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Microsoft: Novell is toast and the patent Juggernaut rolls on

Dec 29, 2010, 19:32 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gary Richmond)

"The end of 2010 has been interesting. Mass defections from Oracle's OpenOffice team and the software is ported as LibreOffice. Then Mark Shuttleworth announces that Wayland is in, Xorg is out and Unity will be the next Ubuntu desktop. I was just getting my head around all that when the newswires started humming again with the news that Novell had been sold. I experienced a strong sense of deja vu and began to wonder if this was going to be a reprise of Sun's sale to Oracle and the forking of OpenOffice, one of the crown jewels of GNU/Linux. The premise of this article, to paraphrase an American general, is that old software never dies, it just gets forked. The question therefore is: is OpenSUSE safe and what is Microsoft up to? Lots of questions. Any answers?

"First, I have to admit that I last used SUSE at version 9.3. Once Novell made their grubby little patent deal with Microsoft in 2006 I jumped ship. I wasn't the only one. You may sup with the Devil but even with the precaution of using a very long spoon, contamination is inevitable. In fairness to Novell, they developed a symbiotic relationship with OpenSUSE in a manner similar to Red Hat's relationship to Fedora (Core). They were mutually beneficial relationships but Red Hat has never done an Oracle or a Novell. So, four questions:

* Why did Novell sell?"

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