Microsoft and Novell Teach Together

Posted in Deals, Novell, Servers, SLES/SLED, Windows at 11:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell is certainly growing up. From being a Windows basher, for example, it has become its friend. Even the Web site was modified to reflect on this sudden change of heart. But what happens when Novell starts teaching Windows? As it stands, Novell now offers training courses that involve Windows and it does this jointly with Microsoft. Times are truly changing. The site states:

Microsoft and Novell are coming together — to help you operate better and achieve your key technical and business goals.

I wonder how this blends, if at all, with the fact that Ron Hovsepian foresees a servitude for Linux (or more specifically—Novell Linux). Novell seems to believe that Linux should be virtualised under Windows and the coupon promise from Microsoft is clearly less than meets the eye.

New Apple Switch Campaign?

Posted in Apple, Humour, Marketing, OpenSUSE at 3:04 pm by Shane Coyle

Couple o’ Funnies…

Rumor has it that Apple will be reviving the www.apple.com/switch campaign, Starring Microsoft’s own Jim Allchin?. Or perhaps the earlier rumors were true, and he can replace the Mac guy in the current campaign.

Also, someone sent me this screenshot of SUSE in action. Very Disturbing.

SUSE Genuine Advantage


An Alternate Theory on Microvell

Posted in Courtroom, Deals, Deception, Finance, GPL, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, SCO at 10:47 am by Shane Coyle

In the interest of "equal time" (I think we are as fair and balanced as a site called Boycott Novell can be), I will link to Tom Yager’s "Payback Time for Novell" over on InfoWorld.

In this posting, Yager posits that Novell is the party of advantage, and Microvell is an up-front settlement from Microsoft for their involvement in SCO.

Novell has exhibited the patience and cunning of a trap door spider. It waited for SCO to taunt from too short a distance. Then Novell would spring, feed a little (saving plenty for later), inject some stupidity serum, and let SCO stride off still cocksure enough to make another run at the nest. That cycle is bleeding SCO, which was the last to notice its own terminal anemia.

When it became clear that SCO wouldn’t prevail, Microsoft expected only to face close partner IBM. Microsoft did not brace for Novell, an adversary with a decades-long score to settle with Redmond. Through discovery, Microsoft’s correspondence with SCO is, or soon will be in, Novell’s hands, and it’s a safe bet that it will contain more than demand for a license fee and a copy of a certified check. .

When I consider Novell to be the party of advantage in the Microsoft partnership deal, the tone of the agreement changes. Microsoft is handing 70,000 copies of a primary competitor’s operating system to existing Windows customers, introducing Windows-only shops to the advantages of the heterogeneous enterprise. Microsoft will be bringing Novell along on sales calls, which is somewhat like a punished teenager agreeing to bring her dad with her on future dates. The word “indemnity” that Microsoft wielded so freely has turned on it, with Novell demanding indemnity against future Microsoft IP action. A final touch of irony is Microsoft’s issuance of a press release on a deal that would ordinarily be made on the QT. That harkens back to Microsoft’s self-congratulatory capitulation to SCO, no?

There are flaws in the theory, as Yager admits, such as the fact that Microsoft is advertising similar deals to all interested parties, and Novell themselves receive no indemnification from future Microsoft IP action as Yager states, their customers do – remember? The companies reserved their right to sue each other into the ground, its how they got around the GPL.

Of course, it’s easy to get confused over the nature of the agreement, since every statement either company has made since the deal has sounded like a patent cross-license agreement, but really its not. Really. You believe them, right? Perhaps they could commission a survey

Red Hat: Vista is an Opportunity

Posted in Deals, Europe, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat, Vista, Windows at 10:16 am by Shane Coyle

Alex Pinchev did an interview recently with ZDnet while visiting the UK, he spoke a little on Microsoft-Novell, Oracle and the upcoming Windows Vista.

On Microvell:

It’s been a tough couple of months for Red Hat. Firstly Oracle said it would sell support to Red Hat’s Linux customers and offer its own free clone of the open-source operating system. Then Novell signed that huge deal with Microsoft. Let’s start with Novell/Microsoft. What do you think of that partnership?
I’m very disappointed that Novell did it. They [Microsoft] went to the weaker player. We would never sell off our open-source community. You probably saw that the open-source community is really mad.

Was Red Hat approached by Microsoft for a similar deal?
If you listen to Steve [Ballmer], Red Hat has said many times no.

So were you approached?
We put a very clear message in the market that we would never do it. Microsoft has tried to kill open source for many years, but can’t do it. I mean, how do you kill a community?

Do you feel Novell has an advantage over you now that it has signed the deal with Microsoft?
Customers are not afraid of Microsoft. Customers don’t want to be dependent on Microsoft.

On Oracle:

What about the second major threat to Red Hat: Oracle’s announcement?
They are forking their Linux operating system. Oracle open source is not a Red Hat operating system. It is an Oracle operating system based on Red Hat. We have an ecosystem around our operating system and it’s a very expensive value proposition. The minute Oracle takes open source into their own environment, they are breaking their own certification. Customers want to know what happens in the future. They will have to wait for us to support it [Oracle's version]. It’s not an easy thing.

Oracle said it would offer support at less than half the price of Red Hat. How can you compete with that?
One thing Larry [Ellison, Oracle chief executive] says on stage, another in reality. It’s half our list price without volume discounts and it’s just vanilla support. With Oracle there’s one 24/7 support, the same subscription for all your environment. You are buying support you don’t need. We discuss with customers different service levels for dedicated parts of their infrastructure.

And, on Vista:

What’s your take on Vista, which launched two weeks ago?
People are concerned about Vista: usability and the resources it requires. People will look at the alternatives when they have to replace hardware. That is absolutely an opportunity for us.

