Now that Novell has committed Hara-Kari it is only proper to let CEO Ron Hovsepian and Novell know that they are bleeding to death.
Novell had hit on hard times. They needed some money to do some of the crazy things that IT shops do these days. So they went to a friendly Handy Cash branch in Redmond and got a loan.
Novell: “Gee, can you guys at 1 Microsoft Way spare $442 Million?.
Redmond: “Sure and you only have to repay us $40M and maybe a little chump change. But we are getting ready to launch our Vista operating system, a direct competitor to your Suse Linux, so we would like you to uhhh …. co-operate. Increase our interoperability. Oh and we have some small legal terms”.
Novell: “Oh fine by us, you want us to let you say that you wont sue our customers for any patent claims that you have on their Linux from us. That is a good deal for our customers – being guaranteed they wont be sued by Microsoft. What fine terms for a loan since we dont believe there are any patent claims against Linux. Right Redmond????”.
Redmond: “Just sign on the red dotted line”.
And with that fairy tale ending, Novell had resurrected from the SCO Living Dead Crypt, Linux FUD, for Steve “Developers, Developers, Developers, we have your best interests at heart” Ballmer. And look who Novell and Microsoft got to bless the deal – the good padres at Gartner and IDC.
And Steve Ballmer was so happy to have restored in the instant that Vista was being launched all that Fear and Loathing towards using Linux, why he bestowed on Novell two Extra Sweet Nothings:
(1 so sweet) “[Linux] uses our intellectual property [and Microsoft wanted to] get the appropriate economic return for our shareholders from our innovation.”
(2 so sweet nothings) “Linux users have an undisclosed balance sheet liability [to us]”
Novells Hovsepian, not believing that was his blood spilling out all over the money, deal and his Suse Linux marketing plans – he protested most semi-demi-quaver defiantly here.
To which Redmond applied the killing blow:
“Microsoft and Novell have agreed to disagree on whether certain open source offerings infringe Microsoft patents and whether certain Microsoft offerings infringe Novell patents. The agreement between our two companies puts in place a workable solution for customers for these issues, without requiring an agreement between our two companies on infringement.”
If you believe that this is the last of Microsoft- Novell “cooperation”, check this out.
Ohh and if you think this is the end of Linux FUD line from Microsoft for the next year or two … Joel has a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.