What If… Microsoft Bought Novell?

According to the company, Novell would consider being acquired should the right buyer come along. Could that buyer be Microsoft? And what would that mean for SUSE and the Linux ecosystem?

Last week, Novell turned down a buyout offer from hedge fund firm, Elliott Associates. Reasons for the rejected offer were cited as the price per share being too low and the acquisition would limit the company’s future growth opportunities. In a statement Novell said that it “is committed to enhancing value for Novell stockholders and believes that an exploration of alternatives is in the best interests of the company and its stockholders.” While stockholder value can come in a number of forms (stock buybacks, cash dividends, &c.) what the Elliott Associates offer has allowed Novell to do is let everyone know that the company could be had for the right price without looking like they are actively fishing for buyers. Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz used similar language last year in the run-up to selling the company to Oracle. While not assured, in the very near future, it is…

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