Red Hat discussed patents with Microsoft...this is news?
Red Hat talked patents with Microsoft, yes. But Red Hat wasn't/isn't buying, and won't until the terms of the talks change.
But it's not rocket science to infer that Microsoft would have approached Red Hat long before it knocked on the doors of Novell, Xandros, and Linspire. Microsoft said as much when it signed the deal with Novell, and has pined in the press for a deal with Red Hat, only to be publicly rejected.
Is there any scenario under which Red Hat will enter into a patent agreement with Microsoft? I'm sure there is. But not under the terms Microsoft has been suggesting.