It didn't take long for Red Hat to comment on the Microsoft-Novell agreement, which will pit the leading Linux distributor directly against the software juggernaut.
An Ars Technica piece published over the weekend quotes Red Hat's executive secretary as saying that the company will be the only player in the Linux market a year from now. The Microsoft-Novell deal, he said, represents a deviation from the values that make open source open source simply because it involves intellectual property licensing. Either a company is for freedom or it's not, he says, and Microsoft and Novell are attempting to do both.
We're not sure how the fact that the deal addresses IP licensing makes it anti-open source. In fact, many things about the deal are good for open source. Not the least of which, says Bernard Golden in a CIO.com blog post, is that Microsoft has agreed not to assert patent claims against individual community developers. This means, he says, that Microsoft will only sue for patent infringement in true infringement cases and not as a matter of strategy.
At the top of Golden's list of what to take away from Redmond's latest open source deal is simply this: Microsoft has admitted, through this agreement, that open source will play a substantial role in the mixed source infrastructure of the future.