which can be run by an average home user if the OS is preinstalled and will handle what the average computer user needs done and on which that user can i
  • by Concern (819622) *
    Is it really that bad that Microsoft and Novell made this deal?

    Yes.

    Microsoft is the author of SCO.

    They are continuing to do anything and everything they can to sabotage Linux specifically and open-source in general, not out of any particular malice, but just because it's business, and that's how they interpret their duty to their shareholders.

    There are very few reasons why it would be worth it to Microsoft to make such a big payout to Novell to "cross-license" ludicrous "software patents" with them. A rathe
  • I've been a long time SuSE supporter and always pushed that it was great for an end user and great for any number of server configurations. Whatever the deals outcome may be I'm definetly not going to stop using it (personally) for fear of microsoft. I've long thought that SuSE may be one that could give end users a good incentive to switch away from microsoft, when Novell bought them I was even more excited (never been a big novell fann though). I'm not going to start running until I see them coming over t
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:18AM (#16785547) Journal
    People seem to be complaining about some 'reply' function being broken or something.

    At any rate, I'll make some statements to start a conversation and if the rest of Slashdot agrees with them, do not respond or refute them:
    • Microsoft is the awesomenest company ever--assimilating Novell's SUSE is just another sign that we need to worship MS.
    • Vote Republican or you kill babies.
    • Linux is a deformed version of something I threw up last night after too much whiskey.
    Once again, remember that silence is complacency, I await your responses if you disagree with me!
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:18AM (#16785553) Journal
    Wow, what a difference a few years makes. The comparisons you use are strange. I take it you never used windows before NT or 95. What you are _REALLY_saying is that windows has been around so long, the windows way of doing things is what users expect... No, I'm not going to tell you that is a lame way of looking at things, but you seem to think that most users _KNOW_ how things are supposed to be and how they are supposed to work. I deal with users every day that don't know how to do even the simplest tasks in windows, and are amazed when someone knows such things off the top of their head. My point is that your comparison is falacious in that it makes an assumption about what _regular users_ know and want.

    What I find is that they want a magic disc that they can put in the slot in the front of their "hard drive unit" and magically everything either works, or fixes itself. They are just as confused about having to run setup from a CD as they are about running an install script. Either one is a kind of "black magic" to them as they don't understand either. Many of them don't know if they have installed software or not, despite having run the installation CD.

    The hunt for drivers or updates is something that all computer users used to have to do. The Linux desktop, while not exactly a shining example of easy to use/install software, is still a viable alternative, and if _regular people_ have to learn one OS or another, there is no reason not to learn Linux. Remember, _regular people_ are baffled by every OS, not just Linux. Your ranting is counter productive, and seems to settle on windows simply because its been here for a few years, and until every other OS looks and works like windows, then windows is the only OS to use. This is not sound logical reasoning.
  • Parent wrote: '"It stinks of Microsoft so it must be bad." I don't see how better interop is bad.'

    Man, some smells are just plain BAD, know what I mean?

  • First off i like Suse over Debian as cd wise there are less patch bandwidth issues (over quota come back next month) that you get with apt-get, otherwise you have compile it from scratch.

    The way we use suse means theres still plenty of config file editing in vi. So don't just think gui config tools

    Yes I agree novell will 'die in 5 years' becuase of ms deal. - I guess Umbunto will be the new linux desktop os, but for the servers ? fedora ? / fds ?, Were not willing to go 'enterprise' linux.

    Suggestions

  • Switching Linux distros is nothing like cutting off your hand. This deal is a bad deal for Linux and Linux users, and we should not support it.
  • Awesome plan! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Magic5Ball (188725) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:20AM (#16785605)
    "Microsoft is attempting ... eradicate Linux, sabotage it..."

    So the best option is react with:

    "Novell/SUSE users and customers should wipe Novell/SUSE off their disks and install virtually any non-Novell/SUSE alternative in its place."

    Also:

    "I seem to recall Microsoft made five year (or similar length) deals with Sybase, Symantec, Corel, Borland, Citrix, and other companies that thrived before the deals only to be reduced to insignificant gnats afterward."

    It's the same plan that they used to kill Apple. Oh, wait...
  • Would the question
    "Novell's November 2 press release states that, "Novell will also make running royalty payments based on a percentage of its revenues from open source products." Are these payments for a patent license to Novell?"

    Really be a question a lot of people made?

    Then why is the question:
    "Is this a trap?"

    Not in there?

    THe point is: the term "FAQ" is used too loosely these days. I bet there are better engrish words for this reports.
  • by Noryungi (70322) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:20AM (#16785617) Homepage Journal
    I have never used SuSE anyway. I have installed it a couple of time, and I found it bloated and needlessly complicated.