Pinchev is also asked about the relative security of Windows compared to Linux, the JBoss acquisition and plans, as well as indemnification and whether Red Hat sees a need for patent protection for Linux. Head on over to ZDnet for the full discussion.

More Novell in the News

Posted in FUD, OpenSUSE, Patents at 3:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

You might wonder why I have been quiet recently. I wonder the same thing. In any event, here are some pointers to stories which have not been covered, yet.

Matt Asay’s rebuttal to the Microsoft/Novell-funded ‘study’:

My own private Microsoft-Novell survey

And never mind that Microsoft and Novell wrote the survey, and so geared it toward the results they wanted. I’m not implying nefarious intent. I’m just stating a fact: surveys and statistics tend to skew in favor of whomever writes the questions/is interpreting the results. Hence the famous phrase… Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

While one review argues that OpenSUSE 10.2 is ‘most usable Linux ever’, another strongly disagrees.

SUSE 10.2 Review

Well, what can I say about SUSE 10.2? I’m very disappointed in it. It hasn’t changed much… There are better solutions out there for novice users, and there are better solutions for experienced users as well…

Lastly, here is an informative reply from Microsoft.

Microsoft answers IP questions posed in LXer open letter

MS: Through our agreement with Novell, Microsoft is providing access to thousands of patents. As is standard with most companies in this and indeed other industries, we do not publicly list the patents that are applicable to a product or by a component.

I’ll leave personal interpretation out of this.

“Commies” on the New York Stock Exchange

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft, Vista at 3:00 am by Shane Coyle

Apparently Microsoft Vista is an economy unto itself, but is only able to make money for everyone but Microsoft. Perhaps Microsoft isn’t as well versed in economic theory as we have always presumed, since they consider themselves a "Capitalist" Company but cannot help but give away the lion’s share of revenue created by their innovation.

Meanwhile, in "Communist" Company news…

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates once likened the open-source movement to communism, but there was little evidence of that on Tuesday when Linux specialist Red Hat took over the New York Stock Exchange.

Red Hat’s chief executive Matthew Szulik was on hand to ring the Exchange bell to announce the beginning of the day’s trading at the $23 trillion (£11.7tn) exchange and announce that his company was now listed on the NYSE, rather than its previous home on the Nasdaq.

While some have tried to spin Microsoft’s "recognition" of SUSE Linux as positive for open source, Red Hat on the NYSE requires no survey with preloaded questions to get positive press:

I think this is big, positive news for open source. Think about the implications: the NYSE is actively recruiting an open source company to list with it. Not because it wants a few more dollars in listing fees – it could get those anywhere. But because it wants the defining technology companies of this century to list with it, rather than elsewhere. Red Hat clearly fits that billing, as validated by the world’s premier stock exchange.

Congratulations, Red Hat.

Everyone Make Fun of Me

Posted in Fork, FUD, Humour, Novell, Office Suites, OpenOffice at 2:24 am by Shane Coyle

Sorta, I guess…

Some folks disagree with my Novell OpenOffice is a fork statement. I suppose it is a matter of semantics, but when does a "branch" become a "fork"? Even the Wikipedia entry on Software Development Forks interchanges the terms:

In software engineering, a project fork happens when a developer (or a group of them) takes a copy of source code from one software package and starts to independently develop a new package. The term is also used more loosely to represent a similar branching of any work (for example, there are several forks of the English-language Wikipedia), particularly with free or open source software.

A fork that is standard practice in many projects are stable or release versions which are modified only for bug fixes, while a development tree develops new features. This is common practice in the Linux kernel, for instance, but has been misrepresented occasionally in the trade press as the more problematic sort of fork described above.[1] Such forks are often referred to instead as “branches” both to avoid the negative connotations of a fork and because it is closer in intent and function to the common software engineering meaning of branching.

Perhaps it is a case of a captital F versus lowercase f in "(F|f)ork"; So, is Novell’s OpenOffice a development tree with new features ("fork or branch"), or a new package ("Fork")?

I suppose until there is a public rejection of a Novell OpenOffice.org feature by the main OpenOffice.org branch, I will consider Novell OpenOffice.org a "branch".

Thank you, Joshua.

(Sorta Small) Laptop with Windows, Word and Excel: $259(US)

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, Courtroom, Finance, Hardware, Humour, Microsoft, OLPC, Windows at 1:44 am by Shane Coyle

Microsoft is looking to port their Windows (XP generation, I presume?) Operating System to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) machine, the so called $100(US) laptop. Actually, I believe the current cost is a bit above $100, but is expected to come down over time.

Anyhow, figuring on the nominal $100 for the OLPC machine, we can use Microsoft’s own pricing of $50 for Windows, $38 for Word and $36 for Excel. Perhaps we will need an SD card for Windows to be installed on, since that’s why the SD port is there, let’s see we need at least 1.5GB just for Windows, lets estimate $35 for 2GB.

So, there you have it, theoretically $259 will get you:

  • a dual-mode display—both a full-color, transmissive DVD mode, and a second display option that is black and white reflective and sunlight-readable at 3× the resolution.
  • 500MHz processor
  • 128MB of DRAM
  • 500MB of Flash memory
  • no hard disk, SD card port
  • four USB ports.
  • wireless broadband that, among other things, allows them to work as a mesh network; each laptop will be able to talk to its nearest neighbors, creating an ad hoc, local area network.
  • The laptops will use innovative power (including wind-up) and will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data.

And, will have the following software pre-installed:

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel

Even though the math in this posting is based on Microsoft’s own statements about their product pricing in court recently, I still post it in the Humor category.

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