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Red Hat Rejects Microsoft Patent Deal Overtures 201

Posted by jamie
Geekgal writes "Red Hat has slammed the door shut on any possibility of entering into a patent protection deal similar to the one Microsoft recently announced with Novell, eWeek is reporting. While Microsoft has repeatedly said it wants to work with Red Hat and would like to structure a relationship where its customers can be assured of the same thing as Novell's customers now are, Mark Webbink, Red Hat's deputy general counsel, says 'we do not believe there is a need for or basis for the type of relationship defined in the Microsoft-Novell announcement.' Interestingly enough, Microsoft also says that it has not ruled out going it alone and providing some sort of indemnification for its customers who also use Red Hat Linux." Meanwhile, Eben Moglen, the FSF general counsel, promises that GPLv3 will explicitly outlaw deals like this. (Of course everyone's on v2, so calling the Novell deal "DOA" would be premature.)
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Red Hat Rejects Microsoft Patent Deal Overtures

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  • So Essentially ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday November 16, 2006 @10:42AM (#16869152) Journal
    Let me get this straight, essentially Microsoft has successfully divided the Linux community in twain [slashdot.org] by making some sort of psuedo-deal with Novell. The details of which are pretty shady and the specifics are hard to find. Both companies are using generic speak to describe the deal they've sealed. Except that it's not sealed yet as there's still some tweaking yet to be done [zdnet.com]. And now people are spreading all kinds of rumors and the SAMBA group is upset at Novell and suddenly it's like I'm back in high school again and Microsoft asked Novell to go to the senior prom--but we all know he only did that because Novell will put out in the back seat of Microsoft's dad's Cadillac. Everyone else is pissed.

    The "alternative to Microsoft" community is divided and all Microsoft had to do was dump $500 million on Novell & play some mind games with them about possible suits if they didn't take this deal. Masterfully done, Microsoft. Once again, your business strategy is state of the art while your technology doesn't really have to be.
  • by sesshomaru (173381) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @12:00PM (#16870264) Journal
    Here's Cringeley's tak on it:

    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2006/pulpit_200 61110_001188.html [pbs.org]

    Relevant quote from Cringely article:

    We saw this happen before when 3Com tied its fortunes to Microsoft in the late 1980s with the lamented 3Com-Microsoft LAN Manager network operating system, which was ironically Microsoft's answer to Novell at that time. Then 3Com CEO Bill Krause felt the only way to compete with Novell was through an alliance with Microsoft. So 3Com bought its way into the relationship, ended up doing all the work (MORE THAN all the work if you count recoding Microsoft blunders), then had to BUY ITS WAY BACK OUT when the product failed.
    After that deal was over and the blood had dried, 3Com founder Bob Metcalfe claims that a Microsoft exec told him, "You made a fatal error, you trusted us."
    I still think Microsoft is less evil than Sony though... but only just.
  • Re:WHY!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ewhac (5844) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @02:44PM (#16872954) Homepage Journal
    I'll use small words.

    ClearCase is proprietary; source code is not available. That means any quirks in ClearCase that depend on a particular distribution can't be fixed at the source level, and you have to rely on the vendor for support. This support is often perfunctory at best, and most commonly non-existent.

    The most obvious quirk is the location of various config and library files. Sometimes, even the app's installation directory is different (/opt versus /usr/local versus administrator-established).

    A less-obvious quirk is kernel dependencies. ClearCase ships with a kernel filesystem module (no source code). Again, things may have improved in recent months, but it used to be all you got was a binary module which was compiled against a specific kernel -- namely, a "standard" RedHat kernel with RedHat-specific mods. If you had recompiled the RedHat kernel, or you weren't running a RedHat kernel at all, then you were SOL, and couldn't use the kernel module (which, in the instance of ClearCase, is fairly crippling to its use).

    This is exactly the kind of nonsense Microsoft thrives on.

    Schwab

They are relatively good but absolutely terrible. -- Alan Kay, commenting on Apollos

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