The bizarre relationship that is Novell + Microsoft

Novell is now suing the hand that feeds it.

Microsoft and Novell have a weird passive-aggressive relationship. In the latest bit of news from the Odd Couple, Microsoft is asking the Supreme Court to throw out Novell's multi-billion dollar lawsuit against Microsoft for anticompetitive practices. "Novell's case asserts that Microsoft maliciously withheld technical information about Windows 95 to give Microsoft Office an advantage over rival software," reports The Register.

And how! Here's just a taste:

In an email dated October 3, 199, however, Bill Gates ordered his top executives to retract the documentation of the browsing extensions, but only until Microsoft's own developers of the Office suite of applications had sufficient time to work with the hidden extensions to build an insurmountable advantage over competitors such as WordPerfect. Gates further explained that without this advantage, Office would not compete with the major ISVs.

This is just the sort of company that I'd want to bet my Linux business upon. Wouldn't you?

Point well taken that it's a heterogeneous world that requires odd pairings of companies. But given Novell's understanding of just how bad Microsoft can be, is a partnership the best way to reward that behavior?

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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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