Novell Rejected by One Blogger (and Ex-Novellist) While We Get Dismissed by Another (Updated)

Posted in Boycott Novell, Novell, SCO at 10:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell Snubbed

Matt Asay (of Alfresco) outlines Red Hat’s business model. If you look carefully at the comments, you’ll discover that Novell is being snubbed by Matt, who is also a former Novell employee. Mind the comments from Justin Steinman. It’s rather telling, and it’s even blunt.

Paul Murphy Thinks Groklaw and BoycottNovell Are a Waste of Time

Have a look at this moot point.

If wishes were fishes groklaw’s anti-SCO crusade would have led to the death penalty being imposed on McBride et al by now, slashdot’s deliberate exclusion of roughly half the political opinion in the United States would not be contributing to growth at Digg, and Steve Jobs wouldn’t have come to deeply regret his Intel decision – but wishes aren’t fishes, and activist responses like these or the recent attempt to read [rid?] Novell out of the Linux community for daring to sign a patent cross licensing agreement with Microsoft aren’t helpful to anyone’s cause.

I believe that groklaw has been extremely effective when it comes to getting the truth heard. In fact, SCO has turned from a company with great promise into a laughing stock. Even the stock market is due to give it the boot. No wonder Murphy is bl[a|o]cklisted in Groklaw.net (he is claimed to have ‘trolled’ for an audience). To be fair, Murphy gave me some credit the other day, saying that I had hit the nail on the head. I wish he realised that our site has been very effective and, to date, served almost a million Web pages.

Update: As I look closely at the comments which were added to Murphy’s latest items, he is being refuted quite aggressively. So, it isn’t just my own assessment then.

Novell Sidles with IBM’s Rival, Repeats Mistakes

Posted in IBM, Intellectual Monopoly, Novell, Red Hat, Servers, Virtualisation at 10:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As confirmed recently by Justin Steinman of Novell, his company gets access to Microsoft intellectual property, which it needed to pay for. Let us remember that Novell works in collaboration with the Free software community. Its hand touches many projects to which it contributes.

Can Novell Lead to Tainted Code?

In a conversation I recently had with Mark Kent, the following concern was raised:

…there is now a huge risk that Novell’s programmers will inadvertently drop Microsoft code into open-source projects, as they are now looking at Microsoft’s code whilst writing open-source code. Is it time to ask contributors to open-source projects to sign a document indicating that they are clean of tainting by closed-source code?

Recall those bogus code plagiarism claims, which were made by SCO. IBM was a victim because it also worked on UNIX. Visibility leads to suspicion.

Can IBM, which uses Linux extensively, trust a company that now has access to Microsoft code (or IP)? It may be hard to answer that question, but IBM seems to favour Red Hat in the datacenter, assuming that recent announcements should serve as indicators.

Does IBM Leave Novell Out in the Cold?

The prospects of an IBM acquisition were recently discussed, but it seems like IBM is gradually losing faith in Novell. It sidles with Red Hat.

So Novell – which got into Linux on IBM’s nickel – has wandered off the reservation and is now hugging Microsoft, IBM’s heredity enemy, around the knees seeking market redemption.


So now IBM, which brought Novell into the mix so Red Hat wouldn’t turn into another Microsoft, has cut a deal with Red Hat “to encourage the dramatic growth of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM System z mainframes” – according to the lead sentence in the Wednesday press release.

Makes one think the Armonk carrier pigeon just pooped on Novell’s new hat.

That hat won’t happen to red, will it? Another thing for Novell to be envious about.

GPLv3 Myths Debunked, Licence Changes Discussed, Eben Moglen Speaks Out

Posted in FSF, GPL, Interview, Law at 9:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We would like to present a bunch of recent articles which revolve around software licences.

GPLv3 Myths

Bruce Byfield does an excellent job eliminating that GPLv3 fog which anti-Free software lobbyists put there in the first place.

The official release of the third version of the GNU General Public License (GPLv3) is still a couple of months away, yet already, the misunderstandings about it are almost as numerous as those for the second version (GPLv2).

Apache Licence Compatibility

Claims are being made that GPLv3 and the Apache licence are only compatible in a single direction, so to speak. Have a look at this critical analysis.

The Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation says the organization wants to make the General Public License (GPL) compatible with the Apache License. A while back we took a look at the oft-maligned GPL v3 draft proposal, but based on the FSF’s desire to include Apache license compatibility, that draft may see some changes before it becomes official.

Eben Moglen Interview

You might also wish to see this new interview with Eben Moglen.

It’s not surprising, given his gift for speech and passion for furthering the use of free and open software, that his name was on a list of individuals that emerged earlier this month that were apparently facing a potential “gagging” order from the SCO as part of its ongoing legal tussle with IBM over patent infringement in the Linux operating system.

