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Red Hat and Microsoft: What's the Deal?

Red Hat and Microsoft seem like a new couple which gets some media attention. As disturbing as this may sound, at least to some of you, it seems likely that Red Hat will have an interoperability deal with Microsoft. Such a deal would most likely exclude patents, but there are many implications to consider. What would Microsoft's stance be? How would Novell's case be used throughout negotiation? Would it become a bargaining chip? Of course, it's a case of hypothetical pondering.

In any event, all we have are rumours, speculations, and the bullish words from Microsoft. Red Hat declined to comment while Mary Jo Foley reports that we ought to keep our hopes (or worries) down. Red Hat does not seem gulliable. In fact, Red Hat was among the loudest protesters among the vocal opposition to Novell. But have a look at this bizarre article:

"We are vendors in the same marketplace. We have made it clear that we would love to have a deal similar to the Novell deal in multiple respects. Microsoft would very much like to do a deal with Red Hat."

[...]

Microsoft indicated that it sees the Novell deal as a model for a potential Red Hat partnership.


There is another piece of coverage here, but I suppose that both precede Red Hat's response, which debunks many of the ambitious arguments made by Microsoft. Their wishful thinking that's uttered aloud may be a way of confusing Red Hat and its customers. It could be a a game of reverse psychology.

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