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04.26.07

Novell’s Key Linux Advocate Leaves Company (Updatedx2)

Posted in Novell at 10:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

From his blog (April 26th):

March 24th, 2007 was my final day working at Novell. Leaving will be anything but easy.

I would like to wish Ted a wonderful future career. He is truly a wonderful character and, if I dare say, having followed his blog for a long time, the reduced level of advocacy coming from him after the deal had been made was very telling.

Update: just spotted a blog item titled “First Allison now Haeger, is there any personality left in Novell?

Update #2: here’s a video of a talk from Ted.

04.24.07

Digest: Novell Stories in the News and Elsewhere

Posted in Novell, OpenSUSE, SCO at 11:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux Watch takes a look at Novell’s latest strike at SCO while a press release indicates that SCO is pursuing business in Asia.

In the opensuse mailing lists, abandonment of ZENworks is announced.

From: Andreas Jaeger < aj-AT-suse.de >
To: opensuse-factory-AT-opensuse.org
Subject: Announcement: Software management for openSUSE
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 15:17:33 +0200

openSUSE is focusing on native software management by using YaST and libzypp, the package management library.

Lastly, Novell gets a new client, but this appears to have nothing to do with Linux.

Honeywell to Integrate Novell’s Identity Management Solution

Provides Businesses With Seamless User Access to Both Buildings and Data Networks

More Dell Desktop Linux Speculation

Posted in Antitrust, Deals, Dell, Novell, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Windows at 10:11 am by Shane Coyle

Well, after all of the news about Michael Dell’s personal Linux distribution of choice, there is at least one industry watcher who believes that Red Hat may actually have a chance of being Dell’s choice for meeting customer demand for preinstalled Linux.

So let’s review the situation: Dell is prepping Linux desktops. Red Hat is prepping potential desktop PC news. Hmmm. Coincidence, right? Could be… but I suspect otherwise. Red Hat’s strong position on corporate servers makes it a natural option for administrator workstations from Dell. And it’s possible to imagine Dell offering a mix of Red Hat and Ubuntu Linux on certain desktops and notebooks.

Where does that leave Novell (NOVL) SuSE Linux? I’m still digging around Dell’s desktop and mobile businesses for the answer to that question.

Maybe Dell just doesn’t want to pay the "Windows tax" at all anymore, not even through Novell SUSE.

Finding Humour in Novell’s Deal with Microsoft

Posted in Humour, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 7:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Oh, no!! Not another deal!

Microsoft-Kellogg’s pact includes Froot Loops trademark ‘protection’

Provision will protect breakfast cereal vendor and its customers form IPR liability

April 20, 2007 (BreakfastBowlToday) – Microsoft today announced that it had entered into a trademark cross license agreement with leading cereal vendor Kellogg’s, granting the grocery giant the right to continue to use the name “Froot Loops” to describe its popular children’s cereal. “Everybody knows computer software uses loops, and any one who has ever had their Windows-based computer freeze up knows it has infinite loops,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Ballmer stated that the Redmond giant had no choice but to threaten litigation in order to “get the appropriate economic return for our shareholders from our innovation.”

04.23.07

Interoperability in the EU — Will Microsoft Be Split?

Posted in Europe, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Servers, SUN at 11:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell and Sun Microsystems are mentioned in a series of articles, which could not escape without a comment. There is a very close tie between these events in Europe and Novell’s deal with Microsoft. The interesting headline that catches one’s eye was this.

Microsoft Responds as EU Considers Break-Up

“It could be reasonable to draw the conclusion that behavioral remedies are ineffective and that a structural remedy is warranted,” Kroes stated. While it may strike many as odd that the European Union could order a company located in the United States to split up or otherwise modify its structure, Kroes noted the possibility of such remedies is specifically mentioned in EU antitrust law.

What comes to mind now is that video which we posed the other day. Therein, Judge Jackson talks about the need to spilt Microsoft.

