Apparently Microsoft has stated that it’s cross-licensing and distribution deal with SUSE Linux will end. Sort-of. Microsoft will continue to sell the support coupons (and provide source) for SUSE while it remains GPLv2. Microsoft further said that they will not sell or distribute GPLv3 software.
What’s the problem? Well, Microsft has been selling to some heavy hitters like WalMart and Credit Suisse. These customers may have purchased the coupons with the intent of coverage for future versions (I understand the coupons to be good for 3 years), but if future versions of SUSE go GPLv3 these customers will be left high and dry, at least on taking advantage of emerging technologies and advances in the Linux kernel.
Here’s the real problem: Samba (the highly popular Linux file/print networking stack) has decided that future releases will be under GPLv3 starting with 3.2.0.
To be clear, all versions of Samba numbered 3.2 and later will be under the GPLv3, all versions of Samba numbered 3.0.x and before remain under the GPLv2.
The Samba Team would like to thank Richard Stallman, Eben Moglen and the Free Software Foundation for updating the GPL license, and also all the individuals and corporations involved in helping to create the GPLv3. We feel this is an important change to help promote the interests of Samba and other Free Software.
Without Samba there is no interoperability between Linux and Windows – or more specifically, SUSE Linux and Windows Server 2003, the very relationship that Microsoft was trying to leverage with the distribution plan it started earlier this year.