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08.14.07

Novell: We Won’t be SCO 2.0; BoycottNovell: Who is We?

Posted in Courtroom, Finance, Formats, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Protocol, SCO, UNIX at 10:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A few days ago, amid great victory to Linux, we dared to argue that UNIX copyrights in Novell’s hands are a worrisome business. We later argued that inheritance of these copyrights might be an issue as well, especially at times when SUSE mimics Microsoft’s technologies and adopts Microsoft formats/protocols.

We are relieved to hear that Bruce Lowry offers some reassurance. He promises that Novell won’t be the “next SCO”, i.e it won’t be trolling companies.

“We’re not interested in suing people over Unix,” Novell spokesman Bruce Lowry said. “We’re not even in the Unix business anymore.”

Better the devil that we know than the one we do not know. What if the stance was changed through future acquisitions, executive shuffles (Darl McBride used to work at Novell), or even proxies? We are already hearing that SCO might be the target of takeovers (possibly hostile ones).

SCO on the brink of financial collapse

[...]

The company’s share price had closed at $1.56 on Friday ahead of a court ruling that Novell, and not SCO, was the rightful owner of the copyrights for the Unix operating system. The price remained steady in early trading, however, valuing the company at about $9.5m.

Also, of interest is the revelation that SCO may have faked the whole lawsuit and fabricated a legal case (knowingly engaging in a lost battle).

Ruling suggests SCO knew it did not own Unix

[...]

According to Kimball’s decision, McBride had in late 2002 contacted Novell seeking records related to SCO’s intellectual property rights related to Unix. Following Anderer’s email, McBride contacted Novell on several occasions in February 2003 asking Novell to hand over the copyrights.

Over time, friendly companies turned into hostile one. The ‘Microsoft money’ played a role at times. Can a future Novell be trusted?

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27 Comments

  1. Alec Baldwin said,

    August 15, 2007 at 1:55 am

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    Yawn.

    And yet more drivel from the rita skeeter of IT…

    Haven’t you got better things to do than spread gossip, rumour, and badly worded nonsense?

    You should go get a job with a cheap tabloid

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 15, 2007 at 3:48 am

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    This analysis — whether it is accurate or not — is rationalised by a set of facts. If you follow the references in the item, you will then be able to see the line of thinking. Many of the facts do not reach the attention of everyone because they are not openly publicised. If you can offer a solid argument to contradict, that will be productive.

  3. Rick said,

    August 15, 2007 at 8:21 am

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    And just what do you think they could sue over? All the IP they are distributing under the GPLv2 (and possibly GPLv3 soon)? I do believe they would have no leg to stand on under the GPL agreement.

  4. davemc said,

    August 15, 2007 at 8:26 am

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    Roy, are you going somewhere with this?

    SCO never had a case and we all knew it. Why it dragged on so long in the court system is nothing but a testament of a flawed legal system and poor judgement on many peoples part. The ruling is made and Darl is gone, apparently, probably off to find another job to wreck another company. Bottom line; Linux wins, M$ loses… Again.

  5. W. Anderson said,

    August 15, 2007 at 8:50 am

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    The commenter Alec Baldwin is one of several people recently that go to any length to defend their preferences and bias, and personally disparage those bringing the message.

    Trying to kill the messenger has no substance when the message is not addressed, whether their message is badly worded or the messenger needs a job or not.

    This growing phenomenon of nonsensical responses is unfortunate here in USA, particularly from those who are Microsoft defenders/shills and never seem to offer any reasonable technological or common sense argument against the onslaught and adoption of Free/Open Source Software (FOSS).

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 15, 2007 at 8:50 am

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    @Rick: from the URL above ( http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20070814/tc_infoworld/91000 )

    “There is nothing holding Novell back from suing existing Unix
    vendors. Even Novell’s Linux-Windows interoperability deal with
    Microsoft does not preclude the two companies from suing each other.
    Lowry declined to speculate on the outcome of the outstanding claims
    of the case.”

    @davemc:

    Roy, are you going somewhere with this?

    I wrote down some thoughts and connected them with previous thoughts backed by news articles. Pamela knows these things best and Groklaw helps me understand, as well as to share my findings here and elsewhere.

    Linux wins, but Microsoft put a ‘pawn’ in place in place back in May, so it’s not losing. There is still a ‘legal cloud’ and even though we all know it’s based on lies, the CIO actually fears it.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 15, 2007 at 8:55 am

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    @ W. Anderson: I sometimes do a quick IP lookup to see if it’s the same old routine, e.g.:

    http://weblog.infoworld.com/openresource/archives/2007/05/sco_was_microso.html

    Backhanded compliments are always transparent. If you want your blog to have any credibility at all, you might want to consider putting some facts in with your opinion. You might also consider putting more of your own words in a blog post. You seem to have put the other blog’s words in your own little wrapper — hoping to get credit for the ideas.

