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Novell speaks on Microsoft deal

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    http://theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=35528 Novell speaks on Microsoft deal Interview This is pressure on Red Hat By Martin Veitch: Friday 03 November
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 3, 2006

      Novell speaks on Microsoft deal

      Interview 'This is pressure on Red Hat'

      By Martin Veitch: Friday 03 November 2006, 17:45
      WE SPOKEto Novell European president Tom Francese in the wake of the
      Microsoft pact to get some reaction on the deal.

      INQ: What's your immediate reaction to the deal?

      TF: I like Steve Ballmer's statement that people said this could never
      be done. From an open-source community point of view I would say:
      nothing can stop us now. The movement has been fully embraced by one
      of the last bastions, Microsoft. We can go to market with IBM, HP,
      Dell, but now that includes Microsoft.

      INQ: Any reaction from users yet?

      TF: We had calls throughout the night. I'm an out-in-the-field person
      and customers have been calling saying 'now we can select an
      open-source partner and if we select Suse Linux we are completely free
      and unencumbered by concerns on intellectual property'.

      INQ: But previously open-source vendors have always argued that there
      is no major user concern on IP…

      TF: There's always been the bogeyman thing. We always felt we're OK to
      move forwards and now there's no grey area at all. There's always a
      boardroom discussion about risk in any project so another barrier has
      been taken down.

      INQ: A lot of vendor pacts don't add up to much. Why is this different?

      TF: We all feel a little bit better that Microsoft is taking a step
      forward and recognising interoperability with open source. We have a
      five-year agreement with Microsoft. It's not short-term and you'll see
      more detail inside 60 days with the SEC [regulatory] filing. There are
      going to be financial benefits for both companies.

      INQ: Is this a community win or a Novell win over Red Hat?

      TF: We think about customers first and then the community but I would
      tell you it's a competitive advantage.

      INQ: But often there's a follow-up with these deals where the big
      vendor repairs fences with the other company affected by the alliance.
      Is there going to be a Microsoft-Red Hat pact next?

      TF: This is going to put some pressure on Red Hat and that's not going
      to change anytime in the near future.

      INQ: The virtualisation stuff is intriguing. Does it mean that you'll
      be displacing Xen with Microsoft's Viridian virtualisation code in
      Suse Linux?

      TF: We're going to have this virtualisation lab and the two teams are
      going to be closer. We're going to find a way to improve support on
      what Microsoft is doing on virtualisation. We don't see it conflicting
      [with current strategies].

      INQ: How about OpenOffice, Microsoft Office and document formats?

      TF: There's always been this struggle to interoperate well and we
      think we'll be better served on document interchange. We have learned
      in the past that this shouldn't be a threat to either company and
      taking it up a level will benefit everybody. Religious wars are not
      productive and are a thing of the past. µ
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