Lamlaw.com: Microsoft’s Patent Manoeuvre Could Be Illegal

Posted in Deals, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant at 3:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

According to Lamlaw.com, the Novell/Microsoft deal is illegal as far as intellectual property and third parties go. This is not the first time such an argument is made.

When Microsoft agreed with Novell to cross their promises not to sue customers, Microsoft (and Novell) have likely violated the law


Intentional interference is an intentional tort. When you have parties A and B in a contract and a third party “C” comes along making an agreement with A with the intent to destroy the relationship with B (or cause A to breach the agreement with B), then you have the basis for such a charge

To cite Microsoft’s take, whether it is bogus or not:

“Novell actually saw the business opportunity, because there’s so many customers who say,

‘Hey look, we don’t want problems. We don’t want any intellectual property problem or anything else. There’s just a variety of workloads where we, today, feel like we want to run Linux. Please help us Microsoft and please work with the distributors to solve this problem, don’t come try to license this individually.

So customer push drove us to where we got’”

Projects Seek Independence from Novell

Posted in Novell, Servers, Videos at 2:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Several month ago we mentioned Novell’s abandonment of the Hula Project. Hula was seen as a competitor to Microsoft’s Outlook/Exchange, so shortly after the deal, Novell had no desire to continue and it official dropped it like a hot potato.

We are pleased to say that a Novell-independent fork/successor of Hula has just been born. To quote an early announcement from Digg:

The Bongo project was born out of the Hula project. Bongo is a mail and calendaring application not a “groupware” solution. It is completely independent of Novell, Messaging Architects and Hula. It aims to offer a great user experience, and revive the idea that mail and calendaring are useful tools rather than burdens.

Hula may not be alone. Remember Compiz? It turns out that Beryl was set up for similar reasons. This fork, which equips Linux with ‘eye candy’, sought independence from Novell, according to this very recent message, posted to the Compiz mailing list.

One assumption is that compiz is some kind of Novell controlled project that Novell will move in whatever direction it wants. This is completely wrong. I started the project and no one at Novell has ever told me in which direction it should go.

It was worth mentioning that Beryl was born before Novell had made its deal with Microsoft. Here is a nice demo of Beryl mimicking Windows Vista.

Red Hat CEO Talks About Lack of Communication in Microsoft/Novell Deal

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Interoperability, Interview, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Red Hat, Steve Ballmer at 1:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Hat is addressing the use of Microvell’s coupons, so-called ‘protection money’, and even their lack of communication on the matter.

“I think that there has been a strong amount of external communication by Microsoft and Novell on this topic,” he [Red Hat CEO] said. “We certainly expect that there will be those cases where customers will consume those coupons. We’re certainly encouraging one or two customers to consume all of them, let’s get this over with.”

As Jeremy Allison told us, the patents-related part of this deal was deliberately snuck in around the 90th minute.

My guess is that the negotiations for the useful parts of the agreement (the virtualization part and the federated directory interoperability part) had, as Ron says, been going on for months and just before Novell wanted to seal the deal Microsoft turned up with “there’s just this one more thing we want you to sign…” and in desperation to get the other parts of the deal done they rushed it through.

It is rather obvious that Novell was fooled. It swallowed the bait, which was shrewdly prepared by Microsoft lawyers. To err is human, but why didn’t Novell walk out of the deal? Ron Hovsepian response was too little, too late.

Patents Trojan Wearing a Gown of Interoperability

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, FUD, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Steve Ballmer, Virtualisation at 1:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A couple of days ago, a rather important blog item was mentioned. Steve Ballmer has yet again issued an implicit threat. His fear-spreading endeavour was riding atop Novell’s deal, which served as convenient precedence. This confirmed what many of us knew too well. The deal is — at least to Microsoft — about patents, not about interoperability. In fact, have a look at this new article:

Under terms of the agreement [Novell/Microsoft roadmap], enterprises will be able to host SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 from as a virtualized guest on an upcoming service pack of Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 service pack 1.

This really isn’t news, as Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 has supported Linux guest operating systems since its release.

Additionally, check out these lies from Steve Ballmer:

Ballmer pointed to open source as one potential source of worry. While the company has gained market share against Linux both on desktops and in the server market…

If Steve Ballmer is not delusional, then he is clearly spreading FUD. Even Bill Gates did this recently. Since journalists are involved, rather than court hearings under oath, this is not illegal. Microsoft continues to bend real facts and exploit loopholes in American law (not just the Gnu Public Licence).

Remember this: Novell’s deal is about elevating ‘intellectual property’ nonesense. It’s a case of painting predatory actions with the brush of interoperability.

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