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Novell Employee Backs Microsoft in OOXML Clash with Europe

Posted in Europe, Formats, Mono, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 11:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Miguel de Icaza, with a history or taking Microsoft’s side, states: “The EU Prosecutors are Wrong“. This comes amid serious criticism which is taregetted at Microsoft’s attempt to thwart OpenDocument and spread a “monopoly enabler” instead. For context, here are some recent articles:

Company Takes Open Source Project Off Novell’s Hands

Posted in Mail, Servers at 3:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We previously mentioned Hula, which is an Open Source project that Novell ceased to maintain shortly after the deal with Microsoft had been made. Hula’s control has just been given away, leaving us with a company that concentrates on mixed-source (or legacy proprietary) solutions. Fortunately, however, Opensuse still incorporates Open Source mail, calendaring and collaboration solutions, albeit many are maintained elsewhere.

Messaging Architects, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire NetMail and take over leadership of the open source Hula Project from Novell. Messaging Architects has been a Novell ISV partner since 1999. The privately held company specializes in the development of Email Security and Compliance Applications that integrate with Novell’s GroupWise and eDirectory products.


Peugeot Citroen Chooses Linux; Opensuse Revs Up; Novell Upgraded

Posted in Deals, Finance, OpenSUSE at 10:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

1. Some good news for Novell: “PSA Peugeot Citroen Chooses SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop From Novell

Giant French Automaker to Deploy Linux Desktops, Citing Cost, Usability, Integration and Support

2. DistoWatch reveals some details about the next version of Opensuse.

The openSUSE project has announced that the first alpha build of openSUSE 10.3 will be released on 15 February, with the final product expected some 7 months later – at the end of September 2007

3. One analyst has got faith in Novell’s prospects.

The target price has been raised from $7.50 to $8.

In a research note published this morning, the analyst mentions that the FY07 and FY08 estimates for the company’s Linux operations have been raised following the quick ramp of SuSE licenses under the Microsoft partnership


Oracle to ‘Pull a Red Hat’ to Fight MySQL?

Posted in Database, Oracle, Red Hat, Rumour at 5:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A bit off-topic perhaps, but recall the fact that Microsoft eliminated a threat or two (e.g. Hula) as soon as its Trojan horse entered Novell’s communal city. Oracle pulled similar tricks — albeit without success — in order to put Red Hat under pressure. This crusade appears to carry on. MySQL reveals some hints which suggest that Oracle could use a similar strategy to undercut MySQL AB.

Will Oracle launch Unbreakable MySQL?

“They have hinted to us that they will,” said Mickos, indicating that the database giant is planning to repeat its October 2006 Unbreakable Linux plan, which saw it undercut Red Hat with enterprise Linux support.

Proprietary software companies that feel the squeeze may have found a way of irritating and shaking Linux and Open Source software vendors. They try to sell and support Free software themselves. Who’s letting them in the door? Certainty not Red Hat.

Novell Boasts Bandit-Higgins Interoperability

Posted in Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Protocol at 2:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even though this appears to be unrelated to the Microsoft/Novell deal, there is a certain achievement to mark today. A group of companies, including IBM, have been working toward unification of open identity management protocols. This also includes interoperability with Microsoft’s proprietary solution. I am rather surprised to see that it is Novell that chimes in with a press release. They truly need to show some interoperability progress, having recently postponed and curtailed yet another opportunity. From Novell’s press release, one gets the feeling that the greatest achievement is theirs.

To be clear on this, Microsoft chose to go down a separate aisle and create its separate solution rather than blend in with the open and collaborative initiative.

“We have finally put down the boxing gloves and are trying to figure out how to solve our customers’ problems,” said Roger Sullivan, the newly elected president of the Liberty Alliance and vice president of Oracle’s identity management section.

The Liberty Alliance, whose participants include HP, Sun and IBM, backs the ID-Web Services Framework (ID-WSF), a set of protocols for Web services. Microsoft supports another set, WS-Star.

At the moment, the same goes for Ajax (quote below). Even VPN, among other things. As such, it is not surprising that companies address the European Commission and say that Windows Vista is illegal. It stifles and discourages use of widely-supported protocols and formats. Even JPEG is being jeopardised.

While the alliance already has an impressive list of members, one name remains conspicuously absent: Microsoft.

The Impact of the Novell/Microsoft Deal, in Pictures

Posted in Deals, Humour, Microsoft, Novell, Ron Hovsepian, Steve Ballmer at 3:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Head over to arstechnica. They have just published a nice summary of events which followed the Novell/Microsoft deal, illustrated using photos. It is by no means professionals, but it’s entertaining. Below is a video of the deal’s announcement (initially posted a fortnight ago).


