As part of an interoperability and cross-licensing patent deal signed in November between the two vendors, Microsoft promised to distribute 70,000 coupons for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server maintenance and support. But on July 5, Microsoft issued a statement saying it had no legal obligations under GPLv3, which forbids the type of patent deal Microsoft and Novell signed.
Hovsepian then moved on, saying the Linux community needs to look forward because there is work to do if people believe Linux is going to replace every Unix server and challenge Microsoft on the desktop.
He said the Linux community needs to progress in unison to obtain a dominant position in the market, and needs to focus on three areas: the ecosystem, the data centre and expanding its market reach.
"The No. 1 thing that we need on Linux is applications," he said.
Hovsepian said applications were fragmented in the Unix market and that was a mistake.
"If you look at Windows, their application availability is far and away their biggest advantage," he said. "ISVs go to Microsoft and they know there is one platform." He says Linux is distribution by distribution.
The solution is to build consistency around the API level, and we need to standard the ISV process, he said.
"Today I am asking the open-source vendor community to support a vendor-neutral effort to standardize ISV certifications. The ISVs would be able to certify an application and seamlessly port it across Linux distributions."
Hovsepian said Linux also has to focus on the data centre specifically in the areas of virtualization, management, security, Linux and power management.
"These are critical components as to where and how the next generation of data centers evolve," he said.
Hovsepian said Novell would intertwine Xen virtualization and ZenWorks management tools.