How many times can you sell your soul?

Mitch Ratcliffe on the Novell-Microsoft deal

The announcement that Novell and Microsoft will work together to improve interoperability between Windows and Novell’s SuSE Linux, as well as cross-promote and support one another’s products strikes me as eerily like one of those movies with Christopher Lee as Dracula.

Every time you see an old Dracula film, the same fool is making a deal with Drac to achieve eternal life, a life you know, as the viewer, is going to be awful and short. “Don’t do it!” you want to shout at the screen, and so it is with this deal between the maker of Windows and the acquirer, as Novell once staked its future on UNIX, of SuSE Linux.

I’m not saying Microsoft is evil, only that it makes these interoperability deals to defeat its partner, not help them. In the 90s, when both Windows and Novell Netware were under assault by IP networks, they tried to co-exist. Microsoft started making Netware-compatible versions of its local area network management and operating system software.


Linux may win someday, but Novell looks like it will be found dead one morning with mysterious bite marks on its neck. But we can see that now, because we’ve seen this movie before.