    [MATT'S NOTE: The IP address for this one came from One Microsoft Way in Redmond, WA. Imagine that.]
    Posted by: Tobin (Microsoft Employee) at May 29, 2007 08:39 AM

    Yes, they are caught astroturfing anonymously sometimes.

    Alec Baldwin is host217-42-27-193.range217-42.btcentralplus.com , so no orange light there.

  8. Penguin Pete said,

    August 15, 2007 at 9:13 am

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    I was one of the first ones saying this. I actually count on Novell-Microsoft to pose a legal threat to the rest of Linux some time in the future, especially with Xandros and Freespire to stand with them.

    Do I think it’s something to panic about? No. There was no doubt in my mind that the SCO Group would lose, and Novell will lose too. Microsoft will lose. No matter what, in a world where you can’t keep people from snagging a 99¢ music download and the global economy guarantees that no law will ever be absolutely enforcible, stamping out open source technology is completely futile and impossible.

  9. Chris Cox said,

    August 15, 2007 at 9:53 am

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    Roy,
    Do you think the GPL is some kind of joke? Do you think it’s worthless? Because that’s what you are saying. You do realize that don’t you?

    For some strange reason you and other here believe that the GPL is weak and for an even stranger reason, you believe that Novell dictates what the GPL is and that Microsoft has total control over the license, to the point that we need to destroy Novell (but not Microsoft, because apparently you fear them a bit).

    Look… Novell is a COMPANY. And yes, it means that they are going to engage in TYPICAL business dealings. And yes, that means we’re going to find some of the things they do to be incredibly offensive. So, Roy… what company are you the CEO of again? I missed that one. Or perhaps you are the CFO? The CTO even? Does your company make over $500 mil. in revenue each year? Shoot… even $250 mil.?

    Roy, you are the classic arm chair quarterback in my book. I’m not saying that you are different from everyone else here… and sure, I’ve never held an executive position either. I have been on the ground floor of a major company though, and have worked closely with those execs. And no… I didn’t like every decision they made either… but they are one of the top 10 software companies in the world today Roy…. so… maybe , just maybe, they knew what they were doing after all??

    I truly hope that Novell succeeds. Why? Because they offer good support for Linux and free software. Are they perfect? No. Could they do things better…. duh…. Yes! However, I’m not going to tell people to actively destroy a company that is putting Linux in the hands of millions of people… the GPL and free software ideas are simply TOO strong for even the (apparently) almighty Novell to take down. To suggest otherwise is to AGREE that Linux is somehow a bunch of stolen Unix code (which it isn’t).

    Sigh… I grow weary of people trying to tear other people down because they THINK they know better. Let’s do something different. Let’s support free software instead.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 15, 2007 at 3:38 pm

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    @Chris:

    Do you think the GPL is some kind of joke? Do you think it’s worthless? Because that’s what you are saying. You do realize that don’t you?

    In depends. We strongly support the GNU GPL, but we realise that version 2 has some loopholes. Also, we realise that Novell puts patented technology in packages that it ships upstream.

  11. MattD said,

    August 15, 2007 at 5:39 pm

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    @ Chris Cox

    There are a gazillion sites on the internet – CHANGE THE FUCKING CHANNEL, ASSHOLE! How hard is that? You have got to be some kind of masochist to spend your free time at websites you hate so much.

    Hey… here’s a thought… Why don’t you start a SaveNovellSite (or some such) and explain to everyone why they are the best solution, how their deal with Microsoft is in Linux’s best interest, how agreeing that Linux violates MS’s ridiculous IP attacks is a good move, how threatening all other commercial Linux distros benefits everyone (as they have done on their site), etc… Please, start working on the site – I’m sure the visitors you get will keep you very busy defending your position.

  12. Ian said,

    August 15, 2007 at 8:35 pm

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    Nice troll there Matt.

    But yes, having to agree with everything you read on the internet is the way to go. Sharing ideas, only when they conflict with each other, should be snuffed out. The last thing we need is open discussion. I mean, that’s what lead us to accept that ridiculous theory that the world is round!

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 15, 2007 at 8:49 pm

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    I tend to agree with Ian. The first comment, however, illustrates the problem (ad hominem attacks). Chris Cox offered substance which adds balance, but there was some personal element as well (“you are the classic arm chair quarterback in my book“).

