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Microvell Acquisition of XenSource Confirmed by Ray Ozzie?

Posted in Antitrust, Microsoft, Novell, Virtualisation, Xen at 2:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yesterday we mentioned Matt Asay’s speculation about an upcoming Novell acquition. The worst case scenario, as explained before, is that where Novell scoops Xen and then punishes other GNU/Linux distributors. Such a move would hurt Linux tremendously, according to a humble analysis.

Although it is hard to verify the identity of commenters, Ray Ozzie has just posted a comment which confirms this.

Novell will buy Xensoure (sic).

They will release a new ZENworks Q1 for application virtualization on Windows and Suse. Novell also has the only reliable Identity Management, and Directory that scales the Enterprise. No one else comes close IBM, Sun, Oracle and certainly not Red Hat. Suse is now the only “sanctioned” Linux for the Enterprise due to the agreement and work with Microsoft.

If this comment (which was followed by another from a Microsoft MVP who ‘diggs’ for Microsoft at Digg.com) is not authentic, then we apologise for the confusion. However, it cannot be ignored. I have seen Ozzie commenting in blogs before (e.g. Microsoft-Watch), so I’m inclined to suspect it’s a genuine and authentic statement.

If true, Novell may have just moved closer to betraying the community, again. As David Mohring told BoyCottNovell yesterday:

Also consider that if Microsoft purchased XenSource directly then VMWare and the other virtualization vendors would rightly scream “Antitrust”, since Microsoft would be building versions of Vista/WindowsServer targeted to work with Xen’s Paravirtualization mode. Maybe such Antitrust issues could be avoided by Novell purchasing XenSource ( using funds provided by Microsoft in November ) and Microsoft and Novell working on getting Microsoft’s OSs and Xen together ( under the *existing* Novell Microsoft November agreement ).

Addendum: More background at LinuxWatch

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  1. fak3r said,

    January 5, 2007 at 11:57 am


    While this is still speculation, it’s hardly far off judging from MS’s moves over the past 6 months. I’ve just came across this site thanks to Digg, but you’re now linked to — this is a great reference, and I completely support you’re cause. Thanks.

  2. r0gue6 said,

    January 5, 2007 at 12:06 pm


    Welcome to the world of business and capitalism, were you expecting linux to live in a world of crazy communism forever? Even the major distros are trying to make money and this should sport suse some nice revenue. It’s not like the other distros will go away, so this is such a non-story.

  3. dumb said,

    January 5, 2007 at 12:18 pm


    This is idiotic. You seriously believe the truth of that comment even with the misspellings?

    I have a nice big bridge for you in the New York area, if you’re interested.

  4. Louw said,

    January 5, 2007 at 12:21 pm


    Maybe this is why Linux doesnt own the Desktop… As soon as someone tries to fast-track development and try to get Linux working with the biggest IT-monopoly it will be defamed and deriled for a sellout. Please step out of the way of advancement and let Linux flourish.

  5. Pianohacker said,

    January 5, 2007 at 12:30 pm


    I think the main reason for all of this hubbub is that people simply don’t trust Microsoft (specifically, people who read history, and know how Microsoft likes to work. Case in point: OS/2. It may be old history, but…)
    Open source does have one major protection against all of this: code forking. Thus, even if Microsoft decides to backstab Novell, Linux (and Xen) will continue to flourish.

  6. shane said,

    January 5, 2007 at 12:44 pm


    Stafford Masie, Novell South Africa country manager, at the CITI forum a few weeks ago, referred to Microsoft and Novell teaming up against VMware (EMC):

    http://boycottnovell.com/2006/12/27/stafford-masie-presentation-at-citi-forum-transcript/ ( last few paragraphs before the tape cuts off, scroll down )

    Web services, that’s the proprietary aspects, making active directory and eDirectory work together- enterprise customers want to see that, virtualization is very very key, customers want to utilize Linux as either a host operating system with Microsoft as a guest operating system, or vice versa, and yes wea re going to support the XEN technology there, the XEN hypervisor technology, Microsoft is going to support it too. Yes, there is a competitive angle there, yes we’re coming at VMware yes yes yes we are, ok thats part of it because but we’re doing it in an open source way, so were going to support the XEN technologies in our server platforms and togther collaborate and ensure it works properly, supported properly, etc

  7. W^L+ said,

    February 13, 2007 at 12:06 am


    If this is true, since Red Hat has been working hard to prepare Xen for possible inclusion in the main Linux kernel, they are likely to sponsor a fork of Xen. After all, in the enterprise market, virtualization is the message of the moment. The other thing that matters, I think, is that VMWare is looking for a partner in their quest to maintain a strong lead over Microsoft’s offerings. Imagine if Red Hat and Ubuntu sponsored a fork that worked together with VMWare on Linux and BSD platforms (including Mac OS X)–I think it would eat up anything that MSFT could field.

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