For those who may not have heard, former network leader Novell (who owns SuSE Linux) made a deal with Microsoft exchanging some intellectual property rights. Those in the business-end of IT know that Microsoft is busy applying for thousands of patents concerning Intellectual Property -- have a look at Network Computing and Information Week for all the good details.
Under the Patent Cooperation Agreement, Microsoft commits to a covenant not to assert its patents against Novell's end-user customers for their use of Novell products and services for which Novell receives revenue directly or indirectly from such customers, with certain exceptions, while Novell commits to a covenant not to assert its patents against Microsoft's end-user customers for their use of Microsoft products and services for which Microsoft receives revenue directly or indirectly from such customers, with certain exceptions.
What does this really mean? Novell won't sue Microsoft? Microsoft won't sue Novell (SUSE) users?
Look here for some great information / discussion:
Also, check out:
So, will Microsoft start distributing SuSE? Will Novell be finally crushed by Microsoft? How will the GPL (General Public Licence) of the core OS be affected? Are we looking at a new big legal case like SCO vs. IBM? Yes, there are a load of questions asked, and many answers that need to be generated.
So what do I think?
* I'm done with Novell. I have a certification from the NOS of yesterday, and while I find parts of Netware to be quite useful, it's time to be done.
* Goodbye SuSE. Now that you are affiliated with Microsoft, how can we trust that the licenses and software will be free of Microsoft's sticky fingers? You have seriously lost credibility with the linux crowd making a deal with the devil.
* Time to purge and kill the SuSE boxes I operate. While I am mainly a RedHat (via CentOS) administrator, I did have some test boxes running SuSE so I remain diverse, it is time to look into SlackWare as an alternative diversifying distribution.
* I feel bad for Xen. I think SuSE had some legs up on RedHat concerning the virtualization server. Will have to see where the virualization market goes.
This agreement between Microsoft and Novell have a lot of issues surrounding it Do some research, and form an opinion.