Cool Solutions

The Novell-Microsoft agreement


November 3, 2006 1:34 pm





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.

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Categories: Expert Views, General, PR Blog


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  1. This “deal with benefits” between Novell & Microsoft is by far
    the worst thing Novell has ever done. I am beyond stunned and
    dismayed that Novell has forgotten the history of Microsoft, as
    a company and its actions.
    I and my company will not participate.

  2. By:Andy

    I heard a number of people discussing this yesterday …

    Those who are CIO level or running a p&l operation, are in
    general, welcoming this co-operation.

    On the other hand, I read some die hard anti-MS fans were
    strongly against it and said it’s the worst thing for the
    communities, for Linux, for the whole holy world …..

    To me, I don’t feel too much yet, coz I don’t hate MS and
    Novell is a company I respect. I am just interest to see
    what beenfits can we get ….

  3. By:Rick

    Sorry, but methinks you misunderstood the question. Yes, we would like both systems to work together, we do NOT want them to both have the same deficiencies.

    More to the point, one of those systems doesn’t just happen to be an Open Source GPL-ed system, it was a very deliberate choice. That’s one difference we would like to see respected, not circumvented and undermined in a way that is damaging to open source and our business.

    Even if it’s not in direct violation of the GPL (which remains to be seen), it is most certainly in violation of the entire principle of the GPL, and thus with the principles of many of those who have contributed to Linux and who are using Linux today.

    This agrement is an insult to all those people, and to accuse them of anti-MS knee-jerk reactions is a cheap shot. At least have the balls to defend your choices instead of denying them and insulting your critics.

  4. By:yako

    Our company has used successful the SUSE products for many years now, but this deal
    between Novell & MS teaming up is the worst news I have heard so far. As a system admin
    I will propose to our company to switch over to Red Hat products.

    I’m very disappointed the road Novell is taking and the lack of respect it has for its community

  5. By:HC

    I don’t have much say in my company’s systems but at home, I
    am taking all SUSE stuff off of my boxes. Food for thought,
    not even 1 MS partner has ever survived save for IBM. And you
    are no IBM.