According to an article at the Linux Beacon, the original wording of the Novell Open Letter to the Community contained a harsher rebuff of the FUD spewed by Microsoft in the days following the announcement of the deal:
The funny bit is that Novell chopped out a whole chunk of paragraph five in the letter. Here is how it was originally written, and the red ink is what is missing on the bit published on the Novell site:
“We disagree with the recent statements made by Microsoft on the topic of Linux and patents. Importantly, our agreement with Microsoft is in no way an acknowledgment that Linux infringes upon any Microsoft intellectual property. To claim otherwise is to further sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and does not offer a fair basis for competition. When we entered the patent cooperation agreement with Microsoft, Novell did not agree or admit that Linux or any other Novell offering violates Microsoft patents. We strongly object to the usage of our agreement to suggest that members of the Linux community owe Microsoft any remunerations.“
I especially am interested in the fact that the part about how Mr. Ballmer’s claims do not “offer a fair basis for competition” found their way to the cutting room floor, I wonder who edited or proofread the document and had final say, is it the same mysterious moderators from the OpenSUSE IRC chat the other day?
Nov 27 12:23:18 < JBarr-OSTG > who are the moderators? ... Nov 27 12:23:33 < hd41 > We can't really comment on that.
Update: Also check out the Q&A with Ron Hovsepian article for further spin regarding whether or not Novell feels that Microsoft is engaging in a FUD campaign.