03.26.07

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What did Microsoft Gain from the Novell Deal?

Posted in Antitrust, Deals, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:01 am by Shane Coyle

According to Laura DiDio, pretty much everything we have been saying. And, to be fair, this is not the first time that Ms. DiDio has been able to see this deal for exactly what it is.

[editor's note: links are mine]
“I really think the main impetus for the MS/Novell deal was to 1) undercut Red Hat; 2) by embracing Novell, Microsoft gets to “hold its’ friends close and its’ enemies closer” BUT most importantly by embracing and supporting Linux in this matter, Microsoft gains an important ally in the ongoing EC antitrust actions — the Microsoft/Novell alliance severely diminishes many of the anti-competitive allegations the EC is lobbing against Microsoft. And at the time they inked the deal, that was very much (and still is,) on Microsoft’s mind…”

Matt Asay has a great write up on some of these findings from the Yankee Group’s report, which seems to indicate that Novell is indeed gaining share at Red Hat’s expense, but it appears that Windows is holding its own against Linux – with a purported 12% of those who switched to Linux now returning to Windows.

In short, Novell is getting what it wants – to hurt Red Hat – but not getting what it really wants – to grow the market and take a larger share of that market. Novell may have succeeded in winning a skirmish, but is also helping to lose the battle, the war, and everything else for Linux/open source.

For all that Microsoft has gained from this deal, has Novell really gained all that much? And, at whose expense?

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