VMWare to buy Novell

It looks like the industry is shifting to a trend of larger companies purchasing smaller companies so that they may offer a complete, end-to-end, package from the base tin right up to the application level. Oracle have done this buy purchasing Sun, now VMWare are next in the foray - being rumoured to purchase Novell (and therefore SuSE Linux).

Do you think this is the right way to go? On the face of it, having large corporations channelling time & money into Linux must surely be good news for the Open Source world. But let’s not forget what happened to Open Solaris once Oracle took control of the reins.

It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Red Hat were next in the list. Out of the top 4 server vendors (IBM, HP, Sun/Oracle, Dell) there’s only Dell who doesn’t yet have its own OS offering. I’m wondering if Dell will make an offer to buy Red Hat before long in order to compete with the others (IBM has AIX, HP has HP-UX, Oracle has Solaris, etc).

But what’s really interesting about this (from my point of view as a Unix sysadmin) is that Novell currently own the Intellectual Property rights for Unix. If VMWare buy Novell, I would assume the Unix copyright would transfer across also. That would mean VMWare would probably have the final say in how operating systems can be categorised as Unix.

Any thoughts?

I thought Dell were a bit skint ATM after their fraud settlement, and not getting the exclusivity rebates from Intel any more. :wink:

The rebates supposedly amounted to 76 per cent of Dell’s operating profit (or $720m) in one quarter alone, Q1 of 2007.

makes you wonder what’s in store for MySQL and OpenOffice… not to mention what they appear to be trying to do to Android.

That would mean VMWare would probably have the final say in how operating systems can be categorised as Unix

Not sure this will have any effect … after all , it’s classified as a “mostly Posix compliant” OS, rather than a “mostly Unix compliant” OS …

I think the only issue (really) is intellectual property and whether any of the large scale meddlers (IBM, Novell, Oracle etc…) have included contributions they technically weren’t in a position to make with regards to their Unix licenses. But then it’s the contributors who’re in real danger, all “Linux” has to do is remove the offending code.

I note for example Oracle are starting to play funny buggers about certain companies making use of ZFS … even tho’ Sun contributed it … personally I try to avoid a feature if I know it’s come from a large corporate and instead stick to proper OS contributions. Somehow I doubt the altruism of such contributers and can’t help thinking there’s a catch to using whatever they’ve stuck in.