  14. MattD said,

    August 16, 2007 at 12:48 pm

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    @ Ian:

    Yeah, you’re right, Ian… That wasn’t the best response to a comment that was clearly written with heavy derogatory tones regarding this site while stating that any negative information regarding alternative viewpoints would be dismissed (so yes… the world remains round for some and ignorance is bliss). Chris Cox – accept my apology for the use of vulgarity in my previous comment, ok?

    After all the years of documented Microsoft abuse, shady backdoor deals, anti-consumerism, journalist/mags who pass themselves off as objective while clearly pushing an agenda, FUD, anti-competitive practices, destruction of competing OSes, government involvement attempting to curb intentional malicious monopolistic practices, legal threats and so forth… my response was aimed at the closed-minded, business-as-usual types who refuse to open their eyes to the world around them.

    Novell’s site clearly lays out it’s future vision. It calls itself a Legal Linux distribution. It threatens all other commercial Linux distros that do not play ball with Microsoft. They do this right on their site. They do this with a distribution that has seen 16+ years of Open GNU/Linux development (open for all to see) and created by thousands of unpaid 3rd party programmers. They do this by agreeing that Linux (Kernel) and coincidentally (hmm…)… Open Source Applications that directly compete with Microsoft Apps are infringing on MS patents. They do this without reviewing the IP FUD Microsoft has tossed around. How very transparent…

    What’s at stake?

    All other competing commercial Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Red Hat, etc…), Open Source Applications, the freedom to choose, competition in the marketplace, open standards and much more.

    Is this serious? Yes it is.

    When an ignorant user pops in without having done his homework (or refuses to acknowledge the severity of the processes taking place), it speaks badly for him/her.

    Is their another viewpoint? Yes… it’s on over 90% of all the operating systems in the world, entrench in governments, overflowing on TV/Newspapers/Magazines aimed at the mass market, tied to vendor licenses and forced on users with every purchase of a new PC, tied to security nightmares etc.. AND… this is a big AND… Novell wants a piece of this action by stepping over the bodies of the peope who created the technology for them.

  15. Skeptic said,

    August 16, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    Gravatar

    @MattD: I am glad you apologized for the offensive tone of your previous comment. We all goof up from time to time, but not everyone can admit it.
    Other than the tone in the previous post, I agree with your sentiments and admire your passion.

    Could you or someone else give a link to where Novell claims that it provides a legal “Linux distribution”? I spent a few minutes poking around its site but came up empty. It’s not like it is impossible for some of us to like and recommend Novell once again at some point, but any promotion of the patent agreement on its part such as a “Legal Linux” claim is shameful and worthy of only scorn.

  16. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 16, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    Gravatar

    @Skeptic: I am not familiar with Novell’s Web site, but on several occasions, here and in Groklaw people caught Novell advertising ‘patent protection’, even in Europe (through pamphlets, IIRC) where software patents are not legal. Also see:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2006/12/16/raw-transcript-of-stafford-masies-qa/

    “…what was different yesterday when the covenant wasn’t there that’s different today? what’s different? when the covenant was not there, there was the inherent potential liability of patent infringement when the covenant wasn’t there. so now we’ve created this covenant in the interest of our customers, not as a competitive advantage, the little guy, etc we’ve done it in the interest of big companies wanting us to explicitly state that they’ll never have this liability associated with Microsoft, because Microsoft is on 100% of their desktops.”

    http://boycottnovell.com/2006/11/22/novell-selfish/

    That’s where Dragoon admits that Novell was selfish.

  17. MattD said,

    August 17, 2007 at 10:02 am

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    @Skeptic: Thanks, Skeptic. As far as the link, it’s on their FAQ:

    http://www.novell.com/linux/microsoft/faq.html

    I found the language of this FAQ quite revealing. Please note how often the word Linux and SuSE are used interchangeably throughout this document. Below are a few quotes that I felt spoke volumes about how they wished to penetrate the market at the cost of Free and Open Source Applications and OSes.

    “Microsoft and Novell provide patent coverage for each others customers, giving customers peace of mind regarding patent issues.”

    “customers of SUSE Linux Enterprise know they have patent protection from Microsoft in connection with their use of SUSE Linux Enterprise”

    “The patent protection offered by Microsoft applies to ALL customers who subscribe to a SUSE Linux Enterprise product. It does not matter if you purchased SLES or SLED, if you bought it directly from Novell, from a reseller, from a distributor, or acquired it via a coupon from Microsoft. If you have a current subscription to SUSE Linux Enterprise, then you are covered by the Microsoft patent protection. Microsoft has provided a covenant not to assert its patent portfolio directly to customers who have purchased SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell.”

    “While some future scenarios may not be included, we have established a working relationship and structure to have conversations about those issues as they arise.”

