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Microsoft patent deal could leave Novell behind

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SUSE

Open source advocate Bruce Perens has warned Novell Inc that it risks being left behind by open source progress unless it turns its back on its recent patent covenant with Microsoft Corp.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Novell might have negotiated the deal with Microsoft for its SUSE Linux Enterprise users, but that has left Microsoft free to accuse the wider Linux user base of infringing its intellectual property.

There have already been calls from some open source users and developers to boycott Novell's products, but perhaps more significantly for Novell, Perens has warned the company that Linux software licensing changes could leave it isolated if it does not renege on the Microsoft deal.

"The very software that you sell is owned by parties who are now hostile to your company," wrote Perens, creator of the Open Source Definition and founder of the Open Source Initiative and Linux Standards Base, in a letter to Novell's chief executive, Ron Hovsepian. "The C Library, essential to run every program on your system, is the property of the Free Software Foundation, which will surely re-license that library to LGPL 3."

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What if Linux does infringe on Microsoft intellectual property?

There have been a lot of words written about the comments made by Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer during a Q&A session after his keynote speech at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) conference in Seattle last week (you know, where he said that Linux used intellectual property patented by Microsoft).

Most seem to think that the claims are nothing more than FUD on the part of Microsoft and that nothing will come of it. But here's a thought to ponder - what if it's true and Linux does indeed infringe on one of more of Microsoft's patents?

Come on, no matter how much of a Linux fan you are, you have to admit that there's at least a chance that Linux does indeed infringe on Microsoft's patents. After all, Microsoft does hold a lot of patents.

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You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

ok...for the sake of argument

With Billions of lines of code, the chances of you being right are pretty good. So let's do it this way. MS, you show us yours and we'll show you ours. No, wait...that's not gonna work. You won't show anyone your code whereas your "Linux Lab" has been hard at work picking apart about every distro known to man.

So please...DO sue for patent infringement. I will bet a dollar to a doughnut that FSF or others will win a supeona for you to open your code for inspection as well.

Well Stevie? Could that be the reason for you not pulling the trigger? Is that why you funded SCO instead of doing your own dirty work? Tell me, how did that work out for ya? Why don't you show us the offending code and we will remove it and re-write the programs for a work-around?

thats what I thought. Hot air and fear...the Microsoft stock in trade. Now shut up and go lay down. Go help Novell count their money and watch their stock tank in the next 30 days. Nothing wrong with a man watching his own handiwork in action.

h

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