Microsoft Involvement

I have just a quick question… I am switching to Linux to avoid Microsoft products… But then I hear that MS has some sort of agreement with Novell (opensuse)…
Can anyone clear this up …

You can read the FAQs here:
FAQ:Novell-MS - openSUSE

Note as an average openSUSE user, this agreement has no direct affect on your day to day use of openSUSE.

As a volutneer (and openSUSE fan), my perspective is the deal has thus far been good for Novell (and hence good for openSUSE) as a lot of revenue has been obtained by Novell as a result. This Novell revenue funds openSUSE-GmbH, who produce openSUSE.

I believe that prior to the Novell takeover (back in the pre-SuSE-10.0 days), the company SuSE-GmbH was struggling financially, and only surviving due to large financial donations from companies like Novell and IBM. Hence with SuSE-GmbH’s acquisition by Novell, the financial situation has improved, and additional revenue as a result of strategic deals which do not compromise the use of openSUSE nor compromise the technical content of openSUSE are IMHO good for openSUSE.

Amongst some valid observations/concerns wrt to the Novell-Microsoft agreement, IMHO there was a lot more irrational “FUD” Fear, uncertainty and doubt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia created by haters of Microsoft, haters of Novell, and by competitors of openSUSE Linux (and competitors of SLES/SLED), who were very concerned about anything that could be a “deal” with Microsoft, and who took that as an opportunity to slander SuSE and to slander Novell.

I’ve been using Linux since 1998 as my primary OS, and I rarely use MS-Windows. But having stated that, one can not over look the reality which is that Microsoft with Microsoft Windows (in its various incarnations) has a monopoly on the PC operating system market. This means that even if there are Linux equivalents (or close to equivalents) for many applications, it is still very difficult to get totally away from a product that runs under MS-Windows. Still, one can run some MS-Windows applications under Linux via a variety of methods (wine, cross-over-office, virtual box, vmware, etc … ).

openSUSE is Linux. and IMHO Linux is Linux, … it is just packaged different by various companies, with each doing their best to package better than the other. Try the Linux OS and come to your own conclusions.

I recommend you brush up on some basic openSUSE Linux concepts:
Concepts - openSUSE

Well spoken Oldcpu! Now why is that not in the FAQ??! Makes it all much clearer and less a ‘heavy’ matter… :slight_smile:


On Thu, 2008-10-30 at 12:46 +0000, loniejr wrote:
> I have just a quick question… I am switching to Linux to avoid
> Microsoft products… But then I hear that MS has some sort of agreement
> with Novell (opensuse)…
> Can anyone clear this up …

Microsoft and Novell collaborate on interoperability. The coupons
that Microsoft purchases from Novell for SLES/SLED are so that
Microsoft can easily bring Linux into their existing accounts
without their customer having to pay for anything (until the
coupon expires of course).

Best guess is that Microsoft will pitch using their virtual
HyperV environment with SLES/SLED as a guest. You can also
bet (KNOW) that Novell pitches running Windows inside Xen or
VMware (and in the future probably kvm). However, if the customer
really wants both on REAL dedicated hardware, I’m sure that
Novell won’t try to prevent a customer from having Windows…
and (oddly enough) I don’t think Microsoft will prevent
a user from using their coupon for a dedicated SLES/SLED.

Novell does participate in a joint lab with Microsoft. Unlike
Red Hat and others, Novell believes that a corporate network
is likely to have a few Windows machines around. The ability
for SLES and SLED to participate smoothly in a mixed network
is key to taking Linux from just being a Red Hat… err… cough…
I mean Web Server and making Linux into a true tier 1 platform
across the board.

In order to do a partnership, you HAVE to actually talk
to each other… and usually there are contracts and often
times some kind of exchange of monies. Some argue that the
best approach is to hold fast to your guns and wait for
Microsoft to die. But I figure that would take quite awhile,
and until then, what are companies supposed to do? Ignore
Linux until it becomes the ONLY platform? That’s seems
short sighted. It makes Linux a marginal player in niche
roles (e.g. web server).

So… what do you think? Do you think that Linux should
work well with Microsoft AND that Microsoft should work
well with Linux? Then the choice is easy… there is
ONLY one out there in that position… SUSE. Anyone else
that claims to be there is simply riding a temporary wave
of compatibility… a moment in time…

As it was a dangerous move for Novell to make (mainly how the ’ world’ would react to the partnership), I for one am glad that Novell woke up (first acknowledging that existing Netware kernel had had it’s best time and Linux was the new road to take) and dared to step up to this challenge.

As many where/are afraid this partnership is a way for MS to eventually kill off Linux, I personally think it has given Linux more boost than in a situation where such a partnership was not in place.
Also the solutions Novell can now offer thanks to the partnership (have a look at what OES2 SP1 offers - DSfW rocks!) is making customers look seriously at where they can implement & maintain Novell’s products as they offer a different and sometimes stronger value then pure MS solutions. That also means customers are looking more at Linux in general.

The fact that Novell is putting much energy to be able to interact with a Microsoft (and other) environment is making mixed environments work.

In all this Novell is also doing what it can to keep Linux and OSS in general unaffected and protected. Even before the partnership Novell has fended off many patent/ip threats and also has been supporting many OSS projects.

As long as they (Novell <> MS) keep competing and don’t get joint at the hip (eg Novell gets eaten up) I’m all for it.

Noughf said… :wink:

Novell took a risk in one direction but it has also taken risks in the other - by opening up SuSE to the community and offering the Build Service.

Remember, throughout its history as a Linux company, SuSE was always a closed distribution; Novell has created the conditions for a community distribution.

In some ways, if this had collapsed, Novell would be in a worse situation than if the MS deal had collapsed.