    Some companies may buy SuSE, because of the Microsoft deal, but I strongly doubt it. SCO has shown that legal threats do not work. Do you really think IBM will beg for mercy if Novell (or Microsoft) knocks on the door, legal papers in hand? Do you think HP will do the same? What about Sun? I don't think so.

    As a matter of fact, the Novell/Microsoft deal may be excellent for the future of Linux: I can see a lot of companies (HP, IBM, Red Hat, Mandriva, Sun, etc) get together and pool legal resources to fight any such threat. And that means -- worst case scenario -- that their combined economic power will simply crush any attempt by Microsoft to be "legally" naughty. The fact is, Linux cannot be stopped right now: there is simply too much interest and too much money at stake for too many people. And I suspect Microsoft knows this: it's simply trying to dip a toe in the water, see how this Linux thing really is working, try to work out some sort of compromise and preserve its profit margin. But it knows it can't fight Linux anymore (or, at least, some parts of Microsoft know that -- some other parts may ignore it).

    Open source is an idea whose time has come. And it was Victor Hugo who said: "You can't fight an idea whose time has come". Again, I suspect Microsoft knows this. Hence the Novell deal.
    • Open source is an idea whose time has come. And it was Victor Hugo who said: "You can't fight an idea whose time has come". Again, I suspect Microsoft knows this. Hence the Novell deal.

      I'm a Marxist. I don't know if this will ring true since you're probably not, but... Socialism is an idea whose time has come. It can sure as hell be fought, though. Open source will probably, like socialism, never go away but it can be fought indefinitely. We communists have learned to not talk of inevitability.
  • you ever notice how similar evolution is to outlook? I always thought it was odd to name a program evolution that did more to mimic another application than actually improve anything. I'm not sure I want to stop using it though... it is pretty handy to have all of that stuff bundled together in one app. I bet thats why microsoft has a patent somewhere that says they own the idea.
  • by SeaPig (649774)
    Actually - Matthew is in the new testament. But I guess that doesn't change your point any.
  • 'Cuz the Admins already know about the problem and are working on it. Blasting them in every thread/story/post doesn't make them work faster, you know.
  • by THE ROCK (127208)

    Linux is user-friendly, but it is not idiot-friendly.

    Windows is idiot-friendly.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Dont you guys get it?

    This 5 year deal with novel is nothing more than a smoke screen.. they are counting on our hatred of Microsoft to blind us and have the same exact reaction you're having right now... a call to boycott Novell... then Microsoft wins... don't you understand? Novell dies... as does SUSE along with them, and there is one less distro for MS to deal with... and for a 5 year thing to burry a company $350 mil is not a bad deal... Trust me, they would get what they wanted for cheap.
  • So I'm going to throw out SUSE today in light of this article. Companies who put their effort into FOSS aren't supposed to be making money anyways, right guys? I'd rather make a deal with the devil than give way to Red Hat and Oracle without a fight.
  • Dumping Novell (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jdfox (74524) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:26AM (#16785741)
    quote from TFA:
    Novell/SUSE users and customers should wipe Novell/SUSE off their disks and install virtually any non-Novell/SUSE alternative in its place.

    Not so easy in a server room, especially in a mixed Windows/*nix server room where Novell's deal with Microsoft doesn't bother management in the slightest, even if you can explain it to them.

    An "upgrade" to Red Hat might be the sort of thing that could be explained to the average PHB though, especially if you can make a cost-savings case for it.
    We can expect marketing campaigns from Red Hat and Oracle [slashdot.org] anytime now, with "upgrade" deals waved around.

    Dump all MONO development for any of the many excellent alternatives, and abandon your investment in all Novell-based open or closed source tools.
    Sounds easier: Mono hasn't established a significant base in the corporate market yet. And if Sun GPLs Java [slashdot.org], you could even start presenting Java as not just more open, but also least-likely-to-be-sued.

    Weird times.

  • by rindeee (530084) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:28AM (#16785773)
    Perhaps it was an unfair prejudgement on my part, but when Novell picked up SuSE, I went on. Having ridden the "Big Red" bus in the past, I wanted no part of Novell's nonsensical business decisions. SuSE was/is a fine distro, but there are so so many others out there that are better and truly free (CentOS anyone). What is their consumer base these days? Have they really grown since Novell bought them? They used to be huge in Europe, are they still? Perhaps it's ignorance talking, but SuSE just doesn't seem to be anywhere near the distro player that they used to be. Will they really be missed?
  • Can you blame people for their paranoia? Microsoft habitually tries to destroy anything that they get involved with -- Apple, Javascript, IBM, etc.

