The announcement that Novell and Microsoft will work together to improve interoperability between Windows and Novell’s SuSE Linux, as well as cross-promote and support one another’s products strikes me as eerily like one of those movies with Christopher Lee as Dracula. Every time you see an old Dracula film, the same fool is making a deal with Drac to achieve eternal life, a life you know, as the viewer, is going to be awful and short. “Don’t do it!” you want to shout at the screen, and so it is with this deal between the maker of Windows and the acquirer, as Novell once staked its future on UNIX, of SuSE Linux. I’m not saying Microsoft is evil, only that is makes these interoperability deals to defeat its partner, not to help them….Linux may win someday, but Novell will be found dead one morning with mysterious bite marks on its neck.
Update: They say the deal is all about patents; Novell won’t sue Microsoft if Microsoft won’t sue Novell… But unless other Linux vendors sign a similar deal with MS, lawsuits loom like a dark cloud, almost doing more harm if they’re not filed, just threatened. But this won’t help Novell much, since its almost like they never read the GPL; an excerpt:
If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues), conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not distribute the Program at all. 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.
BTW, while you still can please visit the old Novell page “Unbending the Truth: Things Microsoft Hopes You Won’t Notice” (if you remove the index.html, you’ll get redirected to a pagre that doesn’t say anything critical of MS… perhaps the ‘unbending’ page should be retitled “Things Novell Hopes You Won’t Notice” ;)