Novell and Open Source


While I was out last week, Novell announced it was buying Ximian. I'm always skeptical when big companies start buying companies based on an open source philosophy like Ximian. Mostly I worry about the innovative products that these companies are working on getting quashed. In this related article, Chris Stone, Vice Chair at Novell, talks about this deal and the SCO lawsuit. Chris says all the right things and I'm sure his heart's in the right place, but other forces will come into play and affect whatever strategy Novell has now. In another article, my friend Mall Asay, Novell's chief OSS strategist, writes about how OSS ideas leak into companies regardless of their persuasion. One interesting quote from Matt:

Open source has given Novell a way to build upon its past, without relinquishing it. NetWare remains, but becomes even better, offering customers more choice.

Of course, in the case of SCO, an open source company bought a closed source company (Caldera bought SCO) and the ideas seem to have leaked the other direction. What kills me about SCO is when I talk to the people who work there they have all these great ideas that I think OS companies ought to be talking about. I'm afraid, that their legal strategy is going to drown out any other conversation SCO will want to have.