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Thread: Whats your take on the Microsoft/Novell Partnership?

  1. #11
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    Looking at Microsoft's ways of doing business, one can only come to the conclusion that Novel/SUSE is dead. Period.
    Question is, if and when Microsoft goes for the kill, would OSDL and the members of the OIN will have sufficient patents in their collective portfolio to create a MAD like standoff with Microsoft.

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  2. #12
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    http://technocrat.net/d/2006/11/2/9945

    Bruce Perens' stance towards the issue.

    This indeed does not bode well.

  3. #13
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    I agree with Miguel. People need to give this time. I know there are still a lot of ill feelings towards M$ (believe me I'm one of them), but people need to try to look at this in a more constructive way.

    Personally, I believe M$ is feeling the heat that F/OSS is unleashing on their products. With Oracle's recent surprise announcement about making a Red Hat clone (that's what it basically is) and with SUN's Solaris' sales soaring, maybe the time has come for M$ to seriously evaluate their position. Perhaps they've realized that they won't be able to hold onto their current market share for much longer, especially after the mega disaster called Vista.

    I'll go as far as saying that, knowing M$, they're probably thinkering intensively with a customized *BSD/*nix distro in a dark lab somewhere in Redmond, which at some point in time, will be their "base" from which they'll build upon. Hey, Apple did it with with the switch from v.9 to Mac OS X, and then again with an architecture shift from PPC to x86. If they can do it, why not M$, which has a lot more cash? Never say never. "The Switch" will come some day, mark my words.

  4. #14
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    Here's what I think:

    1. This will certainly make the average zealot very ticked as Novell "sold out." This will probably lead to a little downturn in participation and use of OpenSUSE and a lot of ill will toward Novell.

    2. Novell probably thinks it's a good thing as they can use Microsoft as an {ally|resource|weapon} with which to cut down Red Hat and secure the business Linux market.

    3. Microsoft is the real question mark. They no doubt would love to sue or drive Linux out of existence, but they tried and failed miserably with SCO trying to do that. Maybe they are ceding the server market to Linux and "if you can't beat them, join them?" Maybe. MS did release a big-iron version of Windows Server, so this is not a super high reason in my mind. Besides, Microsoft does not like to partner all that much. They might have well *bought* Novell if they wanted to do that. Might Microsoft try to use Novell to disrupt the Linux market with patent issues through Novell? Very possibly. They tried to do it with SCO. Might MS try to pick things out of Linux to put in Windows? Possibly, but they needed not to partner with anybody to do that- the code is out there for the looking.

    Probably the best reasons for MS to do this is that they:

    A. Want to sell (or sell service for) Linux. It is popular and if MS sells it and puts any effort into it, then there's nobody that will beat them. NOBODY. They would literally own the market in a year as the IT guys sold on the advantages of Linux would likely have the PHBs want them to get it from Microsoft as to them, Microsoft == software.

    B. Want to try to worm in proprietary code into a major Linux vendor's products and then shoot down anybody that uses it after the partnership is up.

    C. Want to try to worm in proprietary code into hot Linux applications (say that Novell makes a killer app and MS helps them with it and it's not GPL.) This is possible but would be worked around.

    D. Want to corrupt the GPL or open standards. For example, Novell does make its own branded version of OpenOffice- it's conceivable that MS might want Novell to make their version's ODFs slightly incompatible with others. "Oh, but MS Word will work the same on all computers" is what will come out of Redmond.

    What do I hope happens? I personally would not mind if Microsoft became a GPL-following Linux distributor and sold (optional) support. Fact is that I like Linux and it does need a large, wealthy group to pour a lot of money into it to make it the OS to beat all others into a pulp beyond pulp. The only thing that I would have hesitation about with MS selling Linux is that they would revert to their old tricks and make it incompatible with any other Linux, DRM-laden, and not configurable. Windows XP on a Linux kernel is not really what I'd like to see.

  5. #15
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    Mmm... This is interesting, heres my take on it. I think if Microsoft tries to start taking swings at Linux, the only way Linux will survive is that the key people like Linus, and the people like i'm sure alot of us if not all of us here do something, at least one thing to help Open Source whether its reporting bugs, giving ideas or like what Michael does with this site, or Tuxgames by selling native Linux games, anything. Something to contribute.

    I don't think Microsoft has a chance, we're too free to be able to be tamed, and I believe Microsoft has seen some of the awesome projects that have came out of Open Source, such as the Beryl project with their innovative ways of creating a 3d desktop, or even more famous ones like Open Office, or even as high up as Firefox.

    The point is, they can try, but they won't succeed, so say SuSE goes bye bye, thats too bad, but, there are still alot of other great distros out there. But it could lead to a small chain reaction too like what someone else said, where SuSE is using Microsoft to go after Redhat, so basically, SuSE is now the bigger fish, swallows Redhat, Microsoft wants to now swallow SuSE, but whats left to swallow? Sun? I don't know about that hehe.