    It is not that Microsoft will turn Linux proprietary -- the GPL gets in the way. But consider this scenario: you can run your Linux (SUSE) server, and now, you can use Microsoft technologies! Get the integration you need, you can more easily manage a mixed environment! Five years pass Now, Linux is just a kernel that Microsoft never touches. But they ess

    • by melonman (608440)

      Can you blame people for their paranoia? Microsoft habitually tries to destroy anything that they get involved with -- Apple, Javascript, IBM, etc.

      Is that Apple which now has a bigger turnover than Dell, Javascript that seems to be more popular than ever thanks to AJAX and IBM that has been doing ok recently too? And you didn't mention Netscape that eventually became Firefox. Given your examples, it seems to me that the Linux community should complain that Microsoft is not being mean enough to make Linux

  • by couchslug (175151)
    Time for the Linux community to shun SuSE.

    It is not out of line to say that Microsoft is an enemy of the Linux community, and that SuSE just sold out.
    It costs us nothing to drop SuSE and switch to an appropriate distro instead.

    The only power we have as users of Free and Open software is the power to include and exclude by our choice.

    The ideals behind Debian look better every day.
  • It is kinda scary what they're doing.

    Yeah I know, I feel the same way. Maybe I just don't understand the intricacies the modern business world, but how is making a deal with your competitor so they won't sue you going to help you any? I understand that M$ is the 800 lb. gorilla in the room and fear of death by lawuits is a real concern, but I can't see that paying "protection money" to M$ is a viable solution to this. Its like negotiatoting with hostage-takers, sure you might gain something in the shor


  • Why would they have to? I was a long time Novell fan, but I eventually had to admit that Novell is no longer relevant in the world today.

    The truth is that MS just needs to standby if they want Novell to go away. This seems more like an attempt by them to keep the company alive so they can site them as "competition" for antitrust purposes.

    I doubt that Novell will be able turn themselves around like Apple did, they have a history of making terrible business decisions.
  • by Himring (646324) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:32AM (#16785825) Homepage Journal
    As I offered earlier:

    "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,"

    http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS4685037869.html [linux-watch.com]

    That reminds me of another, historical, agreement:

    "Under the treaty, England receives directly from Germany a promise not to attack Poland. England does not receive a promise not to attack Germany, and we have not agreed with Germany to any condition that would contradict the conditions of previous treaties. Our agreement does not affect the freedom that Poland or any other country in Europe, including France, has under previous treaties and does not impose any condition that would contradict the conditions of such treaties. Therefore, the treaty is fully compliant with all previous treaties."

    Sincerely,

    Neville Chamberlain


  • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by eno2001 (527078)
    Agreed. I came here to read stuff and all I got what this lousy javascript void(0) error. :P
  • by cerelib (903469)
    If they are distributing code that is subject to patent, it would only be a violation of the GPL if that code was part of a derivative work of GPL code. They can easily include libraries and applications in their releases without ever linking it to GPL code such as the kernel. If I remember correctly, this is how they got away with keeping Yast closed source for so long. So I am not sure if this addresses what you are after, but I thought I would put in my two cents. The real question is, what code is s
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:36AM (#16785887)
    I'll run into our director of developement's office,

    "Bad news sir, we need to uninstall SUSE right now and migrate all 30 boxes to another linux!"

    "What? Why?"

    "MS is bad and makes deals with Novel, if we keep SUSE our linux geek cred score will go down by MANY MANY points. We can't have that."

    "...are you high again?"

    "...maybe"
  • by msobkow (48369) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:36AM (#16785893) Homepage Journal

    Every tiny distro out there considers it offensive that they're not included in the deals and financing directly, because they contribute in some way to OSS. Somewhere they've gotten the idea that a small contribution implies ownership of the whole.

    It's the same crowd that cries about GPL violations when the software under consideration is licensed under Apache, Mozilla, or a host of other licenses.

    Even when dealing with GPL software, they forget that even someone like Stallman who contributed huge amounts of time, effort, and code are still only one team member whose total contribution is still an infinitesmal fraction of the total effort.

    If you want to control software, don't use OSS licensing. If you want to share it so everyone can benefit, look into an OSS license that agrees with your personal and business philosophies.

    Just remember that virtually every single OSS license out there grants people and companies the right to make money by selling an add on service or product. Packaging and support are a service, and apparently one customers will pay for. The fact that your service or product ideas haven't financed a move out of the basement yet are not the fault of Microsoft, Novell, IBM, or any other company or individual with net-positive revenues.

