That pretty much sums it up. But you're probably asking yourself, "why does he think this when Microsoft is now embracing Linux on a financial and code-based level?" Why? Because Microsoft has, for the last decade, taken Linux to task at every corner. No one has spent as much time, money, and effort attempting to take down the poster child of open source. No one has spread as much Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt as Microsoft. No one has practice such shady business ethics (outside of SCO - and even then Microsoft, it has come to light lately, put a large sum of money up for SCO.)
And now they are buying into Linux itself. Why Microsoft? Why are you doing this? I'll tell you why...
WARNING: I'm donning my conspiracy theorist hat here.
They want to take down Linux from the inside out. How? Any way they can. But I have a feeling it will be something as simple as inserting a snippet of proprietary code into the Linux kernel under the guise of co-existing with Windows Vista, and then crying "wolf!" Or maybe their purpose is to figure out what makes the Linux kernel tick and then one up them within their own kernel. Or maybe it's even more simple. Maybe MS plans on dumping all this money into SuSE to buy it out and claim ownership of Linux.
It could happen.
Remember the old joke about MS claiming patent rights on Ones and Zeros? Linux might not be far away from this. MS has the deepest pockets of any business on the planet so they can afford to hire the best team of lawyers to draw up a plan to bring down our favorite operating systems. MS may very well be hoping to crush their main competitor, Red Hat Linux, from the inside out. Support SuSE so that Red Hat suffers until Red Hat caves and allows MS to buy into their company.
But how can we take care of this? It's really up to companies like SuSE to realize that the big green carrot Microsoft is dangling in front of them might be more of a time bomb waiting to go off in their face.
What's really difficult is that Linux has gained so much within the last few years. The desktop has surpassed that of Windows in stability and usability. The server has proven to be one of the best solutions for the enterprise level. But if MS has their way they will, from the inside out, bring Linux down to its knees and it will take years for the open source community to stand back up.
Please SuSE, rethink what you're doing. Or at least protect yourself and your code. Don't let MS take control of something so dear to our hearts.
I have, for over a decade, been a Linux zealot. Because of this I question every move that Microsoft makes. Under my microscope of conspiracy I place MS and usually I find every single nugget of FUD there is to find. Microsoft since its inception, has practiced some of the shadiest business ethics in the history of the computing world. And because of this, I don't trust their moves. Every move they make (nods to Sting and The Police) is riddled with hidden agenda.
Even the Samba team has chimed asking Novell to reconsider the deal stating: For Novell to make this deal shows a profound disregard for the relationship that they have with the Free Software community. We are, in essence, their suppliers, and Novell should know that they have no right to make self serving deals on behalf of others which run contrary to the goals and ideals of the Free Software community.
And the Samba team is right. Novell striking this deal with Microsoft shows a complete disregard to not only the patent-free nature of Linux but also of the Linux community and all it stands for and believes.
This most recent Microsoft "stealth attack" on Linux could very well be the most dangerous move they've made. I believe they are planning something down the road that will be nothing more than an attempt to dismember its competition.
So I have to ask, why does Microsoft hate Linux? The answer, however, is obivious...because it's superior and gaining ground faster than they ever anticipated.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.