Story #1 openSUSE Hobbled By Microsoft Patents
Posted by CowboyNeal on Tuesday April 10, @07:38AM
from the or-at-least-disfigured dept.
Novell Microsoft Patents SuSE Linux
kripkenstein writes "openSUSE 10.2 no longer enables ClearType (which would improve the appearance of fonts). The reason given on the openSUSE mailing list for not enabling it is, 'this feature is covered by several Microsoft patents and should not be activated in any default build of the library.' As reported on and discussed, this matter may be connected to the Microsoft-Novell deal. If so, Novell should have received a license for the Microsoft patents, assuming the deal covered all relevant patents. Does the license therefore extend only to SUSE, but not openSUSE?
Perens Counters Claim of GPL Legal Risk
Posted by Zonk on Tuesday April 10, @12:42PM
from the not-so-fast-my-friend dept.
Microsoft Delenda Est writes "After ACT, a Microsoft front group, started claiming that the GPLv3 was legally 'risky' and could give rise to anti-trust liability, eWeek has published a rebuttal by Bruce Perens. Aside from the fact that IBM, HP, Red Hat, and a couple dozen corporate lawyers are watching over the creation of the GPLv3, there is already precedent that shows the GPL is unlikely to give rise to any significant liability — Daniel Wallace v. FSF. In that case, pro se litigant Daniel Wallace was all but laughed out of the courtroom for alleging the GPLv2 violates anti-trust law, and the GPLv3 clauses in question are simply clarifications and extensions of clauses in the GPLv2. Presumably, that is why the ACT neglected to cite any precedent substantiating their allegations."
Call me crazy, but in the past I've made note of Microsoft's cozying up to Linux in its Novell deal last year, and have openly asked what gives. What was obvious to me then and now is that with the Redmond giant nothing is as it seems. A deal with Novell makes sense only in two scenarios.
1.Microsoft has finally come to the realization that the business model has finally shifted to the point where their present model has to be scrapped. An idea I find untenable, while MS may have come to this long term conclusion, I don't think they are agile enough to actually embrace the necessary changes in structure that they would need to to revamp the company, so in my opinion! this isn't whats going on.
2.The alternative I find more likely is similar to Al Pacino's character in the god father, who elicits "keep you family & friends close, but keep your enemies closer" this is the nascent logic behind the Linux foray with Novell. In my opinion!
In all honesty I think they really don't comprehend the competition that is threatening their business model, like no has since the 1980's.
The result is a very public association with one of the major player, in this case Novell and Suse Linux.
The result is they have new and inside information on the way Linux runs, not the operating system per say, but a more in the community, person to person perspective that you don't get from lab analysis of source code. When you think about some things that have been reported, like Steve Balmer's threats to the open source community for patent infringements, oddly enough only weeks after the Novell deal was signed.
At first it doesn't make sense, until I started seeing a pattern of almost carrot and stick like behavior, earlier this week SCO made remarks that they may be considering action against Linux users,this following Steve Ballmer's Repeating Threats Against Linux
(On February 21st, 2007 with 470 comments). All while MS has been trying to woo other Linux distributions in to deals like they did with Novell. In fact MS is alleging that they won't try to claim compensatory damages via the courts if the Linux distributions and software vendors agree to play ball.
This sends a very clear signal, that is, pay up or go home.Microsoft has a huge capital out lay in its latest desktop and server operating systems and they are apparently trying to hedge their bets with this carrot and stick mantra hoping to gain a foot hold in a market they don't really grasp as yet. Personally with the pattern pretty well set I suspect that the blissful Novell / Microsoft union will fold at just about 12 months.
I suspect the legal battles will start early in the new year.
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