Huh? Did I hear that right? Yep, there it is again: Linux to work with Windows. A lot of people are wondering
what Microsoft is up to, what possible motivation drove this. I'd
ask the same of Novell: lying down with the lion is not usually
a good strategy for smaller animals.
Novell CEO Ronald Hovsepian explained that
it's all about you:
(link dead, sorry)
The impetus for the arrangement was to make it easier for software buyers to run both Windows and Linux-based systems, Hovsepian said. "We came together to focus on giving you, our customers, the choice," he said.
Oh, sure. I hadn't thought of that.
Bruce Perens is skeptical and so am I. I think Novell is standing at this altar after having
had a long talk with someone holding a shotgun. The language in the
agreement about not suing Novell is what makes me think that: I think
Microsoft is doing a "divide and conquer" plan and using
Bruce Perens is on that same thought and suggests that Microsoft's next move is to:
crack down on "unlicensed Linux", and "unlicensed Free Software", now that it can tell the courts that there is a Microsoft-licensed path. Or they can just passively let that threat stay there as a deterrent to anyone who would use Open Source without going through the Microsoft-approved Novell path.
Quoting Bruce again:
This entire agreement hinges around software patenting - monopolies on ideas that are burying the software industry in litigation - rather than innovation. If we've learned one thing from the rapid rise of Open Source, it's that intellectual property protection - the thing that Open Source dispenses with - actually impedes innovation. And the Novell-Microsoft agremeent stands as an additional impediment.
Right. Novell is selling everyone else down the river, or at least
hoping to. As Hovsepian said, it's all about you.