Paula Rooney at ZDnet reported on today's announcement that rPath has entered a pact with Novell that makes creating a virtual appliance easier for developers.
While I am not shocked that rPath is working with Novell instead of continuing with their own Linux flavor, I am completely shocked that Billy Marshall, rPath CEO and former Red Hat bigshot sales guy is citing the Microsoft patent protection as the reason why. Nothing is said about Suse being better in any way. Instead its about this unproven patent protection.
rPath's Appliance Builder has been running its own Linux since the company's inception but it doesn't come with the legal peace-of-mind guarantee offered by Novell, he said. Despite Linux's widespread acceptance, potential legal issues still keep customers up at night, the former Red Hat sales exec said.
"We don't have the Microsoft patent promise that Novell provides. We can't provide that with rPath Linux," Marshall told this ZDNet blogger. "It takes a long time for people to overcome their historical biases. "
I have to think that Novell or Microsoft are going to make an investment or acquisition of rPath in the near future. Otherwise rPath sold out way too easily.