Jack Messman, the former CEO of Novell, speaks about Linux and Open Source in the following old video. It is worth mentioning that negotiations with Microsoft only began after Messman stepped down (rather passively).
At the time, Novell argued that Jack Messman’s departure would give priority to Linux. This exemplifies the meaning of the phrase “Better the Devil You Know (Than the One You Don’t Know)“.
Another point worth mentioning, is that Linux (the kernel) is almost certainly remaining under GPLv2 for the forseeable future, so even if Novell is unable or unwilling to comply with GPLv3, they will still apparently be able to distribute "Linux" under GPLv2 for some time.