Novell to be sold to Attachmate

No rumours this time, directly from the horse’s mouth:

My concern is the IP thats been sold to a MS-led consortium. Could this harm FOSS/Linux? Where is the openSUSE project headed from now on?

Well, we knew this was a “probably eventuallity”, but now that it is “definitive” (with only a small chance of it falling through) it will be interesting.

I shouldn’t be surprised if the Mono products are the intellectual property being sold to the Microsoft-involved consortium, it is related.

Depending on what Attachmate wants to do, this could be good for SUSE. I really hope they are watching as to what kind of mess Oracle has been getting into with their treatment of Sun’s open source projects, and does SUSE good.

No one seems to know which parts went to Microsoft. Hard to tell what it might mean.

Attachmate will run it’s Novell assets as two units: Novell and Suse.

Attachmate-Microsoft-Novell deal raises big questions for Linux

What’s Microsoft’s role in the Novell-Attachmate deal?

To try an curb all the speculation:

The SUSE brand will remain as a separate business.

But it will be quite some time before we know the full implications of the deal. But it’s business as usual for now.

Either that is an editorial, or its a simple incorrect article. It states:

… Novell basically conceded that its implementation of Linux violated Microsoft patents and agreed its customers needed patent-enforcement protection.
Novell never conceded any such thing. Just the contrary. That article is incredibly falcious.

Agree that we’ll have to wait for the specifics to understand what it all means but I guess we’ll see lots of speculation first.

Here’s Blankenhorn’s take: Novell sale shows its control by Microsoft

What appears to have happened is that Novell put itself up for auction, its investment bankers demanded a price in excess of what the market priced it at, and Microsoft had to make something happen in order to protect its own interest in Novell’s copyright of Unix and its claimed patent rights, which Novell acknowledged in afive-year deal back in 2006. It’s the specifics of that deal, and the copyrights, that Microsoft had to keep out of rivals’ hands. Having that deal, and those copyrights, in the hands of a rival like VMWare could have been disastrous.

What does this mean for Linux? Nothing changes. Microsoft still claims to control it. The details remain hidden from view. Which means Microsoft still has something to hide from the open source community, and something to hold over its head.

What we do know is the following from the Novell press release:

Attachmate Corporation’s acquisition of Novell is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, … In addition, the transaction is subject to approval by Novell’s stockholders. The sale of the intellectual property assets to the consortium is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, and is also conditioned upon the closing of the merger with Attachmate Corporation. Novell currently expects these transactions to close in the first quarter of 2011.

So IMHO we won’t see anything until AFTER the first quarter of 2011.

We’ll see what this means for Mono. It would certainly be ammuniton for its detractors. But then, it could be an opportunity for MS to show good faith toward OSS. Of course, that isn’t all that could be involved here.

Be sure of this:

There will people flinging that Brown Smelly Stuff in hope that some of it will stick!

I took it to be editorial as it is a blog post. That’s her opinion.

Also, the statement is in the other article, the Foley one:** **What’s Microsoft’s role in the Novell-Attachmate deal?

Another blog editorial ?? Anyway, its wrong.

More specifically, what I quoted in RED is wrong wrong wrong wrong. Novell NEVER acknowledged Microsoft control over Novell patents.

Someone is grinding a major axe. Again, a falacious quote in an article.

Attachmate-Microsoft-Novell deal raises big questions for Linux

It is opinion, but I have to agree, Novell owes it to the Linux community to clarify what’s involved here.

It’s not sold to Microsoft directly,

Novell also announced it has entered into a definitive agreement for the concurrent sale of certain intellectual property assets to CPTN Holdings LLC, a consortium of technology companies organized by Microsoft Corporation

Consortium: combination of organizations for common purpose: an association or grouping of institutions, businesses, or financial organizations, usually set up for a common purpose that would be beyond the capabilities of a single member of the group

So while Microsoft has influence, I wouldn’t turn on the paranoia/fud machine yet. Heck, we don’t even know what technologies we’re talking about! It could be Netware for all we know!

Reference the falacious statements about patents from the past, Novell clarified this to the Linux community a long time ago. For example here: Microsoft and Novell Collaborate - FAQ and here: Joint letter to the Open Source Community From Novell and Microsoft and here: Novell and Microsoft Agreement - Frequently Asked Questions

As for the current deal , thats another matter.

But the references to the past in those views in the quoted blogs are wrong and misleading.

Sounds like Mono sticks with Attachmate, and is not passed on to the consortium.
Twitter / Miguel de Icaza: After the Novell acquisiti …

Yeah! Oh happy days. Intellectual properties. If Microsoft inserts some of its code into Novell SLE does that violate GNU license? Or if Microsoft uses GNU Licensed software into its proprietary software does that violate GNU? Wasn’t that what SCO tried to do with UNIX, stick some code into it and claim intellectual property infringement?

What happens to OpenSuse?

And just how can Microsoft do that? SUSE is going to Attachmate or NetIQ.

Until Spring 2011 it is likely business as usual.

Either that or speed up the process of openSUSE pulling away from Novell and forming a more independent government body.

Linux lovers reach into your cookie jar and buy 1 share of Novl $5.95. M$ will hate you !