The deal with the DOJ has been in the works for weeks, said Florian Mueller, an open-source advocate and blogger. While some in the open-source community were unhappy with the agreement, Mueller downplayed the impact of the patent sale.
"The Novell patent deal got a lot of attention but in the greater scheme of things even the original deal wouldn't have had huge impact on the competitive landscape," Mueller said. "There are countless software patents out there one way or the other."
The agreement with the DOJ appears to show that Microsoft was most concerned about getting licenses to the Novell patents, and not in owning them, Mueller added. "Considering that Microsoft files thousands of patent applications every year, they don't need to acquire a couple hundred Novell patents to beef up their portfolio," he said.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.