Some new commentary on Microsoft/Novell deal

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Here are some links to stories that broke today regarding the Microsoft/Novell deal:

  • InfoWorld: “OIN speaks out on the Novell/Microsoft pact”
    Here is part of the OIN statement:

    “Customers can only benefit from greater interoperability between Linux and Microsoft products. In fact, interoperability has long been a known requirement, and is a key driver behind Linux.

    “Unfortunately, embedded in Microsoft’s recent endorsement of Linux are claims regarding customers’ needing protection from patent attack. Those claims are baseless. In fact, there have been no patent suits against Linux. While patent disputes are not unheard of between and among software developers and distributors, they are almost always resolved between these commercial entities — not by dragging in end-user customers. Isn’t the real issue the fact that Microsoft is making such a threat against its own customers?

    “OIN continues to support the Linux community’s ability to collaborate and innovate. Through the accumulation of patents that may be used to shield the Linux environment, including users of Linux software, OIN has obviated the need for offers of protection from others.

    “In less than a year, OIN has accumulated more than 100 strategic, worldwide patents and patent applications that span Web / Internet, e-commerce, mobile and communications technologies. These patents are available to all as part of the patent commons that OIN is creating around, and in support of Linux. We stand ready to leverage our IP portfolio to maintain the open patent environment OIN has helped create.”

  • eWeek/Linux-Watch: “IBM sees Novell/MS deal benefiting Linux”

    [IBM’s] Handy put it more strongly, though. From where he sits, Microsoft’s Novell deal indicates that “Microsoft is coming to terms with the fact that Linux is an unstoppable force in the marketplace.”

    Handy agreed and added, “We aren’t sure what Microsoft’s intentions are [in regards to patents].” However, “We have never seen any need for patent protection for Linux, and we don’t see any need for it now. If legal claims exist, they should be resolved between vendors and not involve end-user customers.”

    In any case, Handy added, Novell has been quite clear that they had never agreed in any way, shape, or form that Microsoft had any proof of Microsoft patent violations in Linux.

    Looking ahead, Handy said that despite the outcry in some circles about Novell’s deal with Microsoft, IBM will be making “No change in our partnership with Novell.”


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