Novell PR Doing (More) Damage Control

Posted in Deals, Deception, FUD, Intellectual Monopoly, Interoperability, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant at 5:41 pm by Shane Coyle

Novell: It’s an Interoperability Deal

that’s our story, and we’re sticking to it

After BetaNews posted their story regarding Microsoft’s refusing to officially distance itself from Mr Ballmer’s most recent veiled threats, Novell’s Bruce Lowry was forced once again into the position of trying to spin the Microvell deal as something positive for the Free Software community.

Essentially, Novell is sticking with a combination of its previous apologies, including that Ballmer’s statements may have been taken out of context, and that they will just have to agree to disagree over the significance of the deal. To Microsoft, it is an Intellectual Property deal, to Novell it is an Interoperability deal, and to the Free Software developers that create the products that Novell sells it is a Raw deal, I suppose.

When asked by BetaNews yesterday just what context Ballmer meant to frame that statement in, the company’s responses seemed to support the context of a veiled threat.

That’s not how Novell perceives the agreement. “This is not the first time that this issue has surfaced,” Lowry’s response began.

“The agreement with Microsoft has three components: technical cooperation around virtualization, web services management and document compatibility; business cooperation involving distribution of SUSE Linux Enterprise coupons by Microsoft (plus some joint marketing); and a patent cooperation agreement, whereby Novell makes a covenant not to sue Microsoft customers over patents and Microsoft makes a covenant not to sue Novell customers over patents.”

Microsoft Stands Behind Steve Ballmer’s Linux Threats

Posted in FUD, Microsoft, Patents, Steve Ballmer, Virtualisation at 9:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Things did not appear to improve after Microsoft’s CEO had issued an implicit threat. According to BetaNews, speculations derived from his threats are not so far fetched.

The company’s response to BetaNews suggests that, if Ballmer was taken out of context, then at least Microsoft was in no mood to correct that context. At worst, it suggests the company may be comfortable with letting the “veiled threat” theory stand.

Some of these out-of-context remarks suggest that Microsoft is willing to sue. An ITWire columnist opines that Novell virtually ‘sponsors’ this latest attack. And in case you have not witnessed enough of Microsoft’s verbal games, get a load of this:

Microsoft Corp. is making it hard for Mac owners and other potentially influential customers to adopt its new Windows Vista operating system.

Microsoft says the blockade is necessary for security reasons. But that is disputed. The circumstances might simply reflect a business decision Microsoft doesn’t want to explain.

‘Transparency’ at it best, don’t you agree? Or yet more of the FUD tactics, as well as extortionate, discriminatory licences. The question in many people’s minds remains, “will Microsoft alienate its customers by attempting a lawsuit over IP?” It has just been slapped on the wrist with a $1.5 billion fine over patent infringement. Might it seek retaliation? The company has lost a lot recently. This includes Cuba and — only yesterday — South Africa. The Linux ‘domino effect’ has begun.

Discussing the Futility of the Novell Deal

Posted in FUD, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents at 1:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I would like to divert the readers’ attention to a couple blog items from Matt Anslett, who is a journalist.

Updated again – Microsoft Linux patent FUDwatch

Given the recent comments from Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer and others I thought it was time for an update. I particularly enjoyed Microsoft lawyer Brad Smith’s explanation of why patent protection is important even if no one actually needs it.

Can someone explain to me how the Microsoft/Novell patent deal doesn’t stink?

So if you’re a Novell customer, the deal gives you peace of mind that Microsoft won’t sue you, which it wasn’t going to do anyway, for code that may or may not be in Linux, that may or may not infringe Microsoft patents.

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