    It's yours. The cheeto-eater. The student with the ideas but no business experience, the theoretician who has proven it works but not built anything useful or saleable from the idea, the idealist who created a great package but has neither mind nor market share.

    Figure out a way to convince customers you have something worth paying for, or stop whining that others are more skilled at doing so. Preferably both.

  • Its called Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish, my friend. We've seen it before, and we'd be surprised not to see it again. A dog kicked several times cowers. Or bites.
  • Because discussions on the Microsoft/Novell deal aren't the place to talk about the broken comment system?

    It's not likely the editors would be able to fix it anyway (plus, they don't even read submissions, why would they read the comments?), if you want it fixed, notify the maintainers of Slashcode [slashcode.com].
  • Almost all of our servers were being installed with SUSE. The second that was announced, the company announced it was now standardizing on Red Hat. We'll be spending the next year moving the servers over to Red Hat and all new servers are getting installing with RHEL
  • by deanoaz (843940)
    "It just seems odd to me that people are foaming at the mouth over this."

    Not if you remember that when Novell made Gnome the default desktop in their Novell Linux Desktop product the boards went berserk claiming that Novell had set out to destroy KDE. It turned out KDE was still supported and is still the default desktop in Novell Enterprise products. The current outcry is predictable if you remember the previous ones.

    Novell's mission is to make linux mainstream in enterprises that can afford to pay them fo
  • What about all of our enterprise apps that are running on mono? As long as my huge company that relies upon those apps 24/7 can still get the support they need, let the world move along as it wishes!

    Dang I used to just love SUSE Linux. Their documentation was simply the best. Now their wrapped up with Novell, Microsoft...must ponder this change.
  • by Konster (252488)
    MS DNA in the GPL via SuSE?

    Gather the troops. :(
  • by joe 155 (937621)
    I have to disagree with you, from what I've read MS isn't going to allow linux to run MS products and everything will become standards compliant and everyone will be happy. This seems like they will allow SUSE to have a measure of intermingling use but NO other distro. They have always been in the past, and almost certainly will be in the future, openly hostile to FLOSS. Remember when the now CEO of MS said that it was like AIDS? (or some other virus, I forget)

    So this should worry us, and getting rid
  • .. Like we're really that stupid to believe everything on Slashdot is a trap.
  • The article called something FUD, and that part of the article was in and of itself FUD>

    So, lets get this straight, the quotes, paraphrased:
    (1) Novell admits no infringement on IP or patented code
    (2) Novell is paying MS to keep itself and it's customers from being sued for using MS IP in it's products.

    So...

    The article is saying (2) suggests that (1) is a lie. Now, IANAL, but it seems to me, if you are paying a royalty for copyrighted/patented/IP stuff, then there is no infringement, so in that matter, (
  • by pnutjam (523990)
    I mean come on, get over it. Linux is linux. Suse, Debian, Ubuntu, Slackware, Red Hat, Fedora,Kannotix...
    Some have better support for different hardware or slightly different ways of implementing things.

    If SUSE screws up there will always be alternatives. OpenSUSE is not connected to this deal in any way and could easily diverge if they disagree with the direction Novell is taking.

    Everybody just needs to calm down.
  • by paladinwannabe2 (889776) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:44AM (#16786037)
    Microsoft appears to be making a strategic alliance with Novell. So what. It's unlikely MS will use this to try to crush competing Linux distros- there is no way they would succeed, and we would all boycott MS AND Novell if they tried something stupid and evil like that. See the SCO vs. IBM case for what happened last time MS tried to destroy Linux- we'd all ignore MS's fud, and they would lose a lot of money in court.

    Also, Novell's code is under the GPL. This means that anything Microsoft lets Novell do can be used by anyone else. Thus, MS can't use this to make a 'MS only' version of Linux. In fact, thanks to the GPL, anything Microsoft does to help Novell can help the community as a whole.

    Microsoft is not the Devil. Everything they touch is not automatically unclean and corrupted. The worst MS could do is help Novell create a Linux distro that is the standard by which other distros are judged. I know many /.ers are afraid of that- but believe me, there are bigger things to worry about. You should use the OS that best suits your needs- be it Ubuntu, Debian, SuSe, Windows, or OSX.
  • by MECC (8478) *
    "Software Patents are Insane."

    Especially in the EU, where a software patent must be negotiated in each member nation separately. This entire deal is such an obvious sucker, you'd need a lobotomy not to see it. MS is harboring some kind of puerile fantasy that this 'deal' (read 'protection scheme') will enable it to pull a patent rug out from under GPL'd software - except there is no rug. Repeat: there is no rug. The entire deal is complete vaporware.

