Nothing much has changed
Posted Nov 3, 2006 17:14 UTC (Fri) by irios
Parent article: Various responses to Microsoft/Novell
It is still too early to rip our clothes and run screaming naked in the streets. More than anything it looks as though Microsoft has secured the use of some of Novell's patents (most likely in identity management) in exchange for promising to leave Novell alone and giving them some money. These patents could've really rocked Microsoft's boat if things became nasty.
In exchange for that, Novell can assure their customers that they are safe from any action against them coming from Microsoft, which many customers will see as a Good Thing. This is a just covenant between Novell and Microsoft, with a personal promise not to sue, and has nothing to do adding or substracting conditions to the GPL; I'm sure that any of Novell's lawyers understands the GPL at least as well as any of us, and knows much better than risking their rights to the code trying to keep others from distributing the same works.
So, if I'm a large business and I buy SLED or SLES today, I know that I'm safe from Microsoft, because Microsoft has just promised so. If I buy the same stuff from Red Hat or Ubuntu, then I've got no promise, just as nobody had it last week.
And somebody has mentioned this above, and I couldn't agree more: by no means will Microsoft wield a software patent against a competitor until software patents are approved in Europe. Somehow I would like them to attack right now, because that would make software patents way more likely to be defeated here in the EC for good.
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