The past couple of weeks has been a busy one for Linux and Microsoft. Microsoft has entered into a patent cross-licensing agreement with Novell
, the maker of the SuSE
distribution of Linux.
This can't be good. I think Novell is doing this to give themselves an edge over their nearest competitor, RedHat
. They will soon find that they have made a deal with the devil. Bad idea as MS will use it as an opportunity to establish foothold in the Linux community then draw off users to their own OS. This is how they operate.
Microsoft will likely further use this as an opportunity to co-opt GPL licensed material and incorporate it into their own OS but reclassify it under their own proprietary license. Then if they get sued, they will point the finger to Novell saying that Novell told them it was okay and Novell will have to pony up a bunch of cash to defend itself. That will hurt their operating revenue and then they will slide into lower industry rankings further hurting their cashflow. Meanwhile, the deal with the devil will alienate a large portion of the Linux community and those people will avoid using them.
Novell WILL end up losing on this deal. Not now. But later. Eventually Microsoft will stop the cross license and Novell will have to completely reengineer their software to achieve the same level of funtionality. Meanwhile, Microsoft will have given up nothing and then have legitimate rights to sue other Linux distributions for incorporating Novell products and code. People who have grown accustomed to the functionality provided by Microsfot will jump the Linux ship.
From the below article:
Microsoft says it has patent rights to some of the technology in Linux, although it has never said exactly what those rights might be or what patents are involved.
This is the same nonsense as the SCO fiasco
. The argument is without merit. If Microsoft does have patented technology being used in Linux, then they should have acted a long time ago. Microsoft has a long history of litigation
, so what are they waiting for if they have a legitimate claim?
---Microsoft to Face Challenge over Linux Licenses
By David Lawsky, Reuters and Sabina Zawadzki, Reuters
November 21, 2006
---Microsoft May Indemnify Some Red Hat Linux Users
By Peter Galli
November 15, 2006
Updated: The company, while trying to reach a patent agreement with Red Hat, has not ruled out going it alone and providing some sort of indemnification for its customers who use Red Hat Linux.
Case: Microsoft -- Now Less Evil Than Ever!Microsoft to cross-liscense with Novell SuSE Linux.