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01.25.07

CRN Roundup of the Novell Deal and Boycott

Posted in Boycott Novell, Deals, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, Petitions at 9:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

An new article at CRN pays careful attention to the Novell boycott—that which is argued to have led to community division following the controversial deal. The article goes into considerable depth as it deals with issues that justify our criticism.

Linux Advocates Act

Some members of the open source community have decided to do more than watch and wait. Bruce Perens, primary author of the GNU contract, has organized a petition urging Novell to recant the patent protection portion of the deal with Microsoft.

Patents Fear Now, Interoperability Later

Posted in Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Samba, Servers at 8:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

On the 13th of January, we reported that a new site had been set up, which aims to report on and encourage interoperability. It now turns out that some interopearability efforts are being curtailed.

There is going to be a postponement of the announced “Building Bridges” meeting originally announced for Monday, so both Microsoft and Novell can get different speakers to answer those questions. I think that’s a good thing, as long as it’s a postponement and not a cancellation, and I’m glad if they are taking the questions seriously.

At risk of repeating ourselves, this is looking worrisome, according to the following old piece of analysis/advice.

“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.

Sun Looking for Acquisition Targets?

Posted in Deals, Finance, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat, SUN at 12:25 pm by Shane Coyle

Talks of acquisitions in the industry continue to abound, with recent speculation over possible moves by Oracle and Novell.

On Tuesday, Sun posted better-than-expected quarterly results and also announced they received an influx of cash from private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. Now industry analysts and Sun shareholders are looking for indications from Sun as to how they are planning to use these funds, including potential acquisitions. Two names that are mentioned as targets are Red Hat and Novell.

In recent years, Sun has pushed deeper into open-source technology by opening up the software code for its Solaris operating system, driving hardware sales of its proprietary hardware. The move amounted to an admission that Linux, a rival operating system to Sun’s Unix platform, was gaining ground among its high-end corporate customers, leading some experts to speculate that Linux specialists Red Hat or Novell could make tempting acquisition targets for the company.

With Red Hat and Novell each offering Linux operating-system software and support, a deal would give Sun a top offering for Linux, as well as Unix, users. And although both companies would be expensive–Red Hat sports a market capitalization of $4.2 billion and an enterprise value of $3.7 billion, compared with $2.7 billion and $1.9 billion for Novell–they would not be out of Sun’s price range.

It will be interesting to see if Jonathan Schwartz comes to a different conclusion than Larry Ellison had about the potential for acquiring either Novell or Red Hat. So far, the Oracle move hasn’t really panned out, has it?

Intellectual Property Litigation and Behind-the-scene Funding Go Beyond SCO

Posted in Boycott Novell, VBA, Virtualisation at 7:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Paying for changes to Wikipedia content by proxy is one thing, whilst paying a third party to discredit or attack someone is another. The latter case seems more severe because its consequences are often irreversible.

Consider financial backings for litigious battles that put in jeopardy a person or a company. If done indirectly, this avoids customer backlash and alienation, as demonstarted by the mistake made by Ballmer when he openly spoke about “balance-sheet liability”. We have witnessed fierce attacks embodies the form of SCO, which while backed by Microsoft, targetted companies that use GNU/Linux. I suspect that Linux distributors other than Novell are bound to become the next victim. The dark clouds that are cast by tsunamis of FUD make them a victim already. But what happens when one goes deeper and targets an individual rather than a large company? I caught an interesting bit in a new interview with Dr Andrew S Tanenbaum, the creator of Minix.

[Andrew S Tanenbaum:] A couple of years ago this guy called Ken Brown wrote a book saying that Linus stole Linux from me, from Minix, and therefore the intellectual property rights are unclear and therefore companies shouldn’t use Linux because I might sue them.

It later came out that Microsoft had paid him to do this — and I defended Linus. I wrote on my Web site saying that this guy Brown came through, visited me and I gave him the [correct] story.

While the above may be no news to you, it is to me. And just recall the fact that Microsoft funded SCO’s lawsuit against companies that make use of the Linux kernel.

According to the Declaration, Richard Emerson was not the only Microsoft employee Goldfarb was dealing with in connection with the BayStar investment in SCO. He mentions by name two others, from two other departments.

Nothing but malice, unsurprisingly.

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