Tuesday, November 21, 2006

MS-Novell deal in trouble already?

It looks like Novell may be in for the big shock we warned them about all along. The company has distanced itself from comments made by Microsoft's Steve Ballmer in which he claimed that Linux violates Microsoft's intellectual property. In an open letter to the community, they have reiterated that their deal with MS in no way (at least in their view) is an admission that Linux violates any Microsoft patents. At this stage they are not backing away from the deal, however, claiming that they "are not distancing themselves" from Ballmer himself.

This is starting to look (even more) like the SCO case all over again. Not long before Linux company Caldera Systems, and the company everyone thought held the rights to the Unix operating system - the Santa Cruz Operation - merged to form The SCO Group, Caldera and the then German-owned SuSE GmbH (along with a gtroup of smaller companies) signed an agreement to promote United Linux, which was supposed to be an industry alliance based on SuSE's Linux technology, aimed at chipping away at the dominance enjoyed by Red Hat in the commercial Linux market. Of course, when the new SCO started making claims that they pwned Linux, the UnitedLinux deal quickly fell flat.

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