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Novell's open source legacy – wake up, little SUSE

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Novell's unrequited romance with Linux and free software is over. Having completed its $2.2 billion takeover, Attachmate is dividing the spoils.

Novell's relationship with the open source community was beset with mis-steps and misunderstandings, mistakes and missed opportunities. In some cases wrong decisions were made for "business" reasons, such as the patent indemnification deal with Microsoft. On other occasions the tail was allowed to wag the dog and Mono gained a significance it should never have had.

Novell was the good guy in the SCO saga, backed its open source developers and made numerous contributions to free software projects – but it is fated not to be remembered for its triumphs or good deeds which have been lost in the dust of indemnifications, patent sales, and arguments about Microsoft or Mono.

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