'Mixed-source' Novell on track for acquisition

 

Attachmate merger yet to be consummated.

Novell has recommitted itself to a hybrid open source and proprietary software strategy in the lead up to its merger with Attachmate.

The SUSE Linux vendor was expected to merge with Attachmate this quarter, after agreeing to a US$2.2 billion ($2.2 billion) acquisition last November.

But it had yet to satisfy Attachmate’s requirement of selling 882 patents to Microsoft consortium CPTN, having been delayed by US Government queries about the proposed US$450 million sale.

The patent sale was also questioned by the Open Source Community and Free Software Foundation, which last month jointly urged the US Department of Justice to scrutinise the deal.

“The founders and leaders of CPTN have a long history of opposing and misrepresenting the value of FLOSS [free, libre, and open source software],” the open source groups wrote.

“CPTN ... represents a serious threat to the growing use of FLOSS throughout business, government, academia, and non-profit organisations worldwide.”

Novell executive and former Linux Foundation CTO Markus Rex downplayed the effect that Attachmate would have on Novell’s direction.

Declining to comment specifically on the patent sale, Rex told iTnews that Novell was “on track to work towards closing” the acquisition.

He expected the businesses to continue running as two separate units post-acquisition, highlighting Attachmate’s promise last December to support Novell’s existing roadmaps and release schedules.

“We are in this weird interim timeframe between selling and buying; it is really too early to tell,” he said when questioned about any changes to the Novell culture.

“Novell has made it very, very clear that its strategy is a mixed-source strategy, and we are not deviating from that in any shape or form.”

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