Well, well, well…
Novell has stubbornly denied that the deal with Microsoft was about patents, but have a look at this new nugget of information which comes from a journalist:
I am also confused as to how Steinman’s explanation of the intellectual property agreement fits in with Novell’s earlier explanation of the patent covenant. For example, in its FAQ, Novell stated:
“Our agreement with Microsoft is focused on our customers, and does not include a patent license or covenant not to sue from Microsoft to Novell (or, for that matter, from Novell to Microsoft).”
Steinman has just contradicted Novell’s ‘damage control’ FAQ. Mark these words. Novell acknowledges that it needs access to software patents. In another press release from yesterday, Novell just seems to accept the statement that customers want legal protection.
“Customers have asked us for greater interoperability and for IP assurance that enables vendors to build technical bridges,” said Susan Hauser, general manager of strategic partnerships and licensing at Microsoft.
Novell, say it isn’t so. Yet again, Microsoft adds intellectual property FUD into your own announcements. It has become a pattern. One’s belief is that if they repeat it endlessly, people might start to believe in this imaginary risk and thus be fearful. Things get even worse when the customer’s voice is being ‘hijacked’.
Novell’s impact on Linux and Free software is best illustrated using some quotes:
In mid-November, shortly after the pact was announced, Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer said companies that sell or run Linux, but aren’t covered under the Novell deal, are illegally using Microsoft’s IP. “We believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability,” he said.
He said in a later meeting: “I do think it clearly establishes that open source is not free.”