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Re: Competing Robin Hood Linux

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Competing Robin Hood Linux
Date: Fri, 03 Nov 2006 20:14:55 +0100

MOG's having fun too...
(Issue No. 666; November 6 2006 Saints Alive, Microsoft Teams with
Novell on Linux)

That creaking sound you just heard is Red Hat swaying back and forth on
the edge of the glacier-sized crevasse that has opened up in front of

Red Hat’s already got Oracle making an all-out assault on its business
model trying to push it into the abyss on one side by undercutting its
support prices and now Microsoft will be lending its shoulder on the
other side by fronting for its opposition.

Oracle with its new Oracle-ized Red Hat distro and Microsoft with Novell
between its teeth can now fight over the Linux bone.

After leaking the skeleton of the story to the Wall Street Journal
Thursday afternoon, the pair and some of their friends held a press
conference Thursday evening reassuring everyone that what they were
hearing was in fact true.

The only thing still dividing the two companies is the private antitrust
suit that Novell lodged against Microsoft on behalf of its one-time
acquisition WordPerfect. Somehow that didn’t manage to get resolved in
the six months the companies say they’ve been working out the details of
their new arrangement.

The credit for the détente apparently belongs to Novell CEO Ron
Hovsepian, who approached Microsoft COO Kevin Turner – who used to be a
customer of Hovsepian’s back at IBM when Turner was CIO of Wal-Mart. It
led to a meeting in May and the history-making accord.

Hovsepian might have been inspired by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison who
started musing publicly about then about having his own Linux
distribution but how he couldn’t force himself to buy Novell because it
wasn’t worth its market cap.

Microsoft’s motivation for the deal is supposed to be customer demand
and it has reportedly been under considerable pressure to interoperate
with Linux better. And pairing with the weak sister sticks a nail
through Red Hat’s shoe. Red Hat wouldn’t answer the phone to comment.

Under the arrangement, users will be able to run Office on Linux and
Linux applications on Windows. The pair is talking about ways to improve
how Office and OpenOffice share documents and say they will make
translators available to improve the interoperability between OpenXML
and the OpenDocument format.

They are also talking about making it easier for customers to federate
Microsoft’s Active Directory with Novell’s eDirectory.

To appeal to the open source community, Microsoft promised to actively
contribute to several open source projects. Novell and Microsoft also
penned a joint letter to the open source community, presumably
protecting Novell’s back. (See

Hovsepian said he was impressed at how much money Microsoft is willing
to spend on interoperability.

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