    Buying SUSE to feel safe only supports the sche
  • "It just seems odd to me that people are foaming at the mouth over this."

    Not if you remember that when Novell made Gnome the default desktop in their Novell Linux Desktop product the boards went berserk claiming that Novell had set out to destroy KDE. It turned out KDE was still supported and is still the default desktop in Novell Enterprise products. The current outcry is predictable if you remember the previous ones.

    Novell's mission is to make linux mainstream in enterprises that can afford to pay them fo
  • I catch a bit of crap here and there for taking the "easy way out" with Ubuntu, but you know what? I don't care. I've tried Debian, Fedora (Core 3, just as Core 4 came out, and then upgraded), Slack, and I almost attempted Gentoo, but the install guide scared me so I didn't. I've done my time, I deserve to take the easy way out now ;). Besides, it's good to see a Linux install go so flawlessly - it makes non-Linux users confident that more things can go their way, and that Linux isn't a fight all the way th
  • cool down (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oohshiny (998054) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:46AM (#16786057)
    As I have written previously [slashdot.org], the whole thing is primarily a publicity stunt on the part of Microsoft. By being able to point at deals like this, they can attempt to claim that there is something to their claims that they have intellectual property that Linux may infringe on. In addition, the reason the whole thing started is, I believe, a bunch of patents Novell asserted against Microsoft, not the other way around.

    But in the end, the deal is legally meaningless because Novell cannot protect just its own customers from lawsuits over (L)GPL software; yes, Novell can agree to cover their customers' legal costs, but should Microsoft ever assert any patents against anybody on a piece of (L)GPL'ed software, Novell's customers have to stop using the software in question (well, technically, they'd just not get any updates, but that amounts to the same thing) just like everybody else, since the (L)GPL does not permit redistribution of software that's patent encumbered.

    Potentially, this deal could be used by Microsoft to establish that their patents are "valuable", but I think courts aren't that stupid either. Furthermore, we have had several "worst-case scenarios" involving patents, open source software, and litigious companies, and their long term effect has been nil: open source seems to be able to work around intellectual property issues quite effectively.

    In the end, Microsoft has given several hundred million dollars to an open source company for a legally meaningless move and the ability to spread a bunch of FUD. It probably would have looked better for Novell to turn them down, but I don't see it as a really big problem that they didn't, and it's a big chunk of change that will probably fund more open source development.

    So, should you still use SuSE? I don't particularly like the company; I think they have always been excessively fond of software whose licenses I consider questionable (including Java and Qt). But I don't see them as a big threat either, and they are contributing to the community. In the end, the whole thing is a tempest in a teapot, except that an open source company is several hundred million dollars richer, which can't be all that bad.
  • Once upon a time there was a man with a red hat, and he fixed computers, lots of computers. And lo and behold he found another operating system to play with. And he did play, and the play resulted in a package management system. And then the binaries were free to be played with by all. And then the germans decided that they would modify this package management system, and lo it was good. I bet the only reason for all of this is so that Microsoft can get in edge wise on the exchange killer setup of Suse
  • by lixee (863589)
    Say it with me, kids. Software Patents are Insane.
    Not directly related, but maybe even more insane are patents on life forms. I just watched a documentary by the widow of Jerry Garcia called "the future of food", and the facts are mind-blowing. A must see!

    http://chomskytorrents.org/TorrentDetails.php?Torr entID=2348 [chomskytorrents.org]
  • Thats not really a fair comparison, doubly so if you compare against a modern distro like ubuntu. For the linux version, you assume that the graphics drivers and X are not setup. IIRC ubuntu installs these by default, but otherwise are just an apt-get away. If apt-get is too complex, then just fire up synaptic with all its GUI clickity goodness (and IIRC there is now another GUI package manager than just lists the major package-sets by user-friendly names without breaking it down to all the detailed deb pa
  • by rucs_hack (784150) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:50AM (#16786137)
    Microsoft are trying to bring linux into its own incarnation of the computing world, as every other major competitor to them in this field has faded into insignificance, or gone entirely. Basically they could beat linux if it was competing in the same way they work.

    However it isn't, and I think microsoft just haven't grasped that. Open source (which seems to be a phrase under constant re-interpretation), has one interesting attribute, only the fittest survive, not the 'richest'. Money has never equalled success in the FOSS world. Although it can help a truly good product get better, it can't save a bad one. This is entirely different to the closed source world, where money can indeed prop up crap software (IE anyone?).

    SUSE has never been the best distro, and its not very populer among the hobbyist userbase. All it has going for it is that microsoft and Novell have an established history of working together, something microsoft don't have with any other linux distributor.

