News flash: Novell doesn't want to be SCO - who knew?

Novell doesn't want to sue over Linux. That's great news. Now if it would just put its patent agreements where its mouth is.

Wow! Now there's a revelation. I'm not sure how this is news, but LinuxWorld has an article that suggests that, go figure, Novell isn't interested in going down the SCO road. That would be wise. SCO is an also-ran law firm that just ran out of capital to launch its next salvo, whatever it may be telling its customers and shareholders.

My friend and Novell spokesman, Bruce Lowry, declared:

We're not interested in suing people over Unix. We're not even in the Unix business anymore....[Lowry then goes on to suggest that] the cloud has lifted over Linux.

Actually, few of us have spent many sleepless nights thinking about SCO and its spurious claims. Rather, we're more concerned about Novell (and others) saddling up on the Microsoft patent horse.

You've done well, Novell, in defending against SCO, including in the early days when there appeared to be some substance to SCO's claims. Now you can do yourselves, and the industry, one better by embracing open source, and not shackling it to Microsoft's patent claims. Microsoft is a bigger beast than SCO, which makes its claims more harmful to open source than SCO's ever were or could be.

I know Ron Hovsepian has declared that the Microsoft patent deal is necessary, but that's wrong. You don't need Microsoft to compete. You need to continue selling value to customers.

As it turns out, customers don't care about patents. They care about the software and support you deliver to them. The US Patent & Trademark Office cares about patents. But they're not giving much money away these days.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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