Microsoft Grudgingly Admits That Someone Out There Might Sometimes Use Linux

from the but-they-still-don't-like-it dept

Microsoft has always been known for its competitive nature, and a part of that is that it doesn't just focus on beating its competitors, it gleefully looks for ways to drive them into the ground and stomp on them until they're completely decimated. Unfortunately, in the last few years, they've started to run into some problems in doing so as the biggest competition has come from two directions they haven't figured out how to compete with -- because neither involves selling software. On the internet side, of course, there's Google, which has built up a huge following, a tremendous bank account, and supports it all with its popular ad system. On the other side, there's Linux, which has been around a lot longer (and certainly on Microsoft's radar screen for quite a while). While Microsoft would admit that Linux was in the marketplace, they still pushed very hard to convince everyone that they should be a pure Microsoft shop -- and had no interest in hybrids. However, in a slight sign of admission that there really are some companies out there who are going to use Linux on the backend and Microsoft elsewhere, Microsoft has surprised the world in doing a deal with Novell. As with many partnerships, this one is probably a lot more talk than substance. However, if a Microsoft sales person is unable to convince a company to go full-on Microsoft, the company will sell a combined package that includes both Windows licenses and maintenance and support for Novell's Suse Linux (no other kinds of Linux are included). It's not much of an embrace, but just to have Microsoft willing to open up a bit to admit that some customers, somewhere, might actually want to use Linux is still a big step.

A more interesting part of the deal, however, is Microsoft's admission that they won't try to sue over any patent issues related to Suse Linux (again, only Suse). To date, Microsoft has pretty much stayed out of the Linux-patent fight, perhaps waiting (or, some have said funding) to see what happens with the SCO patent lawsuit. Promising not to use patents as a weapon may ease some minds, though the success of Linux in the enterprise up until now suggests that there really weren't that many companies scared off by the potential threat of Microsoft patent infringement lawsuits.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Hecatoncheires, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 7:31pm

    sounds like...

    microsoft might be deciding to do "less" evil...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    me, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 7:44pm

    they are talking about me!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 7:45pm

    Microsoft in bed with Suse? Oh well, no more Suse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    rstr5105, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 7:46pm

    could this possibly be....

    Could this possibly be the formation of something I have dreamed of for a long time?

    IF (Key word: IF) Microsoft is starting to embrace SUSE, could it be a feasible future that the two "Giants in the playground" IE Microsoft and linux of all flavors possibly form a hybrid OS that provides the front end and ease of use of a windows box with the back end and higher levels of operation of a linux box? (Meaning, terminal controls that ACTUALLY WORK and the like)

    Think about it, they could call it MicNix.

    It probably (READ: DEFINITLY) Won't happen in my life time, but it's about time Microshaft opens it's eyes to it's major competitor.

    There's my two pennies on this one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    slimcat (profile), Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 9:21pm

    Novell sells out, demise eminent.

    Some people never learn. Here, let me help:

    MS Partnership == Embrace, Extend, Crush.

    IT'S A TRAP!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    The Swiss Cheese Monster, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 11:04pm

    Re: could this possibly be....

    You make it sound like a McDonalds Sandwich....

    I wonder how long it will be before we can order our OSes by number?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 11:14pm

    Re: Novell sells out, demise eminent.

    scary isn t it
    i dont want microsoft getting there grubby little handss onlinux and ti do what kill it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Nervous Ned, Nov 3rd, 2006 @ 12:12am

    Sounds like a marketing sceme

    Seems to me that MS will continue to do this until the word gets out, like it is now. Then once enough companies purchase this "merger" design, MS will buy Novell and own it all anyway.

    I guess I will just stay with the "cutting-edge/testing" flavors like Ubuntu and Fedora Core...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2006 @ 12:39am

    Re: sounds like...

    no, its simply them scheming up something so insanely devious mere mortals (those who are not under microsoft's blessing) dare not think of for fear of a black hole popping up in their house or place of business and sucking them in, never to be heard from again...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Shrikant Joshi, Nov 3rd, 2006 @ 2:03am

    I didn't know TechDirt was an M$ hate blog...

    ...it gleefully looks for ways to drive them into the ground and stomp on them until they're completely decimated.


    Uhh, incidentally, that also sounds like Google to me.

    What M$ is doing to the desktop market, Google is doing to the Web. But since they give a lot of it away 'free', people don't complain. So it is okay if they come up with innovative, non-intrusive, 'contextual' advertising. Really?!!

