[CLUG-chat] A sad day for open source

Andre Truter linux at trusoftdev.za.net
Tue Nov 7 10:07:05 SAST 2006

On Tue, 2006-11-07 at 09:25 +0200, Mark Ter Morshuizen wrote:
> It looks to me as if Novell is trying to follow in SCO's footsteps. Royalties 
> for Linux being paid to Microsoft?

OK, how do you get to the royalties being paid to MS?

AFAIK, the only money transfer between the two are:

1) MS will buy a number of SLED and SLES licenses from Novell each year
to offer it to thier (MS) clients.  (MS paying Novell)

2) Both MS and Novell will pay each other some once-off fees to secure
their patent-protection thing. (Which I think is a marketing
smoke-screen to let PHB's feel at ease)

I don't see any mention of royalties being paid by either party.

The way I see this is that Novell and MS are playing this marketing
thing for the PHB's out there.
MS found that clients insist on running a Linux box or two, but they are
scared of the MS Gestapo, so they hide the fact that they have Linux
Novell have the problem that clients are hesitant to adopt Linux,
because of fear of retaliation from MS.

MS realised that they can keep clients by allowing them to run Linux,
but they (MS) still want to have some control and transparency into what
is going on in the customers IT dept.

Novell saw an opportunity to get some sort of approval from MS, so that
they can show their clients that it is OK to adopt Linux.

So, Novell and MS made a deal or rather a truce, so that both can appear
more attractive to the PHB's.

The good part is that if things work out in terms of the research
cooperation between the two, then we should have better SAMBA, Office
and dot.NOT integration.  THis is a good thing for every Linux user.

BUT.   (And there is always a but)

I don't trust MS as far as I can throw them and hopefully Novell is also
not blindfolded (I doubt they are as they have survived up to now in the
shadow of MS after MS clobbered them with NT).

I don't trust this alliance at all, but I would not dismiss it outright.
If Novell play their cards right, this can bring huge advances to Linux,
especially in getting it adopted faster in the corporate world.
But it can backfire and I am sure MS will try some legal tricks to bind
Novell and Linux users.  

I trust that the GPL will stand fast and protect OSS.

Novell might get clobbered again, but I don't see how OSS can loose
much, except loosing some face in the corporate world if Novell folds.

Andre Truter | Software Consultant | Registered Linux user #185282
Jabber: andre.truter at gmail.com | http://www.trusoft.co.za

~ Smile, it scares people. ~

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