Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Microsoft has always had excellent timing. They know when to announce a product; they know when to begin grass-roots movements to build hype for a product; they know when to create an alliance; they know when to break an alliance. They have missed some marks, that's true. They almost missed the internet boat, but were able to quickly recover with the licensing of Spyglass, Inc's browser. Microsoft's best timing, though, has always been when and where to spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.
And that brings us to Novell.
The marketing of an idea
The secret to proper FUD is in how it's marketed.
Marketing itself is all about ideas: product A is superior to product B, and will bring you good health and make you irresistible to the beautiful people of your choice. The competitors' products will cause your hair to fall out and your beer to lose its fizz. These are all ideas more powerful than the product or service being sold.
The best marketing is indirect. People are jaded, and don't believe the claims made in advertisements. These days, we have faux-grassroots campaigns, viral marketing, and marketing disguised as news items.
With this in mind, let me ask a question:
What's the purpose of the recent announcement of the deal struck between Microsoft and Novell?