    When M$ strikes a deal with Novell, eyebrows are raised. When Google buys YouTube, JotSpot there's not a single comment. Why?

    I think, I'll stop before you guys get out the strait-jackets...

    Regards,
    Shri.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Jetson, Nov 3rd, 2006 @ 4:12am

    SUSE has Mono

    Suse has Mono, an MS .NEt derivative as their prime app so it figures.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    alternatives, Nov 3rd, 2006 @ 5:54am

    When M$ strikes a deal with Novell, eyebrows are raised. When Google buys YouTube, JotSpot there's not a single comment. Why?

    Could it be that Microsoft is convicted of anittrust violations?

    Could it be the founding of Microsoft itselfg has to do with the theft of intellectual property from a professor?

    Ya know... just as a starting point?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Shrikant Joshi, Nov 3rd, 2006 @ 7:49am

    Can you prove it?

    Could it be the founding of Microsoft itselfg has to do with the theft of intellectual property from a professor?


    Could you prove it?

    I am neither admitting nor denying it. Simply because I don't know.

    As for anti-trust violations, Google runs the same risk a few years from now. The way it has gobbles up the market share, someone could soon say the same things that were being said of M$ earlier. Hey, I am no huge fan of M$, but think I must give credit where it is due.

    I posted the comment only beacuse I thought TechDirt was being too high-handed about the issue. So I added another insight of my own.

    Seriously, simply because you are getting Gmail, et al for free *now* does not mean it will last forever. It *might*, It might *not*...

    If my comment offended anyone, I wish to sincerely apologize. It was meant as a thought-provoking argument. If instead it provokes an argument, well, we are better off without it, aren't we?

    Regards,
    Shri.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2006 @ 7:54am

    Re: Novell sells out, demise eminent.

    FYI, it's Embrace, Extend, Extinguish, for you who love alliteration.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    James, Nov 3rd, 2006 @ 7:56am

    Re: Sounds like a marketing sceme

    Who are you kidding? MS pwned Novell a LONG, LONG time ago. And Linux is handed out for free so they could've disessected, integrated and changed that code a long time ago.

    They haven't they are shrewd, and sometimes overly zelous (ie you don't have to compete with EVERYONE Microsoft), but they have their successes and people use/buy their products.

    Regardless of monopoly arguments there are almost always alternatives to their wares, yet people continue to buy their software. So suck it up, Microsoft will be around a long time and they will be successful, whining about it will do you no good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    ebrke, Nov 3rd, 2006 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: Sounds like a marketing sceme

    So who's whining about it? If I start to see unpleasant things happening at Novell as a result of this, I'll drop SuSE and move to another distro. Was this a good business move for Novell? Who knows, at this point. Personally, I think this is Microsoft's attempt to ensure that linux remains on servers and doesn't migrate to client desktops, but it all remains to be seen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Nov 3rd, 2006 @ 10:03am

    Re: I didn't know TechDirt was an M$ hate blog...

    What M$ is doing to the desktop market, Google is doing to the Web. But since they give a lot of it away 'free', people don't complain.

    MS gives plenty of stuff away for free: internet explorer, IIS, active server pages, windows media player, the list goes on and on. there is nothing wrong with buying companies and folding them into your product offering. the problem is when you hurt other people to make money.

    you have a choice of using something other than google for search and email and whatnot... how much choice do you really have with windows?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Don Dodge, Nov 3rd, 2006 @ 10:26am

    Customer demands made Novell the best partner

    Customers have been using Linux and Windows for years, but typically on separate servers, and for very different tasks. It is now quite common for a customer to choose Windows to run a CRM or production management system, and choose Linux to run a print server, file server, or a rapidly changing environment. What has changed is that now customers are using virtualization to better utilize their servers, and they now want to run Windows and Linux on the same server. Customers also wanted assurances that they would not be caught in the crossfire of patent infringement lawsuits between the vendors. These customer requests caused Microsoft to look for a Linux partner who would work cooperatively to make interoperability successful, and recognize the IP rights of both companies. Novell has a long history as a commercial software company and has significant ownership and patents in the Unix and Linux space. Novell was a great fit for Microsoft, and vice versa. I wrote a blog about more of the details here. http://dondodge.typepad.com/the_next_big_thing/2006/11/microsoft_novel.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2006 @ 3:31pm

    Oh well... No more Suse linux for our IBM P5 machines... No point of using a produt from a soon to be dead company...
    Back to Red Hat then,,,

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Shrikant Joshi, Nov 5th, 2006 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: I didn't know TechDirt was an M$ hate blog

    you have a choice of using something other than google for search and email and whatnot... how much choice do you really have with windows?
    Are you sure about that?

