Novell isn't exactly high up on the list of trusted companies when it comes to the Linux community, due to their various partnerships with Microsoft. That aside, they are still one of the largest vendors supporting the OS and thus it was interesting to hear them call for unification. While not calling for distros to abandon their projects and come together, they are looking for more standards, for things such as certification.
The goal, they claim, is to avoid the fracturing that the former king of operating systems, Unix, faced decades ago:
“In Unix, we fragmented the applications and the No. 1 thing we need is applications. We need customers and the ISVs to have their footprints on the Linux platform,” he said. “If you look at the competition and Windows their application availability is their biggest advantage. They’ve got the applications.”
And indeed they do make a valid point. However, any standardization faces the issue of getting developers to cooperate. If a standard is deemed too restrictive, it'll be difficult to get a good base of developers creating applications that follow it.
They went on to vouch for GPL and GPLV3, which itself has been a source of controversy.