Microsoft Linux Part 2: Red Hat Responds

Lora Bentley

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.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Nov 6, 2006 4:16 PM Richard Richard  says:
I see this as part of a divide and conquer strategy by Microsoft. I believe it is Microsoft's intention to do whatever they can to undermine the strength of strongest player in the game, that being Red Hat. Then they are looking to muddy the waters of the open source movement by indirectly injecting what seems to be a proprietary element into Linux. This is an unholy alliance.   Reply
Nov 6, 2006 7:24 PM WOW Technology Minute WOW Technology Minute  says:
Novell and Microsoft Front Calm or Calmy Fronting? The Novell Microsoft deal could have some pretty interesting affects on Open Source Software. TheRegister.com is reporting that, “Under the Microsoft-Novell deal, Novell agrees to recognize Microsoft's intellectual property claims. Novell i... Reply
Nov 9, 2006 10:16 AM lmf lmf  says:
Do you seriously think we will never hear Novell tell Red Hat customers that a lawsuit is possible unless they switch to Suse? This is an endorsement of Microsoft's patent claims. No matter what they say, this is both valid and powerful supporting evidence if Microsoft decides to take any other distributor to court. Would a 200 pound football player pay a 120 pound computer programmer not to beat him up? I don't think so. You only pay if you think something bad will happen otherwise. Novell would not pay Microsoft if they didn't believe Linux infringed on Microsoft's patents. It's really cut and dried that Novell got paid by Microsoft to endorse this idea. And Novell customers are the only ones that won't get sued. How convenient. THAT is anti-open source. Reply
Nov 9, 2006 10:53 AM GNU free world GNU free world  says:
This is a sure sign from M$ that their OS is going nowhere.I am sure anyone in his right mind would not partner with them ( M$)  especially if it has anything to do with an OS . Novell is just greedy they dont care about freedom its just $ for them. The best thing that SUSE users should do is stop using it. It would be better for them to switch to RedHat or Ubuntu if they want to stay open-source.Keep on rockin in the free world !!    Reply
Nov 9, 2006 1:33 PM Yves Van Belle Yves Van Belle  says:
I thinck Microsoft is paying Novell to get of its back. They have the anti-trust case about the MS Office suite, and they also know Novell has anice patent portfolio. Why the hell would Microsoft pay Novell if they don't have to, this is not the Micorsoft way of doing bussenes. Apple and Sun still exist after they made an agreement with Microsoft, so why would Novell go down?What bothers me is that Redhat is so arogant to thinck they will be the only one standing within a year. Redhat is NOT Linux. I have seen bigger firms fall, and they didn't have to fight big boys like Oracle. And yes the Oracle offer is perhaps not as good as this from Redhat, but don't forget a lot of beancounters make the last dissision.I use Ubuntu on my desktops and Debian on my servers, so i do not care if Redhat of Novell or any other distro is the number 1 in corporate place. Reply

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