    Well, for beginners, there's Mac. Then there are a thousand varieties of Linux, starting with Mandrake (also known popularly as The "Baby") Linux, Fedora-RedHat (The popular "Classroom-Desktop") Linux, Ubuntu (The current hot fave) Debian (The NASA-choice Linux) and so on...

    More dirt on Linux variants can be found here, here, and here

    the problem is when you hurt other people to make money.
    Are you sure?

    Well, in that case please take a look at Google's track record. It's not much better, I assure you. It sometimes makes me suspect that we have very weird, skewed sense of morality...

    I invite you over to my blog. Please feel free to browse some of my older posts. It might give you an idea of why I am ranting here.

    Regards,
    Shri.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anon, Nov 26th, 2006 @ 9:24am

    Re: I didn't know TechDirt was an M$ hate blog...

    >When M$ strikes a deal with Novell, eyebrows are raised. >When Google buys YouTube, JotSpot there's not a single >comment. Why?

    >I think, I'll stop before you guys get out the strait-jackets...

    >Regards,
    >Shri.

    I'll tell you why, you sucker. Some people are grateful for what they have been given, unlike you.

    For others who might be reading this, see where his homepage is located.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Shrikant Joshi, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 4:50am

    Re: Re: I didn't know TechDirt was an M$ hate blog

    I'll tell you why, you sucker. Some people are grateful for what they have been given, unlike you.

    Dear Anon,

    Thanks for the troll. Even greater thanks for the profanity. It is people like you who make my day.

    I have been using BlogSpot much before Google bought it.

    And for your kindest information, I am not a Google-hater. I am merely a Google basher. I am not a an M$ fan. I just want every one (organization or otherwise) to be given their due.

    I was just trying to show that there are always two sides to a coin. But it seems you have never seen a coin, much less the two sides of it. But I digress. Pardon me.

    Since you have raised the issue of my "Blogspot" blog, lemme just ask: Were you using a Windows system to post your comment?

    No offense meant, just a question.

    And of course, since you haven't read ALL my comments, I'll just lay down some handy links for you:
    #10. My first comment:
    I didn't know TechDirt was an M$ hate blog...
    (to which Your High-ness graciously condescended to reply...)

    #13. My second one:
    Can you prove it?

    #20. My third one:
    Re: Re: I didn't know TechDirt was an M$ hate blog

    My comments were merely an attempt to have a balanced view of things. Pity, they were misinterpreted.

    But thanks for reminding me. I have just moved all my posts to my own domain now. Incidentally, it might interest you to know that I am using Wordpress, a *free* CMS solution. Good, eh?

    Warm Regards,
    Shrikant Joshi

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Shrikant Joshi, Nov 29th, 2006 @ 4:50am

    Re: Re: I didn't know TechDirt was an M$ hate blog

    I'll tell you why, you sucker. Some people are grateful for what they have been given, unlike you.

    Dear Anon,

    Thanks for the troll. Even greater thanks for the profanity. It is people like you who make my day.

    I have been using BlogSpot much before Google bought it.

    And for your kindest information, I am not a Google-hater. I am merely a Google basher. I am not a an M$ fan. I just want every one (organization or otherwise) to be given their due.

    I was just trying to show that there are always two sides to a coin. But it seems you have never seen a coin, much less the two sides of it. But I digress. Pardon me.

    Since you have raised the issue of my "Blogspot" blog, lemme just ask: Were you using a Windows system to post your comment?

    No offense meant, just a question.

    And of course, since you haven't read ALL my comments, I'll just lay down some handy links for you:
    #10. My first comment:
    I didn't know TechDirt was an M$ hate blog...
    (to which Your High-ness graciously condescended to reply...)

    #13. My second one:
    Can you prove it?

    #20. My third one:
    Re: Re: I didn't know TechDirt was an M$ hate blog

    My comments were merely an attempt to have a balanced view of things. Pity, they were misinterpreted.

    But thanks for reminding me. I have just moved all my posts to my own domain now. Incidentally, it might interest you to know that I am using Wordpress, a *free* CMS solution. Good, eh?

    Warm Regards,
    Shrikant Joshi

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This