We recently mentioned Eben’s intent to move on. Included was also a video of his talk which, among many things, addresses SCO.

Dell Enters the FUD Orchestra

Posted in Dell, FUD, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Servers at 9:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It has only been a week since Dell took the dive. Already, Dell does not neglect to toss its own share of wood into the fire.


Dell VP, solutions Rick Becker called Dell’s embrace of the Microsoft-Novell agreement “a huge success for the industry and more specifically for customers who haven’t purchased Linux through Dell and who want to migrate to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for the IP assurance and interoperability benefits.”

Dell says patent infringement protection is important to customers.

This confirms some people’s suspicions and justifies their worries.

Dell will probably be getting a pat on the back for that statement (courtesy of Microsoft and Novell). The company may have officially joined the fear-spreading club. It opines that customers require protection from Microsoft patents. So does Novell.

Microsoft, Linux Distributor

Posted in Deals, GNU/Linux, GPL, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, Servers, SLES/SLED, Virtualisation, Windows at 9:33 am by Shane Coyle

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has the word on exactly what the certificate package includes, and it sure looks like MS is distributing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (fairly successfully).

[ed note: emphasis mine]
The certificates, as described in Novell’s Nov. 7 Form 8-K submission to the SEC (Security and Exchanges Commission) Entry into a Material Definitive Agreement, have always been for a packaged SLES/Windows offering. In detail, the combined offering consists of SLES, a SLES support subscription with Microsoft Windows Server, Microsoft Virtual Server and Microsoft Viridian.

Note the comma between "SLES" and "a SLES support subscription…", because what good is a coupon for support for something you don’t actually have? Although, most of Microsoft’s coupon customers were already Novell customers and only Wal-Mart indicated any significant expansion in the number of SUSE installations. Regardless, the agreement definitively states that SLES is included in the package.

So, Welcome to the community, Microsoft. Please check here for the ground rules. Given your history, you may want to pay special attention to sections 6 and 7, because "some may care about the patent issues." and there are some potential additional implications for patents in the GPL.

Oh, and you may want to brush up on Section 3 too. I assume you are distributing for-profit, you’re not a bunch of communists – are you?

How Does the Lenovo-Microsoft Deal Affect Novell’s SUSE?

Posted in Asia, Deals, Dell, Microsoft, Novell, SLES/SLED at 2:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As you may or may not know by now, Lenovo has signed a software deal with Microsoft. The deal is said to address piracy in the east, essentially by preinstalling Microsoft software on more of Lenovo’s products. This follows intense debates on whether Linux-loaded (or what Microsoft conveniently chooses to call “naked PCs”) are destined to have a pirated version of Windows installed.

When Linux is assumed to be unwanted, then we truly face a dilemma, don’t we? Another issue comes to mind, however, because Novell recently got the privilege to have Lenovo compatibility certification, which means that certain Thinkpad models will be guaranteed SUSE support. This comes after promises of full preinstalls. These promises lasted only a couple of days. Rumours tell that Lenovo changes its mind after a little chat with Microsoft. Regardless, have a look at the following bit:

However, last fall, Microsoft and Novell signed a deal making the software giant more Linux friendly, particularly when it’s Novell’s Linux.

At least on the surface, relations between Microsoft and Lenovo have never been better. Last month, according to Lenovo’s statement, the two companies agreed to create a joint research and development center in China.

The stagnating Lenovo-IBM relationship springs to mind, especially at this stage when ex-IBMers land at Novell.

Novell has named Jim Ebzery, an ex-IBMer and former president of the Viisage Division of L-1 Identity Solutions, to run its identity and security management unit. Kent Erickson, who’s been running both identity and security and workgroup solutions, now gets to focus. Everybody Novell hires these days seems to be ex-IBM.

Could there be more that we should know about Novell, Lenovo, Microsoft, and IBM? Perhaps it would be premature to assert anything, let alone jump to conclusions. Speculations have led nowhere in the past and we wish to stick to factual information instead.

Finally, there’s this other OEM theory, which Dell and/or Novell have just denied.

First, as Danijel Orsolic, founder of Libervis.com, a technology and society discussion site, noted in a recent story, Microsoft is not the boss, we are. “It is being said Microsoft *allowed* Dell to start selling Ubuntu under the condition that it also sells Novell SuSE GNU/Linux.”

Based on what my sources at Dell and Novell are telling me, the Novell, Microsoft and Dell deal had nothing to do with the Ubuntu arrangement. David Lord, a Dell spokesperson, flatly denied that there was any connection between the deals. “Our customers told us loud and clear on IdeaStorm that they wanted desktop Linux and we’re delivering what they want.”

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