Ubuntu founder kills Microsoft rumour

Written by Brett Thomas

June 18, 2007 | 14:48

Tags: #patent #suse

Companies: #microsoft #novell #ubuntu

Back when Novell and Microsoft announced their "partnership", a lot of very skeptical people stood back and waited. Others blatantly argued against the move, such as Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth. And now, Shuttleworth is having to reiterate that position - Ubuntu will not follow Novell's path.

When the Microsoft/Novell deal was initially announced, Shuttleworth was one of the most outspoken critics in the industry. Of course, such dissent almost always breeds more questions than it seems to answer. Many people believed that Ubuntu, being one of the most popular Linux distributions, would be forced to follow in Novell's footsteps with regard to the Microsoft "offer" for collaboration.

Those rumours have been gaining increasing traction in the open-source community, particularly as more details of the patent-infringement arm twisting that Microsoft has pulled comes to light. But Shuttleworth has put his thoughts out to the public again, this time in no uncertain terms:

"We have declined to discuss any agreement with Microsoft under the threat of unspecified patent infringements. Allegations of 'infringement of unspecified patents' carry no weight whatsoever. We don't think they have any legal merit, and they are no incentive for us to work with Microsoft on any of the wonderful things we could do together. A promise by Microsoft not to sue for infringement of unspecified patents has no value at all and is not worth paying for."

Mark did draw the line at saying he'd never consider working with Microsoft, highlighting that "future collaboration" isn't ruled out. However, it's clear that he sees absolutely no merit to Redmond's litigious threats. And even if the two companies do work together in the future, it's pretty clear that won't be happening any time soon.

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