06.01.07

GPLv3 (in Current Form) Could Be ”Game Over” to Microsoft’s Secret Schemes

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GPL, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Windows at 11:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Over at Business Review Online, Matt Asslet dissects the latest developments which accompany the publication of a final GPLv3 draft. He makes it clear that Novell and Microsoft have not escaped the wrath of the Free software foundation.

This had already been predicted but I didn’t want to cover it until the Free Software Foundation made it official, which it has done with the publication of the last call draft of the GPLv3, but it appears that Microsoft’s plan to restrict its patent covenant to SUSE Linux users has backfired.

Then, Matt begins to wonder if a legal battle might ensue.

In recent weeks Microsoft has tried to paint itself as the victim of a concerted effort by the free software community to sabotage its agreement with Novell.

Shane replies and refutes the assumption/prediction that a legal threat can be born out of this conflict. In fact, only yesterday in The Register, MySQL AB’s CEO fired a warning shot at Microsoft, addressing their most recent threats.

Microsoft must work with, not against, open source otherwise it risks sacrificing developer support and credibility among customers – even Windows loyalists.

Remember how persistently we stressed that Microsoft loathes GPLv3 and fights it very aggressively? Now we know why. The same Grand Plan which began 3 years ago when Windows Longhorn got scrapped, patents were lined up before the USPTO’s front door like cannonballs, and then the Novell deal came, is finally being intercepted at its very root. This may be the final destination for a failed plan to eradicate Free software from planet Earth.

Between the Lines Talks About Splitting Novell

Posted in Finance, Identity Management, Novell at 11:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This one particular suggestion comes as a total surprise and whether it makes any sense or not, well… it is you who ought to be the judge.

I’m left to conclude that the strategy, not the products, is the problem. Frankly, I see little synergy between the identity products and the rest of Novell. As a consequence, they’re probably holding each other back as executives struggle to manage and resource two very different businesses. Novell’s shareholders would be better off with two Novells: one focusing on their identity business and one concentrating on Linux.

Novell already considers buybacks, according to Ron Hovsepian. Structural remedies can be another route to take, even though it seems far fetched. While the company operates at a loss, some action — any action — needs to be taken.

A day after Jim Yin rated NOVL “strong sell”, another analyst weighs in.

Novell “underperform”

Analyst J Maynard of Credit Suisse reiterates his “underperform” rating on Novell Inc. The target price is set to $6.

In a research note published yesterday, the analyst mentions that the company’s 2Q results did not indicate any visible signs of substantial progress. The forthcoming release of GPLv3 represents a risk to Novell’s most significant business, the analyst says. In the absence of sustainable cash flows, the probability of the company being acquired by a private equity investor is quite low, Credit Suisse believes.

No matter how you look at this, attempts to turn a loss into a perceived win will not work for Novell here. Novell has tried to play that card. There is another item which is by no means encouraging:

Novell Q2 2007 Results: Still a long way to go

Novell yesterday announced financial results for its second fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2007. Net revenue went up 2.6% year on year to $239 million with software licensing increasing faster (4.1% to 17.4% of revenue) than maintenance (up 2.2% of revenue to 52% of revenue) and service revenue (down a whopping 37% to 31%).

What will it be next? A split seems unlikely, but it’s the first time the idea gets mentioned. Only a couple of weeks after an analyst mentioned buybacks as an option, Novell did as well. Everything seems like a possibility, provided arguments like BTL’s are used for backing.

Do-No-Evil Saturday: Novell’s Gentle Side

Posted in Marketing, Novell at 11:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s this time of the week again. Noteworthy today is this story about Novell’s new partner sales manager in Ireland.

Meet Amanda Rowland – Novell’s new Partner Sales Manager in Ireland

Novell, a leader in infrastructure software for the open enterprise, and who employ 120 people in their Irish HQ in Sandyford, has announced the appointment of Amanda Rowland as Partner Sales Manager in Ireland.

On the face of it, Novell has some vibrant ZENworks seminars going on too, as indicated here and here.

And finally, Novell will bring (reuse) some of its Linux advocacy to LinuxWorld at San Francisco.

IDG World Expo, the leading producer of world-class tradeshows and events around the globe has announced that LinuxWorld® 2007 will once again host Novell’s Best of BrainShare program featuring six of the best sessions from Novell’s BrainShare 2007 conference.

