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Novell’s Software Patent Strategy in South Africa

Posted in Deception, FUD, IBM, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents at 2:15 pm by Shane Coyle

The software patent issue is being fought on a "geo basis", with South Africa an important battleground, according to Stafford Masie, South Africa country manager for Novell at the CITI forum Q&A.

During the Q&A session, professor Keats pointed out the fact that patents are granted by default in South Africa. Stafford Masie went on to explain how Novell’s strategy regarding the software patent battle in South Africa includes both "proactive counter patenting" while simultaneously working at the ministerial and even presidential level to eradicate them in South Africa.

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Failure and success as an Open Source business

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE at 9:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Matt Asay (pronounced “Ay-see”) discusses what makes Open Source businesses tick. In his conversation with Fabrizio, the Chief Exec of Funambol, the following two qualities are raised which characterise a successful Open Source company.

1. Don’t upsell your community, and

2. Sell open source to those who don’t like/trust open source.

Let us look at each point in turn. Novell has clearly alienated a lot of its community, some of its developers and perhaps a few of its customers. The latter point is a little more profound. In principle, there is a clear separation between those who will never actually pay for products and those who will happily subscribe and open their wallets. It appears likely that Novell’s gamble involves a compromise whereby platform-agnostic and Linux-apathetic people will gain. At the same time, the community will get ‘punished’.

This might seem acceptable in a world with poor (or without) ethics, but the matter of fact is that Novell begins to drip the same vanity which it used to take pride in. To quote Phil Morettini again, “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“.

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