Microsoft and Novell partnership
Bright future for Linux?
Depends on what you value the most.
From what I read, MS and Novell plan to develop their own additions to OpenOffice, Samba and Mono. OO and Mono are LGPL, so MS and Novell can safely build their own proprietary technology and dynamically link with OO and Mono source code given by the community. I guess they can easily put the entire OO into a bunch of .so files and load them dynamically from their own office suite. They can also integrate those with their own proprietary format in new versions of MS Office. That way MS Office and their Linux version of office suite would be 100% compatible. However, if some non-SuSE distribution would want to use such office suite they would have to pay royalties.
As you can see, MS idea is not to kill Linux, as they have obviously seen it is impossible. So, they decided to integrate those few important software that are main revenue source for MS, and make Linux users pay one way or another.
Soon, MS won’t be telling: don’t use Linux. They embrace Linux users, as it means more money for their office suite - which is the main source of revenue (unlike cheap OS).
As for Samba, which is GPL, MS could easily change the protocol in it’s Windows systems (perhaps it is already done in Vista???) and patent the new protocol, effectivelly pushing Samba team out. Then, they’ll provide their own version of Samba, possibly writing it from scratch (as MS has a lot of programmers, it isn’t a problem) which would use their proprietary and patented protocol. Once again, Linux users would have 100% compatibility, but at a price.
Looks like MS is playing really smart this time.