By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-12-12 Print this article Print

For his part, Steinman said that the reason Novell did this deal was to give customers what they had been demanding: interoperability between Windows and SUSE Linux, "so of course they are going to say positive things about the deal." Asked about the criticisms of the deal, largely from open-source developers, Steinman said that OpenSUSE has been the top download on over the past month.
"If the community was really upset about this deal, Im not sure wed be on top of the download list. The words of the few were pretty loud, but the actions of the many speak even louder," he said.
The deal has been extremely well-received, "with the exception of a vocal minority," Steinman said, adding that Novell has seen a lot of interest from customers since the deal was announced. "We have several very large customers who are close to closing with us as a direct response to this deal. A number of Red Hat customers have also expressed interest in moving to SUSE," he said. An executive at a Microsoft and Novell competitor, who asked not to be named, said the patent aspect of the deal between those two companies has completely "muddied" the waters around the issue of intellectual property and Linux and open source. "The only good thing about all of this for us is that it has forced many enterprises into re-evaluating their plans going forward, and we are making sure that our products are firmly on the table as they do," he said. Is Microsoft violating some patents covering open-source technologies? Click here to read more. But Microsofts Kaefer argued that the deal has clarified things and really showed how companies could collaborate and protect one anothers customers. "Microsoft and Novell stepped up and took leadership here, and people now have a clear way to move forward," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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