Microsoft open to more Linux deals, new biz model

Last week, Microsoft and Novell announced a surprising deal that will have the two companies working to improve interoperability between SuSE Linux and Microsoft software. Perhaps more importantly, the deal also includes a patent cooperation agreement intended to protect users from SCO-style lawsuits should either Microsoft or Novell get litigious. In an interview with India’s Economic Times, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has taken things a step further and said Microsoft would “love” to make similar deals with other Linux vendors, such as Red Hat.

Ballmer also said he expects more software to be distributed electronically in the future, adding, “The next frontier for us is to embrace a new business model. And if we embrace it well, and that business model is subscription and advertising, we will be a market leader. If we do not embrace it well, there will be issues.” That said, Ballmer does believe “some software” will continue to be bought and sold in a more traditional way.

Comments closed
    • just brew it!
    • 14 years ago

    This smells like a setup for SCO – Round II.

    • Krogoth
    • 14 years ago

    What MS really means

    “Dammit, our OS projects completely suck and we need something quick to fix the problem. Those Linux people are clever enough to develop XGI and Metisse which are clearly superior to Aero and Apple’s Aqua.

    Maybe if we can embrace -[

      • VTOL
      • 14 years ago

      MS should just stick to consoles. (semiserious)

      • zarkonite
      • 14 years ago

      I don’t see how XGI or Metisse is superior? please explain…

      I mean all I can see right now is that their deployment and execution is way inferior both on the integration front and in terms of usability… so I’m assuming you mean something about how they’re coded?

    • VTOL
    • 14 years ago

    If you can’t kill it, corrupt it.

      • BigMadDrongo
      • 14 years ago


    • Mr Bill
    • 14 years ago

    Although they are trying to be clever, this runs afowl of the GPL.

    Novell Sells Out
    §[<<]§ The Morning After - Reactions to Novell-MS - Updated 2xs §[<<]§ MS FUDs like SCO, Red Hat Responds. and MS/Novell Transcript Available §[<<]§ Details of Novell-MS Pact - The SEC filing - Updated §[<<]§ SFLC's Bradley M. Kuhn's Letter to the FOSS Development Community Regarding Microsoft's Patent Promise §[<<]§

      • stdPikachu
      • 14 years ago

      I think the main thing MS are trying to do is put people off using Linux in the first place; saying that “we vow not to sue any users of SuSE in the next five years” is a thinly veiled threat telling all the PHB’s of the world that Linux is a legal nightmare likely to get your arse handed to you on a silver platter, and no-one every got fired for buying Microsoft.

      With Novell happily tagging along with the “everything should be patentable” party line, they’re essentially telling the world that they think MS’s treatment of document specs and the like is completely legitimate.

      • zarkonite
      • 14 years ago

      well maybe we need to re-think the GPL a bit to make it more business friendly. I don’t think either extremes are good in the long term and something must be made in both camps to improve the general state of affairs.

    • indeego
    • 14 years ago

    So then distribute vista electronically! SHeeshg{

    • emkubed
    • 14 years ago

    It’ll be interesting to see how the next few years play out. I already see the obligatory Slashdot thread to boycott SUSE. /eyeroll

      • stmok
      • 14 years ago

      Boycott is a must in this case. We’re talking about Microsoft here…When was the last time Microsoft did the IT industry the world of good?

      Their primary enemy is Linux. It has been since 2000. Since the very day they recognised it to be a threat. From Steve Ballmer calling it a “cancer”, to suggesting that it can be used by terrorists, to “financially” helping SCO with their legal attack against Linux.

      It doesn’t take a genius to figure out Microsoft is cunning and evil. If you’re their direct threat, they will do anything and everything to destroy you. From FUD campaigns, biased studies, to outright lies from their sales people. (I’ve experienced it when they found out we were using BSD and Linux based servers and workstations…Stuff like “Windows is more secure and cheaper than Linux or BSD”, etc…They will offer you copies of their solutions at super-discounted prices.)

      They can’t compete fairly. And anyone who’s looked into their history knows this. (And so do they).

      This is Phase 2 of attacking Linux by legal means. Joining forces with Novell is setting up the infrastructure.

      Phase 1, the SCO play, was an absolute disaster. (But they wanted to probe how the community would react…Its like throwing a couple of recon planes into the air, just to see how someone’s air defence network reacts to threats…Then study the weaknesses, so you can exploit it)…SCO is down…It doesn’t matter. Because to Microsoft, SCO is expendible.

      All the public announcements and FAQs, etc is all a facade. Just wait 5yrs later (when the deal expires), and you’ll see what I mean. On the outside, Microsoft is trying to say its making friends with Open-Source. On the inside…They’re looking into new ways of how to f**k it up. You don’t set up a Linux Research Lab for kicks, do you?

      They want to destroy Linux, because it stands in their way. And they have plenty of money, power, and legal expertise to do it.

      Once GPL v3 is ratified, I’m using it.

      Microsoft is like the female black widow spider…
      First it lures you with cash.
      It f**ks you.
      Then it kills you. (because you’ve served your purpose).

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