So my self-serving speculation earlier was not exactly on target. Here’s the real scoop (from C|NET): Microsoft makes Linux pact with Novell .
What do I think now? Well, I think if the folks at SCO needed another hint that their game was up, Microsoft’s decision to indemnify both Novell and individual open-source developers should be it. And conventional wisdom says Red Hat takes another hit, which I can’t really dispute. But I do think we’ve now heard the last of charges that Red Hat wants to be “The Microsoft of Linux.” Not sure if that title passes to Novell, though.
It will be interesting to see what comes out of the M$-Novell “joint research facility,” and whether Xen winds up being the beneficiary. And I can still fantasize about filesystem compatibility, even if it doesn’t come under any of the headings “virtualization, Web services for server management, and Microsoft Office-OpenOffice.org compatibility.”
Is this another Microsoft attempt to “Embrace, Extend, Extinguish”? Perhaps. Is this an admission that “Linux has won“? Well, that seems a little over the top. But let’s wait for the dust to settle before we make any definitive pronouncements.