Microsoft and Novell: Linux Lip Service or Fundamental Shift?
At first, it seemed like a blockbuster. Microsoft, for whom open source is the
Saddam Hussein of software, formally agreed to support
Novell's version of Linux
. I've gotten more questions about this than almost
any other subject (except "Is that your real hair?").
After my heart stopped racing, I realized this is a huge deal for Novell, but
far from a seismic shift for Microsoft.
What Steve Ballmer announced was Microsoft's intention to treat Novell's Linux
server software as if it actually exists. There will be no patent disputes,
and Microsoft will answer questions about Novell's Suse software -- if you have
a coupon and a pre-existing Microsoft support contract, of course.
If you think about, this is akin to Microsoft agreeing that IBM mainframes
have a right to exist and interact with Windows servers. If this was all about
the desktop, where Microsoft has two monopolies (Windows and Office), now that
would be something to write about.
Posted by Doug Barney on 11/07/2006 at 1:15 PM