03.08.07

It’s Gonna Take More than Coupons to Get Ya Saved

Posted in Antitrust, Deals, Deception, Europe, Finance, FUD, Interoperability, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat, SCO, SLES/SLED, Windows at 2:08 pm by Shane Coyle

(It’s a Kanye West lyric)

Every analyst has pointed out that Novell’s Linux business "soared" while every other unit was hemorrhaging awfully, supposedly this is a good sign for Novell’s future. One problem is, Novell has publicly stated they are a "Mixed-Source" company, not Open Source like Red Hat meaning they are not letting go of those proprietary concrete shoes anytime soon.

Another problem is, as was already pointed out, most of the money they did make was Microsoft’s payment for the now infamous deal – the one where Microsoft picked up 350,000 3-year SUSE support coupons to "sell or otherwise distribute" over the next 5 years.

Novell at this point has outsourced their sales and marketing to Microsoft and has settled in in its position as Microsoft’s Linux division, supporting and developing a complement to Windows. Novell has stated that Microsoft is distributing the coupons for free, so how are they going to compete with Microsoft on price for their own services?

Novell will play its role in antitrust dog and pony shows, touting Microsoft’s pro-interoperability stance (and reaffirming the need to respect their portfolio of legally invalid software patents by paying royalties to interoperate with Windows), and slowly whither away.

Unfortunately, they will likely also continue to be complicit in Microsoft’s FUD campaign against Free Software, let’s just hope they don’t thrash around at the end like SCO did.

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