With Microsoft code dump Novell tries to make nice

Before Microsoft can become an accepted ally of the open source movement, Novell has to cease being treated as a second-class open source citizen. This latest deal won't still the hotheads on the open source side, and it hasn't stilled the hotheads on the Microsoft side, either. But Northern Ireland peace wasn't made in a day, either.

Microsoft's release of 20,000 lines of Linux drivers, under the GPL, may be a shocker to headline writers, but it's actually smart business.

This is about Novell.

Ever since its 2006 arrangement with Novell, Microsoft has accepted the idea of a heterogenous world.

But open source advocates have always seen this as a one-way street, and most have taken out their ire on Novell, because it acknowledged unspecificed Microsoft patent claims on Linux to do the deal.

A Novell spokesman was quick to tout the Novell angle to this story, noting that "Novell Fellow Greg Kroah-Hartman, who leads the Linux Kernel Device Driver project, the company proactively engaged with Microsoft to provide guidance and feedback to the Open Source Technology Center."

True enough.

Before Microsoft can become an accepted ally of the open source movement, Novell has to cease being treated as a second-class open source citizen. This latest deal won't still the hotheads on the open source side, and it hasn't stilled the hotheads on the Microsoft side, either.

But Northern Ireland peace wasn't made in a day, either.

So, hotheads want to weigh in on this? Why is Microsoft still evil? Why is open source still so socialist? Inquiring minds want to know.

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