To finish off, here is food for thought. The Comes vs Microsoft exhibits always bring a gem back to life. This time is no exception. From Microsoft’s own mouth:

“For example, we should take the lead in establishing a common approach to UI and to interoperability (of which OLE is only a part). Our efforts to date are focussed too much on our own apps, and only incidentally on the rest of the industry. We want to own these standards, so we should not participate in standards groups. Rather, we should call ‘to me’ to the industry and set a standard that works now and is for everyone’s benefit. We are large enough that this can work.”

Quick Update on Novell’s Financial Affairs

Posted in Finance, Novell at 11:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

From Computer Business Review Online:

Novell uncovers 10 years of stock accounting errors

As it is, Novell has yet to file its financial reports for the quarters ended July 31, 2006 and January 31, 2007, as well as for the financial year ended October 31, 2006. The company faces delisting from the Nasdaq national market, although a decision on that has been stayed pending further action by the Nasdaq Listing Council.

Novell Puts Its Cards on a .NET Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview, Kernel, Law, Mono, Novell, Patents, SLES/SLED at 9:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A very recent interview with Novell’s PR chief confirms what Miguel de Icaza said about a month ago. Novell is going at full force into the Microsoft API.

Mono is absolutely a key component of Novell’s grand plan to become the no.1 Linux reseller. It’s why we invest millions of dollars a year in Linux development and have 20 Mono developers on staff. Mono will enable you to run .NET apps on Linux and if Mono is part of the SuSe Linux enterprise platform and it’s not part of the Red Hat platform because they choose not to ship it, that provides yet another reason for customers to choose SuSe Linux enterprise. I want to make clear that mono is 100% open source. Red Hat could choose to include it. But they choose not to.

The issues with Mono have been detailed in our site before and there are valuable pointers in GrokDoc as well.

These standards [ C#/CLI] are burdened with so many patents, claim MS, that only MS can legally distribute an implementation of the .NET framework. However, the Mono developers are adamant that they do not know of any patent that they infringe on.

Outside of the legallity of reimplementing C#/CLI, is the fact that MS has done the “embrace, extend, extinguish” backwards. As seems to be usual for MS (see the final decision of the EU commision), the published standard is only a subset of MS’ implementation as is discussed

here on GL. Mono does only implement the official published standards, so MS software will be able to use applications developed on Mono, but not the other way round.

For fairly similar reasons, Linux kernel maintainers have just rejected Sun Microsystems’ ZFS, which they argue is burdened with patents and has an incompatible licence.

A recent discussion on the lkml examined the possibility of a Linux implementation of Sun’s ZFS. It was pointed out that the file system is released under the GPL-incompatible CDDL, and that Sun has filed numerous patents to prevent ZFS from being reverse engineered.

Novell might rebut by saying that its Mono affair is protected from Microsoft legal wrath, owing to the deal, but if so, for how long? What about its tactless claims that customers can still be sued (c/f the most recent example)? Will they be buying it?

Fuji-Xerox Deal with Microsoft Has Novell-like Element

Posted in Deals, FUD, Fuji Xerox, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents, Samsung at 8:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A couple of days ago I realised that Fuji-Xerox had apparently included Linux in its patent deal with Microsoft. Shane has mentioned this before. After some research, it turned out to be true. Quietly, Microsoft (possibly with Fuji-Xerox’s consent) inserted the mentioning of Linux into its agreement.

Through the agreement, Fuji Xerox will obtain access to Microsoft’s patents for Fuji Xerox’s existing and future product lines, including products that incorporate proprietary source and open source software, such as Linux.

“open source software, such as Linux”

If Samsung gets counted as well, that makes three. Microsoft has apparently learned its lessons from the Novell deal. It no longer makes loud noises or issues any spontaneous threats.

Nevertheless, it does not mean that all is well. It could merely be the calm before a storm. It is important that any deals which involve patents are looked at carefully. There is no reason in the world why Linux should be included in patent deals, but Microsoft may be trying to build a strong and compelling case to serve as precedence, one company (victim) at a time. Could it be just too far-fetched?

Looking at the language in the press, there are subtle inconsistencies, but never any clarifications. It may be vague by design, to increase the doubt and uncertainty factor. From “Linux-based products” in one case, here we have “open source software, such as Linux”. Nobody has ever bothered to explain what products are involved. Justin Steinman declines to comment, putting the blame on the SEC.

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