I'm going to go on a bit of a rant here because I finally have an appropriate thread...
Please read this transcript: http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/m...asp?source=rss
Steve Ballmer, in this transcript, makes it extremely clear what Microsoft's intentions are with this deal with Novell. Ballmer has a few characteristics that I REALLY like, the main one being his gargantuan hubris. There is nothing sneaky about MS, they are flat out declaring that they will control one linux distro, and then destroy the rest of the community. Ballmer has no filters, whatsoever. Once his ego takes over you don't even have to read between the lines anymore, it's like he took a truth serum.
What MS wants to do is simply choose a few 'select' distros and basically say that they, and only they, are compliant with MS' intellectual property. MS will then declare that everyone else is infringing on their patents and are criminals. MS will bring this to litigation and attempt to destroy anyone in their path. Expect huge globs of steaming FUD thrown at the linux community. This is going to be SCO vs IBM all over again... Only difference is that we, the linux community are the target. MS is going to send notices to EVERY IT department in the country saying that you are violating their patents by using any distro other than SuSe... This is capitalism at it's worse. Expect projects like Samba to be attacked first. MS honestly believes that linux infringes on their intellectual property.
MS can't eliminate Linux, but they can seriously marginalize it then make it irrelevant. They have taken the first steps to do just that. Unfortunately, here in the USA MS will probably be very successful in their new initiative because they bought washington. This won't be the case in europe where I hope the EU continues to rip ms to shreds.