Is Novell in a Deep State of Denial? (Updated)

Posted in Boycott Novell, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, GPL, Novell at 10:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The headlines (and the overall message) are very clear. The relationship between Microsoft and Novell will need to be changed, if not altogether suspended. In fact, unless Novell forks a plethora of GNU utilities, it will stay behind, virtually frozen in GNU/Linux of 2007. Unless the draft changes significantly, the following articles from vnunet are accurate.

Microsoft ‘defeated’ by GPL3

“We believe we can do more to protect the community by allowing Novell to use software under GPL3 than by forbidding it to do so,” the FSF stated in a Final Discussion Draft Rationale document to explain the most recent changes.

Novell fears closing of GPL loophole

“We may need to modify our relationship with Microsoft under less advantageous terms than our current agreement,” Novell said in a section of its annual report that lists potential ‘risk factors’.

It is very strange to see Novell’s most recent stance on this. Is it possible that their employees have not been brought up to date? Is it a strategic choice of attitude (poker face)? Denial from Novell as a whole? Just consider this:

“We note that the language which grandfathered the Novell–Microsoft agreement remains in the draft. All of this is good news for our customers,” he [Novell spokesperson] said.

How about this one?

GPLv3 is still in draft level, but the consequences of the current draft are that we can continue what we have done. Every single step will be discussed with the software foundation. For example, there are four forums, which continue to discuss GPL. We are part of the vendor forum deal and we will continue to discuss, without engaging in future public speculation.

It seems likely that these newly-published interviews are slightly out of date, but the former one clearly refers to the latest draft.

Update: BetaNews summarises some of the latest events and it appears to suggest that Microsoft gets ‘punished’ whereas Novell is not affected.

“Microsoft wants to use its thousands of patents to make GNU/Linux users pay Microsoft for the privilege, and made this deal to try to get that,” Stallman writes. “The deal offers Novell’s customers rather limited protection from Microsoft patents. Microsoft made a few mistakes in the Novell-Microsoft deal, and GPLv3 is designed to turn them against Microsoft, extending that limited patent protection to the whole community. In order to take advantage of this, programs need to use GPLv3.”

A certain observation returns to mind.

I don’t know which lawyer wrote the vouchers, but I’m guessing somewhere in Redmond, there is a lawyer beating his head against the wall right about now.

Will Richard Stallman Leave the FSF As Well?

Posted in FSF, GPL, Interview at 6:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In the latest installment of Eben Moglen’s interview there is evidence which could suggest that Richard will join Eben and show the way to younger people.

Professor Moglen explains that it was not because of some rift within the FSF, or between himself and Richard Stallman, that he has decided to leave the board. Rather, it is simply time for the next generation to assume control, and suggests that it is time for Stallman to leave as well.

These two people have become iconic, but some would argue that image problems have hindered the FSF’s progress as well. Regardless, here is the latest important news from InfoWorld:

The Free Software Foundation has released the fourth or “last-call” draft of the third version of its GNU general public license, set a date for its official publication, and laid out reasons why the free and open source software community should adopt GPLv3 sooner rather than later.

Richard Stallman has just published a writeup which is titled “Why Upgrade to GPL Version 3″.

Novell/Jim Finkle’s Pump-and-Dump or Just Careless Journalism?

Posted in Finance, GPL, Novell at 6:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Potentially boosted by some, false information, Novell gets a little lift.

Shares of Novell Inc. ticked up at the opening bell Thursday after the software platforms developer said it is making progress in its move to products based on Linux.

It does not last long, however, as Richard Stallman unleashes the truth (more on that shortly, probably in the next post).

The Free Software Foundation will publish the last call draft of the third revision of its General Public License (GPLv3) today and has retained sufficient bite in it to penalise Microsoft.

Novell will of course be affected by this as well, so it’s to rethink. One analyst has just assigned the most negatives of ratings to NOVL.

Novell (NOVL)

Reiterates 1 STARS (strong sell)

Analyst: Jim Yin

Jim Finkle and Reuters Busted (Again) (Updated)

Posted in Deception, FSF, FUD, GPL, Novell at 3:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A couple of days ago we mentioned a questionable story where Jim Finkle takes an absurd view, which was soon afterwards debunked. This is not the first time he does this. It seems like yet another example of gross anti-FSF bias in the media.

Keep your eyes open and take everything you see in the ‘mainstream press’ with a grain of salt. Jim Finkle, we now have our eyes on you. Unnecessary drama [PDF warning] arouses suspicion about ulterior motives.

Update: Here is another confirmation (this time from RMS), in case one was needed to show that Reuters was wrong. The previous confirmation came from Peter Brown of the FSF.

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