Microsoft, Novell announce Linux collaboration

In its second surprising move today, Microsoft has teamed up with Novell to improve interoperability between its Windows and Office software and Novell’s SuSE Linux. To achieve this goal, the two companies will open a joint research facility where staff from both Microsoft and Novell will work on virtualization solutions, web services for server management, and document format interoperability. In addition, the two companies have entered a six-year patent cooperation agreement that should protect Novell and Microsoft customers if either company gets an itchy lawsuit finger, as SCO did three years ago. As part of the agreement, Microsoft has also pledged not to assert its patents against either SuSE contributors or developers of non-commercial open source software.

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    • Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
    • 13 years ago

    Yup. This maneuver could make Microsoft appear more “benevolent”, but basically it’s just the same old Microsoft.

      • stmok
      • 13 years ago

      Yeah…Same sh*t, different smell.

      They may LOOK like they’re playing nice, but who really knows wtf is going on at MS. (Deep down, everyone knows they want to destroy and dominate the entire tech industry…And do it by ANY means.)

      Either way, I’m not risking anything.
      I’ve dumped OpenSUSE and replaced it with Debian “Etch”. (I’m sticking to Debian, Gentoo and such).

    • Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
    • 13 years ago

    Microsoft has long history of ruining open standards (embrace, extend, and destroy). It is not unusual for Microsoft to adopt open standard, “enhance” it with proprietary Microsoft extensions, and then flood the market with applications and tools that are dependent upon these extensions. An interesting article here:
    ยง[<http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/GeekTalk/Microsoft.shtml<]ยง HTML is an example; it's supposed to be an open cross-platform document formatting standard, but Microsoft attempted to corrupt it into a Windows language by adding those MS-specific "extentions". And the result... well, anyone remember those "IE-only" websites? Call me paranoid, but it could be another MS attempt to embrace, extend, and destroy Linux.

      • just brew it!
      • 13 years ago

      Yeah, I’m wondering the same thing.

      The patent indemnification language in the Novell-Microsoft agreement is worrisome. Basically, they agree not to sue Novell, while leaving the door open to go after everyone else. The fact that Novell has signed a patent cross-licensing agreement actually gives them more leverage against other Linux vendors (i.e. “Why would Novell have signed the agreement, if they didn’t think they needed the indemnification?).

      They also specifically exempt anyone who is developing Open Source software for free. (Implying that they may go after commercial Open Source ventures who pay their developers.)

      Between this, and Oracle’s recent shenanigans, I sure wouldn’t want to be Redhat right now.

        • stmok
        • 13 years ago

        Agreed.

        As Obi-wan says…”I sense a disturbance in the Force”.

    • bdwilcox
    • 13 years ago

    The devil (before reading the news): “Is it cold in here or is it me?”

    • IntelMole
    • 13 years ago

    Is there a good reason why MS can’t develop a Linux version of Office? Surely the only big differences are porting the libraries used to linux equivalents, and playing with the UI?

    They’d make money hand over fist with people who switch but still have to work with Office Documents.

      • Klopsik206
      • 13 years ago

      It’s better to sell Windows+Office rather than Office alone, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • DreadCthulhu
      • 13 years ago

      It should be pretty easy for MS to port over Office – they already have a Mac OSX version, so moving to another *nix like operating system shouldn’t be too hard.

    • Klopsik206
    • 13 years ago

    Is there kind of “doing good not evil” week at Microsoft?
    – They want to pull out from china to support democracy
    – They make Vista EULA more sensible
    – They cooperate with Linux competitor

    Wow, I don’t believe my eyes…

      • FubbHead
      • 13 years ago

      Yes, they’re wagging you into a false sense of rightousness and security, and then…. they buy out the whole competition overnight. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Klopsik206
        • 13 years ago

        Ah. OK. makes sense, now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • d2brothe
      • 13 years ago

      Heh, I think hell froze over…

        • BiffStroganoffsky
        • 13 years ago

        Nah, Novell has a long history of making their products compatible with Windows technology. I’d dare say that they are better at it than Microshaft is. I’m just surprised that it has taken this long for the two parties to work out this type of agreement.

          • d2brothe
          • 13 years ago

          Heh…well…I know Novel worked great with windows 9X, but with windows 2000 and XP it was terribly difficult to integrate. Trust me…we had endless troubles with it at our school. I kinda assumed the days of co-operation were over when Novel sided with linux so to speak…but this is definitely good news for everyone I think

    • --k
    • 13 years ago

    I half expected MS to announce a Linux version of Office. Seems they are playing nice to assuage any fears the EU commission has.

    • dmurphy18
    • 13 years ago

    Had to be the first to post a reply to this, as an old Novell (16 years) employee, now x. About time they buried the hatchet, and not in each others backs.

    Makes a lot of sense for Novell, and helps legitimize Mono in the Linux space. Wonder if we’ll see some neat portability of apps between Vista and SUSE in 2 years time ?.

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