    Microsoft had no choice but to pick SUSE, so they have to get what they can from this deal by way of leverage on the linux install base.

    They have already proved themselves capable of throwing billions into enterprises that make no money, so the idea that they could push 'microsoft aproved' linux at a loss to corporations and reap benefits by being perceived as an aproved software portal for the corporate world in this new era is entirely plausible.
    That would equal control, and that further means they can 'phase out' linux, because they control it, as it 'just isn't good enough'.

    Alas, this is a house of cards, and it just won't work. The plain fact is that open source has never really been something one entity controls, so this deal with Novell will harm SUSE, but not gnu/linux as a whole. Microsofts real target is Red Hat, being as they are the major player in the corporate linux world, and Novell is as close as they can get to the Red Hat camp, close enough (they think) to harm its install base.

    Yup, SUSE will be harmed, Red Hat may get pinched a bit, but FOSS is controlled by hundreds of thousands of developers, and will barely notice this event. Politics don't generally hurt hackers or prevent them from coding into the night, that's what mailing lists are for. You can't kill FOSS by finding bit of it and jumping up and down on it, and the open source world will always have a nasty habit of pulling a new unexpected innivation out that will deal a serious blow to any advance microsoft have made.

    I won't be having anything to do with any novell products now, not that I did much already, I'd decided a long time back that SUSE didn't do linux the way I liked it.
  • by H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @11:51AM (#16786161) Homepage Journal

    While companies can work out their own deals, and they might be able to do naughty things while still complying with GPLv2, we should be looking at our big deal. The GPL is the closest thing the free software community has to a social contract. We should be looking into how to prevent such harm for v3 of the GPL [fsfe.org].

  • by babelworx (879974)
    If you want to look at it objectively, read the press releases and the FAQs first. There is no patent cross license _anywhere_ here. It is a covenant not sue each others _customers_. Novell can still be sued for patent infringement by Microsoft and vice versa. Novell's _customers_ will no longer be sued by Microsoft. This is completely compatible with the GPL. I wish people would stop spreading bull about this cooperation. It is compatible with the GPL. Basta!
  • Novell has released a FAQ bout the agreement. [novell.com] It includes information about Section 7 of the GPL as well as open document format and what it means for mono.

    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 Microso

  • Do you hear that laughing sound, /.?

    Microsoft gets ready to launch the new cash cow, while at the same time, Linux deals with a nice fat FUD sandwich for a year or so while all this is sorted out. When a company has enough cash to buy your very soul, no amount of criticism or complaining can substitute for competition.

    A lot of time over the past 3 years that could have gone into inproving installs for new users, device drivers, and UI, has gone into endless chatter over the GPL and other issues that in

  • One of the reasons I'm using SuSE at home (and on the Linux lab that I run at a local community college) is that SuSE comes with a huge number of packages. If there's something I need, it's probably on the DVD, and I don't have to go through the "infinite regress of dependencies."

    I like Kubuntu, but its treatment of root is a bit different than what most books describe. That's minor; I'm certainly willing to write some extra material for my students.

    In any event, I'd like to know what people are switching t
  • If Microsofts intention with this deal was to destroy Linux you are surely doing them a favor by writing rants like this.
  • In the beginning of the article, Nic quotes Novell:

    Novell makes no admission that its Linux and open source offerings infringe on any other parties' patents.

    And than a few lines later claims:

    Wait. Didn't we just read that no such infringements exist?

    Sorry, but I do not read such a claim from Novell. They refuse to admit infringements, but in my understanding, this is not the same. Novell's statement is standard comment to protect them against false claims, such as that there are no patent infri
  • Rant rant (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mikesd81 (518581) <mikesd1.verizon@net> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @12:04PM (#16786375) Homepage
    Sometimes Mister Petreley's rants are informed in the Linux Journal /var/opinion. Sometimes not. He quotes in the first part of his rant from the Novell Agreement FAQ [novell.com]:
    Novell makes no admission that its Linux and open source offerings infringe on any other parties' patents.

    Then he goes on to say near the end:
    Take Novell to court over its violation of section 7 of the GPL.

    However question #1 in the FAQ is: How is this agreement compatible with Novell's obligations under Section 7 of the GPL? and the reply is:
    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.


