Novell, whether it likes it or not, is in a hole w.r.t. open source community at large as a results of its Novell-Microsoft deal. Judging from its official activities surrounding the deal, it had been trying to get itself out of the hole since.
The problem with high profile stuff like this deal is everything is examined in even more minute details, and the latest news, about the deal being welcomed by the business community as judged from downloads, turn out to be untrue because the statistics quoted is about the number of hits on a open SuSE download page hosted on a website, which, while is an indicator of buzz around the open SuSE, does not track the actual downloads. Actual downloads are better indicator of whether people is really interested, as it means they take the time and trouble to get it. It is still an indicator because there is no guarantee the downloads where used to run the application.
The secondary problem is, it is simply too early to say whether there is a jump in interest on running open SuSE. For this, we need to see actual deployment. Deal was announced in November, thus we only have two months data. Seeing the buzz around open SuSE attract flies who simply want to have a look at what openSuSE is and not deploying it. We need to see a sustained increase in deployment of open SuSE to conclude that any increase in open SuSE adoption is real, not a mirage. Two months is too short to make the call, especially with Christmas holiday in the period.
All in all, Novell’s PR department should had checked, double check and triple check the facts before releasing it. Right now it digs a deeper hole for itself.