Asking Novell what's up.

Marc Christensen marc at
Sat Nov 4 11:41:30 MST 2006

Hey everyone,

I just saw this posted on (a good place to 
read what people inside Novell think of everything).  Ted Haeger (he 
presented on XGL/Compiz last SLLUG meeting), who hosts Novell’s podcast 
Novell Open Audio, will be doing an interview on the Microsoft/Novell 
announcement.  He's asking for listeners to provide questions to ask.

Here's a link to his posting about the interview:

So, just as a disclaimer, I work for Novell and therefore I'm not going 
to go into much detail about my feelings.  However, I do think that many 
in the OpenSource community are painting this in the worse possible 
light.  I also knew nothing of the announcement before it was made and 
can't and don't represent Novell in anything I say here.

Like I just said above, I think that the OpenSource community has taken 
this in the worse possible light before knowing the details of the 
agreement.  There's sure been a lot of jumping to conclusions going on 
and Red Hat has already started to capitalize on this sentiment.  Of 
course, it's in their best interest to make Novell, their competitor 
look as evil as possible.  As an example of things taken differently 
than their original intent, as I understand (and IANAL!!!), the 
agreement about patents and not suing each other was just that, an 
agreement not to sue each other's customers.  As I've heard, Novell and 
MS have absolutely no interest in getting anything out of anyone else, 
just in making their own customers feel OK about running each other 
company's software in a mixed environment.  Personally I don't think it 
should have been emphasized much in the press releases.

No one outside (and most people inside, like me) know much about the 
agreement yet.  I'm sure the details of the announcement will be made 
more clear in the coming days.  I really can't comment in any official 
capacity on what Novell does or how I feel about Microsoft since I work 
for Novell but I will say that the picture being painted inside the OSS 
community is completely opposite from what has been said so far about 
the intent of the agreement within Novell.  They understand the GPL and 
they *do* understand *where* the product they are basing their future on 
comes from.  They have no intention to disrupt, inhibit or destroy 
Linux, the OSS movement, the GPL or any other FOSS license.

I have no idea what Microsoft's intentions are but they have customers 
who want to and are running Linux.  I imagine that they want to get 
support contracts ($$) for those customers since they *will* be running 
Linux regardless of what Microsoft wants them to run.

So, that being said, the Novell Open Audio interview should be a good 
one to participate in if you have a question to ask.  It should be 
educational to listen to as well.  Again, I don't and won't represent 
Novell and therefore will pretty much try my best to abstain from 
participating in threads regarding this matter any further but I am 
interested in seeing what people think and say so have at it...

Marc Christensen

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