Show Me the Product

Microsoft-novell deal has potential, but no proof exists yet

Microsoft and novell made big IT news on Nov. 2 by announcing a historic burying of the hatchet, the likes of which we havent seen since Sun and Microsoft promised to work together on big interoperability stuff.

The Sun-Micro-soft agreement was two years ago, and Im not sure what, if anything, came out of it. If I missed something major, please let me know.

Im not saying that the Novell-Microsoft agreement is nothing but fluff—at least there are more patent assurances, which is always helpful. You never know when some big patent troll will come along seeking rent on some unbelievably broad yet somehow patented concept, such as one-click ordering or even e-commerce itself.

Patent assurances aside, however, itll be tough for me to get super-excited about an agreement such as this until something tangible appears. For instance, after Oracle an-nounced its RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) rebrand, I was able to cruise over to and download four ISOs worth of Unbreakable Linux. Before the end of the afternoon, I was running the code.

The good news is that the last time I wondered in print whether Novell would make good on its talk of open-source initiatives to come—back when the company first acquired SUSE and Ximian—I was not disappointed.

When something tangible arises from this latest initiative, eWeek Labs will be here to put it through its paces. Until then, excuse me if I dont get too breathless.

Advanced Technologies Analyst Jason Brooks can be reached at

WWWeb Resources

SLED 10 review

A Linux distro Windows users can love

Unbreakable Linux

eWEEK Labs walk-through of the code

In their own words

Novells and Microsofts takes, respectively, on the deal and