Thursday, November 02, 2006

MS and Novell Dance

Novell and Microsoft are learning to dance together. Or should I say Novell is dancing with the devil. Well however you take this, surprise, shock.... Pigs can now fly and it could be snowing in hell... One of the major stories today was the announcement that these two old foes are now collaborating together. They said that this has been in the works since around last April and Novell was the one to approach Microsoft.

Who loses and who wins?

Losers: Red Hat, Oracle
Another adversary of Microsoft - Oracle is offering a version of Linux based on the Red Hat Distribution that will be cheaper than Red Hat and will be supported in enterprises that is cheaper than Red Hat. Red Hat shares were tumbling this week because of this news and it looked that Novell was being squeezed out of the picture. This helps paint the picture of Microsoft's agenda and motives. Microsoft needs to fend off the blow from Oracle and at the same time jump into the Open Source Pool.

Winners: Microsoft, Novell, Open Source, and most importantly Enterprise Customers.
There are many more winners than losers with this announcement. I noticed that HP was on the podium during the press release. I couldn't help wondering what IBM and Dell were thinking about this announcement.

This is HUGE for Novell. Novell has a very strong friend and ally. Novell gets a stamp of approval in the enterprise data centers. Microsoft endorses Novell SUSE Linux!

This is HUGE for the customer. Anytime there is collaboration it's a big win.

Here is a summary of key items in today's announcement:
1. Interoperability
The lawyers have made sure that Microsoft and Novell will not step on each others patents. Microsoft and Novell will work together bridging propietary source code with Open Source code.

2. Collaboration

  • a. Virtualization
  • b. SUSE Linux on Windows. Windows on SUSE Linux. Paravirtualization
  • c. Web Services - bringing Linux and Windows services together. .NET and MONO
  • d. eDirectory and Active Directory Federation. Think AD on Linux.
  • e. ODF Open Document Format. Microsoft Office and Open Office

This message and announcement solidifies Open Source in the Data Center. While Novell and Microsoft will still compete, they will also collaborate.

SysAdmin said it best - There is a disturbance in the Force!

1 comment:

sysadmin1138 said...

Thank you for the analysis. My brain is still going, "WAA!", over this whole thing so I can't analyze it. I've seen reaction spanning the whole range. From, "this is the death of Open Source," to, "Wow, this will REALLY get OSS into the enterprise." The Number 1 and Number 2 Linux distributions in the Enterprise get subverted/coopted/brokered by he-uge closed source companies? It can make a guy think sad thoughts about The Way Things Were.

Time will be the only thing that'll tell on this one. I think this move is a great move forward in terms of paravirtualization. The possibility of AD and eDir talking together better and even sharing security principals without complex translation layers inbetween (IDM) is a nice thought.

I just hope Novell doesn't go the way of other past Microsoft partners.