Iowa Memos: Microsoft Against the Truth

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Servers at 7:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Some new documents have just been made publicly available owing to the Iowa antitrust case. They reveal Microsoft’s fear of Linux, as well as plenty of deceit, if not lies. We believe that Novell ought to read these carefully, reminding themselves who they are dealing with. An (slightly) edited (as in snipped and reformatted) fragment is quoted below.

(Microsoft manager:) I don’t like the fact that the report show us losing on TCO on webservers. I don’t like the fact that the report show us losing on availability (windows was down more than linux). And I don’t like the fact that the reports says nothing new is coming with windows .net server.

I would not release this report with the “sponsored by msft” on the cover. With that, we will have ibm and many customers pulling out quotes about windows 2000 being unreliable compared to linux and being more expensive for web servers. The analysis that linux is great in certain areas and getting stronger with isvs will fuel the fire. If this report came out without our involvement, we would probably write some reponse to defend certina points (ie reliability, the lower web server costs and the enhancements customers will see with .net server). I would worry that hawng this report out there with a “sponsored by msft” would put us even more in a defensive position.

There’s plenty more to be found in these memos. Articles that analyse these memos and E-mails are surely going to appear quite soon.


OpenDocument, Microsoft Office, and Novell’s Open Source Presentation

Posted in Formats, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 8:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell is responsible for delivering a keynote talk on Open Source. Fortunately, no intellectual property is mentioned in the following article, unlike others.

Faigen is Novell’s vice president and general manager for Linux, which is an open source operating system. “Open source” is a type of computer program where the code is open for all to see, rewrite and improve upon. Open source programs, such as the Web browser Firefox, are generally free to download, although companies such as Novell charge a fee to provide support for open source systems.

More interesting, nonetheless, is the following short article. It shows that, despite Microsoft’s claims that ODF support would make Office unstable, supporting it should actually be trivial. This post even makes recommendations.

Even though it is true that the ODF Plugin for MS Office does only exist in advanced proof-of-concept form, this kind of reaction disappoints and sorely rankles on the personal level (not when coming from Microsoft .Net programmers, for example, but when coming from the open source or ODF communities who should better ken the levers of oppression; and, for example, the pro-open source companies who are either AWOL completely if not actively derrogatory of the Foundation’s plugin solution either out of fear, greed, ignorance or a potent cocktail of all three). We would expect — and I say here, damand — more flexibility of imagination under the circumstances that a good, working solution for Massachusetts and Europe would help significantly to turn the tide against entrenched bad habits that are very hard to change.

A lot more was said about ODF support in Microsoft Office just several days ago. To demonstrate the poor state of Microsoft’s ODF plugin, have a look at the following two items.

Taking Microsoft’s ODF Plugin for a Spin… Splat

If you were thinking that Microsoft’s newly announced ODF plugin means you could just stay with Microsoft and still easily save documents as ODF, which is I’m sure what they hope you are thinking, you need to see this.


So the question to ask is why Microsoft integrates ODF in a way which treats it as a 2nd class citizen, treated less favorably than even Plain Text?

Mind you, Microsoft built this plugin using some free software which it had grabbed from SourceForge. Also see the following confession of a ‘test dummy’.

I created a .doc in Word 2007. I used a variety of fonts and sizes of fonts to create it. I saved it as .doc, .rtf and .docx. I then opened, or tried to, the resultant files in OpenOffice Writer. The .doc opened fine and displayed the document with the formatting as I had made it on Word. The .rtf file opened as expected and the .docx wouldn’t open at all. I expected this to be the case.

I then saved the .doc as an .odt file in OOWriter and transferred it to the Windows machine and opened it via the Word2007 odt addon. After Word had converted it, it opened in Word and looked exactly the same as when I created it. I then saved it back to .doc (save as .odt is not working (at present?). I then transferred the saved .doc back to the Linux box and opened it in OOWriter and all the formatting had gone.

This is a stupid dirty trick (as far as I can tell). It basically means that Word (as it stands now) is deliberately stripping away the formatting in .odt files when it saves them to .doc (currently the only format that OOWriter can work with from Word). It’s not that Word can’t render the formatting from an odt file, just that it strips it away when saving back to .doc. Bear in mind that this part of the process does not require the odt addon.

This pretty much covers the state of OpenDocument support in Microsoft Office, although some references may be out of date.

A lot has been happening on the OOXML front in the post week, so here’s a good summary of events. Novell will, as expected, proabably follow Microsoft’s lead on the issue of formats and standards (or ‘standards’), although the promise was to make ODF the default format.

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