Phil Morettini on Novell’s Rise and Fall

Posted in Marketing, NetWare, Novell at 2:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Four days before the Microsoft/Novell deal was made, Phil Morettini, President of PJM Consulting, wrote the following:

The Rise and Fall of Novell

Unfortunately, in some cases, being targeted by Microsoft sometimes builds a company up in its own view. It’s almost a baptism into the big-time. Microsoft is worried about us; we’re a peer to them now! We must really be smart! This leads to a false sense of security about the company’s true position in the market, leading to the second factor which can bring a company down–Arrogance.

Novell had plenty of excuses to be arrogant, even without Microsoft’s attention. They were truly dominating the Network Operating System business. The brand was dominant, the product was good, and the worldwide distribution network of VARs and distributors was second to none. Sales people at Novell no longer had to sell–they took orders.

Related posts:


What is Circumventing the Spirit of the GPL Worth?

Posted in Deals, Finance, GPL, Law, Novell at 8:48 pm by Shane Coyle

$350,000 (US)

According to an 8-K filing by Novell, that is the additional compensation awarded to Novell General counsel and Sr VP Joseph A LaSala Jr.

On December 12, 2006, the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors of Novell, Inc. made a cash award to Joseph A. LaSala, Jr., Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Novell, outside of the previously disclosed Annual Bonus Program for Executives. The award of $350,000 was made in recognition of exceptional contributions made by Mr. LaSala.

Here is Mr LaSala’s take on the Microsoft-Novell deal:

In particular, LaSala continued, "Many people want to know whether this agreement is compatible with Novell’s obligations under the GPL, especially section 7. This was an important consideration for us as well."

"Under the patent cooperation agreement, Novell’s customers receive directly from Microsoft a covenant not to sue. Novell does not receive a patent license or covenant not to sue from Microsoft, and we have not agreed with Microsoft to any condition that would contradict the conditions of the GPL.

"Our agreement does not affect the freedom that Novell or anyone else in the open source community, including developers, has under the GPL and does not impose any condition that would contradict the conditions of the GPL. Therefore, the agreement is fully compliant with the GPL," concluded LaSala.

Fully compliant with the GPL? Perhaps to a lawyer, but to developers and community members, not at all.

More News of Novell Expanding its Efforts in Asia

Posted in Boycott Novell at 11:55 am by Shane Coyle

Recently, rumors regarding Novell’s plans for acquiring or partnering with Linux companies in China and Asia were circulating, and now there is talk of Novell expanding its developer team in Asia as well.

One of the key challenges facing Mr Koster is to leverage the limited number of people that Novell has in the region, to grow its business. Novell currently has about 700 staff in the Asia-Pacific region, of which 300 are involved in development work in its software development centres in China and India.

‘The plan is to add another 300 staff to the development team,’ said Mr Koster. ‘We will also be expanding our presence in Singapore in the form of setting up more training and briefing centres in the coming year.’

Seasonal Greetings and Gratitude

Posted in Site News at 11:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Greeting card

Our Own Distro: SueMe Linux

Posted in Boycott Novell, Humour at 10:32 am by Shane Coyle

Boycott Novell is giving serious consideration to creating our own distro, SueMe, strictly for the purpose of being bought off.

(Yup, this post was pulled earlier in the year, but I am a little tipsy now and it seems like a good idea to repost…)

SueMe Nicrovell Linux

Current price (including silencing this website) is $200M (US), and we haven’t any patent portfolio to trade. Serious inquiries only.

Look forward to hearing from you, Steve.


If you’re not laughing yet, it’s a joke. But, here is a view of the proposed packaging for the new Nicrovell Linux. ;^ )


Video – Novell Before Its Alliance With the ‘Dark Forces’

Posted in Humour, Videos at 6:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This had surely been put together before the deal was made [1, 2].


Ubuntu No Blobs By Default Petition

Posted in Action, Petitions, Ubuntu at 6:03 pm by Shane Coyle

Please, if you are so inclined, add your name to the UbuntuWiki petition.

We the undersigned petition you to reconsider your decision of including binary drivers by default in the next Ubuntu release. We believe, as you do, that it should be as easy as possible for end users to enable extra functionality via closed software when necessary and if they so wish, but only after an explicit acknowledgement and only after being informed about the issues at stake and possible alternatives. Users can be given the option to install closed drivers/software during installation or soon after installation or when an application that may require such software is run for the first time. It is a small change, but one that will avoid dividing the community on an issue that many hold dear, without sacrificing ease of use and product appeal. We therefore encourage you to opt for easy-installation as opposed to pre-installation.

Realize, this is not an anti-bling stance, but rather a pro-GPL one. As I have stated before, I am all for 3-D desktops and wireless access, I use both, but it is an end-user decision to taint the kernel.

Let Feisty install with the open source drivers, then have a customization dialog on first boot (and also some config checkbox somewhere for later) that says there are more powerful, but proprietary, drivers available and the user can click “install now” to download and install (explaining why its not installed by default). Right next to it, put a button that sends an email to the detected hardware vendor complaining about this extra step. Then, vendors will see just how many customers it does affect and act; by Ubuntu doing it for the end user without interaction, there will be no market backlash or incentive to open up.

Maybe by the time Wacky Walloby (or whatever the next next Ubuntu will be) is being prepared, the vendors will have gotten the message and this will be irrelevant, but right now it is not the right move. Ubuntu is getting very popular, this is the time to use that install base to actively petition the hardware vendors to recognize their needs as a market, not cave-in to hardware vendors who are ignoring their customers.

Weekend Reading – Novell, Microsoft, and Mono

Posted in GNOME, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 5:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microvell’s Dark Shadow

Novell has all of the intelligence it gathered and software it created during the days when Microsoft was its arch-nemesis. Is any of that ancient stuff still useful? Without a doubt. Things haven’t changed as much as you think. Novell just didn’t have permission to dig in its own archives.

Linux Deal: Too Good to Last?

As a Microsoft partner, how seriously should you take this deal? Analysts George Weiss and John Enck of Stamford, Conn.-based research firm Gartner had some solid advice in a research note for IT that applies equally well to partners. “Consider the publication and execution of a joint Microsoft-Novell roadmap as the critical missing piece of this agreement, with the potential to make or break its long-term value,” the pair wrote.

The companies promised a first roadmap in March. If there’s no document by then, look elsewhere for your next opportunity.

Seth Nickell made some interesting comments on Mono back in May of 2004:

Why Mono is Currently An Unacceptable Risk

With this agreement, you have turned your back on the rest of the Linux community by deciding to stop giving back to it. This is visible in the form of Mono, which now has more of a patent shadow over it then ever before, and so is unusable by the rest of the community, and in the form of the closed-source endeavors that you have chosen to pursue with Microsoft in the future

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