Well, as my inbox seems to have recovered over the recent Novell/Microsoft deal that was announced yesterday, and a number of people have asked what I feel about this, I might as well post it publicly so I don't have to keep repeating myself.

First off, I am an employee of Novell right now, but I'm speaking for myself, I had nothing to do with this deal, no one consulted me for anything except to let me know a few days before it was announced what was going to happen, I have not read the document describing the deal between Novell and Microsoft, nor do I really have any inclination to do so (because then I'll have to answer more questions than I have been...)

The agreement doesn't seem to have anything to do with the kernel, only Samba, OpenOffice, Mono, and Xen (and we all know Xen isn't getting merged into mainline any year soon, so that isn't really a kernel issue...)

I don't really think this is a big deal at all for the Linux kernel community and code. We are no worse off than we were last week before this announcement, and we actually might be a bit better off now, depending on the actual wording of the agreement (which again, I have not read.)

Linux will continue on to grow and spread into more and more places. And it looks like Microsoft will be helping out in that spreading. This means that we might start to pick up some Microsoft developers to help with the kernel as they get access to the code and have to do testing against it and with it (what, you didn't know that we have a number of ex-Microsoft developers helping with Linux already?)

We've successfully assimilated developers who used to work on AIX, HP-UX, OS/2, embedded OSs, BSD, Dynix/ptx, Solaris, vxWorks, and many others, so what's just one more operating system to add to that list?

Oh, and if Novell has somehow made a "huge mistake" by doing this deal and ends up getting crushed like a bug, then oh well, everyone can point and say "I told you so" and feel nice and smug.

But Linux will survive that because the developers will all still be around and continue to work on it. Our community and code base will remain intact, as nothing can stop that from continuing slowly on toward our true goal.

posted Sat, 04 Nov 2006 in [/diary]


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