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Novell loses software developer over Microsoft pact

by Paul Jay, CBC News Online

When Microsoft and Novell agreed to a partnership in November, it seemed an odd coupling.

Not only are the two companies embroiled in an antitrust lawsuit over Wordperfect, they have also taken different routes when it came to putting out software. While Microsoft's Windows uses proprietary software protected by patent and intellectual property law, Novell's SUSE Linux is based on the open-source Linux software.

Evidently, at least one person at Novell was unhappy with the deal, as influential software developer Jeremy Allison has resigned from the company.

In a resignation letter published on groklaw on Thursday, Allison said the Microsoft partnership was a "mistake" thatwill be "damaging to Novell's success in the future." He later confirmed the authenticity of the letter to CNet.

Allison argued the patent agreement puts Novell outside the open-source community. "Until the patent provision is revoked, we are pariahs," he wrote.

Allison leaves Novell for Google, where he will continue to work on Samba, software that lets Linux servers share files on Windows networks.

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