Thursday, June 14, 2007

The New Microsoft/Linux Threat: Deals

Last year Novell, who manages Suse Linux, signed a deal with Microsoft which allows the two to work together in building a Windows/Linux platform for businesses who need both. (Or think they need both) Microsoft gave hundreds of millions to Novell. (Who needed it)

This sparked outrage among almost all Linux communities. The problem is the deal was made in such a way that made it look like Microsoft would be able to now have some control over Linux. People ware claiming Microsoft knows it cannot crush Linux, so plan B is make deals with Linux distributions to control Linux in such a way that keeps themselves safe.

Linux communities have fired back by trying to put up measures to block any Microsoft control over Linux. One such thing is they are rewriting the GPL license to keep Microsoft from hijacking Linux.

The new scare is Microsoft is making more deals. Just this month they have made deals with two more major Linux distributions: Xandros and Linspire. Linspire also has recently made a deal with Ubuntu. This is getting people to ask: is Ubuntu going to cave into Microsoft's deal too?

I think not for this reason:
Novell, Xandros and Linspire have been in the game for a while and are not doing that well compared to Ubuntu and Red Hat. They see their business model can't compete so they changed it: "Let Microsoft give us hundreds of millions. If we can't get that kind of money from people, let's get it from them."
I don't think Ubuntu or Red Hat are that desperate. They are doing well and I believe will not sell out.

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