    It also goes on to say that there was no threat of a law suit. so if he's going to call for lawyers to go after Novell for breaching the section 7 of the GPL.........maybe he should get some proof that they did?
  • by laffer1 (701823)
    I think most people are worried what influence Microsoft might make on Linux. In reality, Microsoft has already influenced Linux more than people realize. Do you think Linux would be as popular as it is now if there weren't a need for Free (and sometimes free) alternatives to Windows? The key is to get aggressive on desktops and servers. The Linux community has a unique opening to steal Microsoft's customers here. Might as well make use of the situation. And remember, if you are an OSS developer and N
  • by hweimer (709734)
    Do you want in the door at Fortune 500 companies?

    Um, no. At least not if it endangers fundamental values of the free software movement.
  • by a.d.trick (894813)

    Funny, I've always found this to be a little extreme and Old Testament. I guess what I'm saying is I'd rather respond with open arms and understanding/forgiveness than a knife. Is it really that bad that Microsoft and Novell made this deal?

    On the more serious note, this is actually from the New Testament, and the New Testament is extreme. Just read through the Sermon on the Mount. It states that if you even think lustful thoughts towards another person, it's just as bad as having commited adultery. The New

  • One of the facts about Suse/Novell is that they are 'Free' (as in speech) to do deals with 'every' ./ers arch enemy MS

    You might not like the direction they are going in, but you are also 'Free' to take GPLd code and write your very own GNU/Linux distribution.

    If, like me you have neither the time or skill to do that, then be grateful that there is wide choice of Free (beer/speech) distros out there for you to take your pick from. If you really like one and want to support their product and ethos, then yo

  • I see a lot of people complaining about this. Companies are pretty much stuck with 2 choices for file storage and enterprise email/calendaring/etc: Microsoft (Windows server, AD, Exchange, etc) and Novell (SUSE, eDirectory, Groupwise, etc). What other choices do we have for companies with more than 100 or 200 users?

  • If you want to see Linux flourish
    If Novell is paying Microsoft a percentage of its revenue from sales
    if there is no possibility Microsoft can sue Red Hat customers or any other Linux customers
    if you buy a non-SUSE distribution, you could get sued
    if Novell is obliged to pay Microsoft a percentage of its revenue from Linux
    If Novell/SUSE becomes the king of Linux in five years
    if you adopt Novell/SUSE products
    if that's the road you want to take.
    if Microsoft dares
    if its assertions were true, there wou

  • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
    you ever notice how similar evolution is to outlook?

    You ever notice how similar Outlook is to Groupwise?

    -b.

  • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
    I like Kubuntu, but its treatment of root is a bit different than what most books describe.

    At least in Ubuntu 6.06, sudo su - and then passwd root allows you to set a login password for (and enable) the root user. Same with OS X which treats root in a similar manner.

    -b.

  • by houghi (78078) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @12:30PM (#16786675)
    Let us not wait what will happen in, say a year.

    Also let us not look at it objectivaly and let us completely ignore what Novell has done for the Open Source community. Just let us drop them and then hope that Novell goes broke and some others fill in the void that will happen.

    Also let us ignore the fact that Novell is not SCO [linux-watch.com] or the Novell is also interested in seeing that the deal is coplying with the GPL [vnunet.com]

    Also let us forget all the Novell suported projects [vnunet.com]

    It is great to so that people are not realy pro Linux, but are rather anti-Microsoft.

    Yes, we should watch the deal closely and decide when things go wrong. To decide now will not do anybody any good, execpt perhaps RedHat, who are happily joining in the FUD for obvious reasons.

    Oh, this was all sarcastic.
  • I was a loyal SUSE user since 6.3 in late 1999. With 10.0 and the switch to OpenSUSE came a lot of problems I never had before; broken updates, problems installing stuff from third-parties (like packman), etc. I switched to Gentoo over the summer, and I'm quite happy with it. My roommate hung on through SUSE 10.1, but the problems only got worse. He just switched to Kubuntu, and it seems to be working quite well.

    Back when Novell first acquired SUSE, there were a lot of people saying "Oh great, Novell gets t
  • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

    by mshmgi (710435)

    Perhaps the Linux mascot should be changed. Instead of a penguin, we could use a lemming.

    Well, I guess I can kiss my karma goodbye, now.

  • The first time I used SUSE, I had a terrible experience. I installed it, mostly with the default options, and the updater was broken. It couldn't even download updates. It was SUSE 10.1. I don't understand how they could release an OS with such a critical bug. It kind of soured my on the whole idea of SUSE. Which is kind of sad, since It had such a nice UI.
  • by ender- (42944)
    by tannhaus (152710) Alter Relationship on Thursday November 09, @09:06 (#16785319)
    (http://members.home.com/tannhaus)

    I understand people hate Microsoft. But, how is this any different than the mono project and their microsoft deal?

    Microsoft advertises on slashdot as well.

