SuSE and Microsoft: as the world turns …

Ok, so the soap opera title may in fact be appropriate. When the deal was first announced, reading over the press release had me thinking that a good convergence was in order. We were seeing Microsoft finally (correctly) decide that working with Linux was a good thing for it. Then the Microsoft execs opened their mouths.

What they managed to do is to give ammunition to all the people in the community opposed to such deals, a large, well … no … a huge bolus of things to be concerned about, and further to give them an unfortunately large platform upon which to (correctly) shout that they were in fact right.
So this benefited Microsoft … how?
So this benefitted SuSE … how?
So this benefits the community and users of both products … how?
Since this time, I and many others had changed their mind about this deal. It was fairly obvious that Microsoft really was not focused upon the customer here, they were simply looking for a tactical advantage, which sadly the SuSE people played into.
SuSE has been in damage control mode since then. Not since the deal, but since the CEO of Microsoft came out with his comments in the interview. The comments indicated that SuSE really didn’t have a grasp of what it was getting into. During their damage control IRC and other meetings, they echoed the things I had originally thought, and basically re-iterated the goals.
On the surface, and some depth in, I do agree that this is a good thing for customers, if both players work together to help customers with interop issues.
That said, does anyone here actually believe that Microsoft has any significant intention of doing this? I know the SuSE team does.
This is one of the issues I have with the Microsoft HPC offerings. I have come to the conclusion that they are trying to make HPC look like another PC. This could be a good thing in a limited number/range of cases. There are things I do want to work on with them on this, as I think they have some great user interface tools, and if they would now actually live up to the SuSE agreement, we can start (comfortably) using C#/.net/mono for lots of things. But working with Microsoft means that you get lots of baggage as well. Some of it you can ignore. Some you cannot.
Well, I am willing to listen more to the SuSE people. Yes they were played. Badly. I am not convinced that their partnership with Microsoft is worth the paper it is printed on as Microsoft has a very different (and decidedly nasty) take on it.
We won’t give up on OpenSuSE. Technologically, it is IMO better than Fedora/RHEL. Will take a wait and see on SuSE SLES. You can’t avoid Microsoft, though they are doing everything in their power to legally prevent you (not technologically prevent you) from running Vista on cluster nodes. Hint to them: this is a mistake. You want the lowest cost barrier to usage possible. Heck, if you gave away VMWare versions of it to run on clusters, or Xen versions, that would be good. If you are smart about it, this would play into a nice Saas bit.
Ok, back to work. FC6 just finished updating on a machine here. Loved its little SELINUX/xfs/attr bug. No, really, I liked wasting an hour figuring that one out.