Novell has published details of its landmark November 2006 Linux partnership agreements with Microsoft. Novell published on Friday redacted versions of the three agreements it signed with Microsoft in its annual 10K filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, providing the public with its first detailed look into a deal that some see as critical to the future of Linux. The 10K filing had been delayed by an internal stock options review at Novell, which was concluded Wednesday.
Under the terms of the agreements, Microsoft will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on licensing fees and sales and marketing costs over five years, including $240 million for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscription certificates. For its part, Novell has agreed to pay Microsoft a percentage of revenue from open-source products. Linux advocates are expected to scour the documents for signs of how the agreement may affect Linux and whether anything in it will put Microsoft or Novell in potential violation of the upcoming version 3 of the GNU General Public license (GPL). The GPL is used in licensing many components of the Linux operating system.