    Microsoft is, in the end, just a company. It may be a monopoly, but it is just a company. It's not going to destroy linux if one company makes a deal with another one. Linux is an operating system that spans MANY companies. If anything, t
  • our part of the deal is to spend the next five minutes, months, or years migrating away from every shred of Novell/SUSE software in our home, office, or enterprise."

    But that certainly seems like a win/win for Microsoft.
  • by robpoe (578975)
    So, a Linux company makes a deal with Microsoft. Microsoft will agree to not sue the pants off of Novell. Novell licenses Microsoft tech. Why is everyone complaining. They made a deal, but I'd wager that there's more to it right now than meets the eye...

    The only thing I can say is maybe Novell is licensing some tech to make Windows Apps run better on Linux through, maybe, say, Wine.

    Oh, no, no they can't do that you'll yell.

    Cedega does. There are parts of Wine that Cedega doesn't open source. I.E. the
  • I have been using Ubuntu for a long time and love it. I have tried a lot of distros (RedHat, Fedora, Mandriva, DamnSmall, Mepis, Debian and "yes" -- (open)Suse). Finally I have settled on Ubuntu with the default Gnome desktop. It is simple, it works, it does what I need, and Debian's excellent universe repositories are just an "apt-get install" away...

  • I use Linux personally, but at work we are all Windows. Quite simply I can't use certain pieces of software, such as Sigmastat or Sigmaplot or our LIMS without windows. I don't want to use a VM, cause then I have 2 OS to deal with. IF M$ is attempting to work with SUSE to create another platform to sell M$ products to and that means that the M$ functionality is put in place by M$, even if it's hidden some how (I'm not an IT, thus do not know the correct terms) then I would be eager to switch to SUSE. I get
  • It's too bad, SuSE was a good distro. I hope that Novell understands that they are driving people away from it by doing this.

    I'm considering:
    1) Debian
    2) Ubuntu
    3) Roll my own Linux Distro.

    Later, GJC
  • ...about Ballmer's intelligence if he *didn't* start thinking about selling Linux somehow at this point.

    Let me put it this way; The only concrete reason anyone outside a corporation has to install Vista is for (new) games. For me anywayz, FreeBSD has pretty much everything else covered now...Seriously.
    • Want to listen to mp3s? XMMS [xmms.org] or Songbird [songbirdnest.com].
    • Want to watch movies? VLC [freshmeat.net]. Ports installs a heap of cd ripping software with VLC too, and I package managers for Linux do as well.
    • Want to share files? KMLDonkey [kmldonkey.org].
    • Want
  • XGL/Compviz is available elsewhere..

    YaST is available elsewhere..

    The GNOME2/Nautilus desktop is available /everywhere/..

    Easy Samba, WiFi, LDAP, Windows Terminal Services, and other "office-y" stuff is available elsewhere..

    Ubuntu, ubuntu, ubuntu, ubuntu. Debian, debian, debian, debian. CentOS, OpenSolaris, Gentoo, RHEL.

    --
    The only thing SUSE has going for it is the Novell support backing, and only corporate installations care about that. With the Oracle/RedHat support deal that factor carries less momentum
  • Microsoft just figured out how to make all the people who hate them say and think Microsoft 5000 times in one slashdot post... $350M for that kind of geek thoughtspace is probably cheap from a marketing standpoint.

    Scroll down to an ad for VS.NET, Microsoft pops into your mind once. Scroll thru this thread, and you've just spent a half hour singing "Micro-soft!" to yourself with every post you read.

    Clever bastards.
  • Companies that make deals with Microsoft often are unhappy. Microsoft only makes deals when it needs to and does not enjoy them. Novell got burns as many others have in the past. Since I have seen a higher percentage of companies who partner with Microsoft disappear shortly after, or become wounded badly, I avoid those companies. I expect them to go away. I worked for such a company. This is Microsoft's special game, and their good. I see no reason to use SUSE, more than I do now. Partly due to the deal, an
  • "one of them actively contributes, and the other is saying it will help with interoperability."

    Some of us don't want interoperability..
    A large portion of the Linux community abandoned M$ and switched to Linux because we HATE M$.
    Some of us worship the incompatibility of the two systems.
    IMO it's the best thing about Linux..

  • Linux zealots are far too forgiving when judging the difficultly of Linux configuration issues and far too harsh when judging the difficulty of Windows configuration issues. Example comments:

    ... Quake3 ...

    So, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that what seems easy and natural to Linux geeks is definitely not what regular people consider easy and natural. Hence, the preference towards Windows.

    Er... is this post from 4 years ago when Quake 3 was actually released, or..?

    I recently watched4 people in

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