The deal effectively makes Microsoft a reseller of Suse Linux, Novell's version of the operating system, and kicks off a broad technology collaboration between the two companies. At the heart of the deal is a"patent covenant" under which Microsoft agreed not to file patent-infringement charges against users of Suse Linux, and Novell agreed not to sue users of Windows. Businesses that use Linux have long worried that Microsoft would one day file patent-infringement suits against them, thereby hindering their use of and investment in the rival software.
This comes as a blow to Redhat, the leader in Linux and open-source software...especially on the support side. This came soon after Oracle's announcement that they will provide support for Redhat products, at half the cost of Redhat. Redhat shares fell after both announcements, around 4% in the former case and about 25% in the latter case!
The two software giants openly supporting Linux might be a death-blow to Redhat-type companies, which until now relied on being the sole providers of open-source software and support. They also rode the wave of anti-proprietary software that both Microsoft and Oracle are famous for...but it seems that the majors have decided to weigh in and get out of their previous one-track views of the changing face of the computing industry...they have both accepted that alternatives exist, and once that was done, it was only a matter of jumping on the bandwagon and cashing in...one just has to wait and see as to how Redhat and others in the open-source industry will react.
There is, of course, an off-chance that the dedicated open-source community might shun Suse and Novell, because of their involvement with Microsoft...but the businesses should lap it all up, that is precisely what Microsoft and Novel are probably looking for.
Original link via Slashdot.
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