    I don't think we'll have much to worry about however, i'm just letting out possibilities, but I don't think it will do that much to the Linux/Open Source community. We're free, they're not.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoomStYx View Post
    Mmm... This is interesting, heres my take on it. I think if Microsoft tries to start taking swings at Linux, the only way Linux will survive is that the key people like Linus, and the people like i'm sure alot of us if not all of us here do something, at least one thing to help Open Source whether its reporting bugs, giving ideas or like what Michael does with this site, or Tuxgames by selling native Linux games, anything. Something to contribute.

    I don't think Microsoft has a chance, we're too free to be able to be tamed, and I believe Microsoft has seen some of the awesome projects that have came out of Open Source, such as the Beryl project with their innovative ways of creating a 3d desktop, or even more famous ones like Open Office, or even as high up as Firefox.

    The point is, they can try, but they won't succeed, so say SuSE goes bye bye, thats too bad, but, there are still alot of other great distros out there. But it could lead to a small chain reaction too like what someone else said, where SuSE is using Microsoft to go after Redhat, so basically, SuSE is now the bigger fish, swallows Redhat, Microsoft wants to now swallow SuSE, but whats left to swallow? Sun? I don't know about that hehe.

    I don't think we'll have much to worry about however, i'm just letting out possibilities, but I don't think it will do that much to the Linux/Open Source community. We're free, they're not.

    You do raise a valid point that as long as there is a copy of the source code somewhere, Linux will still be around. I am sure that it will be around forever just because of that reason.

    But what the bigger deal is here is that if Linux somehow gets driven out of the current edge-of-mainstream back into the "hacker and CS-major OS" niche is that we'll see development for it slow greatly. We'll see no more new 3rd-party applications or the necessary-evil stuff like binary blob GPU drivers and Flash plugins. I don't know about you, but I am glad that Linux is gaining popularity because the 3rd-party development makes it much more usable and a real choice for general use.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MU_Engineer View Post
    You do raise a valid point that as long as there is a copy of the source code somewhere, Linux will still be around. I am sure that it will be around forever just because of that reason.

    But what the bigger deal is here is that if Linux somehow gets driven out of the current edge-of-mainstream back into the "hacker and CS-major OS" niche is that we'll see development for it slow greatly. We'll see no more new 3rd-party applications or the necessary-evil stuff like binary blob GPU drivers and Flash plugins. I don't know about you, but I am glad that Linux is gaining popularity because the 3rd-party development makes it much more usable and a real choice for general use.
    Yep absolutely, yeah i'm very glad that Linux is picking up, but at the same time, it makes me a little nervous. Mainly i'm worried about how alot of the big projects around will fare against like say Microsoft trying to do something about it. I don't know exactly what they can do at this moment but I do know that if something were to happen, it would be a chain reaction of some sort.

    And yeah, Linux won't ever die, I mean lets say the worst happens, and it does become that "hacker" os it used to be, we'd basically have to start over. And that sucks. But I don't think that'll happen, I think if bad things were to happen, it may only strenghten Linux more, because it'll only make people try harder that care the most. And the big projects that care the most, obviously stand out above the rest, since its the ones we all care about the most, like Firefox.

    I think the distro we really need to keep our eye on is Ubuntu because that distro is the most popular for home computers at the moment, alot of new users are starting there. But I think Microsoft's real intention is to take over the business world side of Linux. But who knows how far they'd really go if they did succeed.

  8. #18

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    Miguel got Novell to answer some more questions -- http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2006/Nov-07-1.html

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Miguel got Novell to answer some more questions -- http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2006/Nov-07-1.html
    Good read.. for the most part. Doesn't instill additional confidence though. It's really hard at this point to see where this is going to go.

    First ATI buys AMD, and then Novell partners with Microsoft. What a year this has been.

  10. #20
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    The theory that was discussed in our IT department is interesting, indeed. M$ has been taking alot of heat for the weak security in their OS's. It makes sense for them to now begin work on the next version of Windows...Why not go for a ground-up rewrite? They have already stated that they wish their kernel to be modular from here on out, as opposed to the monolithic kernel style that has been used for years. It wouldn't be far-fetched to bring Novell's SUSE developers into the mix. 2 situations could present themselves - 1) M$ somehow gets information from the specific Unix patents that Novell still holds (I don't know what they are.) or 2) M$ has SUSE kernel dev's come up with a new kernel design that doesn't outright use existing Linux code, but follows a similar structure for a more stable and secure design.

    The other thought is pretty obvious by Steve Ballmer's comments - In their eyes, you aren't protected against patent violations, unless of course you use some form of SUSE.

    Just a couple of thoughts - What do you guys think?

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