Microsoft Corp. Thursday rejected the idea that its deal last year with Novell Inc. ties it to the new General Public License Version 3 (GPLv3) and said it will not support any software distributed under the just-released open-source license. The Microsoft-Novell partnership signed in November 2006 featured promises to make Windows interoperable with SuSE Linux, a pact in which Microsoft vows not to sue Novell for any potential patent infringement, royalty payments on the part of Novell to Microsoft based on Linux sales, or a major purchase of Linux support contracts by Microsoft.
In a statement Thursday, Microsoft disavowed any link between itself and GPLv3. "Microsoft is not a party to the GPLv3 license and none of its actions are to be misinterpreted as accepting status as a contracting party of GPLv3 or assuming any legal obligations under such license," said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's vice president of intellectual property and licensing, in a statement. GPLv3, which was unveiled only a week ago, has been touted by its creator, Richard Stallman, as a poison pill that will prevent future deals like the one Microsoft made with Novell.