This clears nothing up - Cleared up now perhaps?
Posted Nov 27, 2006 22:52 UTC (Mon) by Alan_Hicks
In reply to: This clears nothing up
Parent article: Novell's IRC session on the Microsoft deal
You (and I believe just about everyone else) are missing the real purpose of the deal. Microsoft and Novell have a common enemy and that enemy is Red Hat.
In the enterprise Linux world, Red Hat is the 800 pound gorilla and Novell has been unable to wrestle a piece of the pie away from it. In order to do that, they feel they need new weapons like money, better Windows interoperability, and some sort of "patent covenant" they can wave around in the air to appease any skittish customers.
Microsoft wants to stop Red Hat from growing, plain and simple, but they haven't been able to do this with the Windows Server offerings, too many customers are wanting to run an enterprise Linux OS.
So a partnership between the two makes sense. Novell is as of right now absolutely no threat to Microsoft, and if purchasing these coupons and giving them to their customers who want to use Linux will cut off some of Red Hat's revenue stream, they'll do it; that's just basic business.
What worries me about this deal is what our esteemed editor (and might I say a hard-hitting reporter last night) asked: "What is the value of this promise?" Of course if Microsoft broke the agreement they would have to pay damages to Novell, but that seems to me to be chunk-change compared with the value of destroying a major open source project like Apache or Samba, or even the Linux kernel. In my mind this "promise" only has value as long as Red Hat remains a legitimate threat to Microsoft.
Another concern is that there just isn't enough room in the enterprise Linux market for both Novell and Red Hat. If this is the case, it's easy to see why Microsoft would push SuSE as doing so could easily destroy both Red Hat and Novell. And what would become of this "promise" if Novell decides to sell off it's SuSE Enterprise Linux business because it hasn't turned out to be profitable? What if Microsoft buys it to bury it in the same way that Caldera "bought" the redistribution rights to SCO?
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