We haven’t posted much this week because we’ve been a bit busy on the PR front. Needless to say, we think the deal is significant for Linux, the open source community, Novell, and, most importantly, customers. There are a lot of pieces to this agreement, and some fairly complex things addressed. We have a dedicated page on our website that pulls together different resources that help explain the deal. John Dragoon and Jeff Jaffe have also posted on their blogs on the deal.
We know there are a lot of questions out there, and we’ll work to answer those. Check back on that site periodically for updates to materials. We’ll be making a SEC filing regarding the material impact of the deal on Novell within the next four days.
It’s easy to have a knee jerk reaction to this deal. As someone who’s been at Novell seven years, I’ve been on the sharp end of many a Microsoft stick. But this deal reflects a changed industry. It reflects acknowledgment by Microsoft that Linux is an important part of enterprise IT infrastructure. It also also recognizes that customers have – and will continue to have for the forseeable future – Windows in their environments. Improving Linux’s ability to interoperate with Windows increases, not dimishes, Linux’s appeal.
For those who think Novell will suddenly stop competing with Windows, there’s no need to worry. I sat in on a series of interviews the two company CEOs did yesterday, and both made it crystal clear they hope to take market share from one another. But the bottom line is that both systems are out there, customers want them to work together, and we struck a deal to make that a reality.