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December 22, 2006

Microsoft Novell deal keeps on giving

Posted by David Hunter at 10:33 AM ET.

Microsoft’s Linux deal with Novell is the gift that keeps on giving. The latest: well known developer Jeremy Allison resigned from Novell with the Microsoft Novell agreement as the proximate cause:

The legendary Jeremy Allison (of Samba fame) has resigned from Novell in protest over the Microsoft-Novell patent agreement, which he calls “a mistake” which will be “damaging to Novell’s success in the future.”

His main issue with the deal, though, is “that even if it does not violate the letter of the licence, it violates the intent of the GPL licence the Samba code is released under, which is to treat all recipients of the code equally.” He leaves the company at the end of this month. He explained why in a message sent to several Novell email lists, and the message included his letter to management:

“Whilst the Microsoft patent agreement is in place there is *nothing* we can do to fix community relations. And I really mean nothing,” Allison wrote. “Until the patent provision is revoked, we are pariahs….Unfortunately the time I am willing to wait for this agreement to be changed …has passed, and so I must say goodbye.”

You can read Allison’s full letter by following the link. Mary Jo Foley has a brief email interview with Allison that reveals that he is going to Google.

Meanwhile, Microsoft and Novell continued putting lipstick on the pig with a joint press release ([1], [2]) touting “More Customer Momentum Around the Microsoft-Novell Agreement”:

Deutsche Bank AG, Credit Suisse and AIG Technologies today became some of the first customers to tap the benefits of the recently announced collaboration between Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc. on interoperability between Microsoft Windows and Linux. Under three separate customer agreements, Microsoft will deliver to each company SUSE Linux Enterprise subscription certificates, allowing these customers to take advantage of the Microsoft and Novell agreement. Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and AIG Technologies, which is a member company of American International Group Inc., highlighted the benefits of interoperability, the patent cooperation agreement and the road map for bidirectional virtualization solutions as the deciding factors in their choice.

Recall that Microsoft paid Novell for the certificates and “Microsoft may use, resell or distribute them over the term of the agreement, allowing customers to redeem a single or multi-year subscription for upgrades, updates and technical support from Novell.” There was no word on the financial details of the arrangements with the three customers.

Filed under Coopetition, Google, Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Open Source, Samba

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One Response to “Microsoft Novell deal keeps on giving”

  1. Microsoft Weekly Miscellany, December 31, 2006 -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Mary Jo Foley interviews Jeremy Allison who is free to dish on the Microsoft Novell deal now that his tenure at Novell has ended. One of many good lines: A nagging doubt is that if I had just spoken out louder against the deal I might have been able to change something, but I was too quiet until too late. It’s *hard* to be the one saying the emperor has no clothes, especially whilst listening to others praising the finery of the silk stitching :-) . [...]

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