    (MattD: the statement above has additional negative value as more and more Microsoft related technology enters Linux. This site has spoken about GNOME and MONO. I also think that Microsoft’s attempt to penetrate the server market, which Linux controls, is a motivating factor with .Net making headway into Linux.)

    “Novell believes customers with heterogeneous networks are best served by an **independent** operating systems vendor like Novell”

    (MattD: Above – independent is used incorrectly as they have relied on efforts by too many people over too many years who wanted nothing more than avoid this disaster.)

    “In terms of a possible Oracle move to offer support for SUSE Linux Enterprise, Novell believes customers with heterogeneous networks are best served by an **independent** operating systems vendor like Novell”

    (MattD: The statement above was in answer to Oracle offering support for Red Hat. If Oracle intends to support Novell, I haven’t heard about it. All I’ve heard is Oracle certifying their apps (DB, etc) on SuSE. If I’m wrong about Oracle, someone please correct me – otherwise it sounds like they are “dropping names”.)

    “the companies will create a joint research facility and pursue new software solutions for virtualization, management, and document format compatibility.”

    (MattD: Above: This is where OOXML comes into play as well as MS OS virtualization… something Microsoft is making alot of noise about).”

    “Microsoft will distribute as part of a resale arrangement approximately 70,000 coupons for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server maintenance and support per year so that customers can benefit from the use of the **new** software solutions developed through the collaborative research effort, as well as a version of Linux that is covered with respect to Microsoft’s IP rights.”

    (MattD: Re: Above statement – Proprietary solutions (“new software solutions”), vendor lock-in, IP threats… Typical Microsoft tactics. Coupons are the only area where MS helps Novell by helping it make money in the short-term – their only motivation.)

    “Novell will also make running royalty payments based on a percentage of its revenues from open source products.”

    (MattD: Above Statement – This is where Microsoft rides the coattails of the efforts of thousands of Open Source developers whose work span an excess of 16 years. They get to make money off Linux without doing a thing. This is a future hedge in case Microsoft OSes fall off the radar in 10-20-30 years. This is also a test to see how effective this plan will be – which is why it’s only 5 years.)

    “The patent agreement demonstrates that Microsoft is willing to enter into agreements that extend its patent protection to open source customers.”

    (MattD: Above – Incorrect. Protection is for Novell not Open Source Customers in general using competing Linuxes unless they pay unsubstantiated protection money.)

    “both Novell and Microsoft felt it was appropriate to make this pledge for Microsoft not to assert its patents against the non-commercial community.”

    “The terms of the individual, non-commercial developer patent non-assert are on http://www.microsoft.com/interop. You are covered if you are doing non-commercial open source software development. This includes individual enthusiasts, such as a student or a developer who does work on his own time on a project of personal interest to him.”

    (MattD: the previous two statements above is where they hope to get community support)

    “If you are compensated for your development, then your activities are considered “commercial”, and you would not be covered.”

    (MattD: Statement above – This is where Ubuntu, Red Hat and all other commercial efforts (DSL, PuppyLinux, etc) are threatened).

    “Under the patent agreement, customers will receive coverage for Mono, Samba, and OpenOffice.org as well as .NET and Windows Server. All of these technologies will be improved upon during the five years of the agreement and there are some limits on the coverage that would be provided for future technologies added to these offerings.”

    (MattD: Above statement – section where OpenOffice is threatened if run on any environment outside of Novell or Microsoft OSes. OpenOffice hits MS directly in their pockets and is considered among their biggest threats).

    MattD: They go on to discuss their mutual strategy involving Virtualization, Web Services and Document Format Compatibility. This is the lock-out strategy. When the five years are up, I guess it’ll be Linux vs MS… two proprietary OSes. Microsoft FTW.

    This protection racket scheme buys Microsoft Five whole years. In this time, Linux can become more fragmented (if Novell is chosen as the distro of choice). Novell has the opportunity to pull into a healthy lead (given MS resources in the press, government, etc) but it can be an Apple type of lead, something Microsoft can battle more effectively especially given Novell’s reliance on MS tech.

    Novell, with their newfound reliance on .NET, Office Document “Standards”, Virtualization of MS-OS will make their Linux version an also-ran. Technologies like PHP and Apache are also threatened.

    In an article on Information Week, the followoing point is made:
    http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2007/05/why_novell_migh.html

    Novell “”posted a $20 million loss in its first quarter and needs to boost revenues. The Microsoft partnership had been doing just that for the company. Novell said that it’s already booked $7.6 million in sales as a result of the alliance and has recorded $338 million in deferred revenue.””

    “”What’s deferred revenue? It’s money that Novell has already collected for services not yet provided. If its partnership with Microsoft goes poof and it’s unable to provide the services–well, you get the picture.””

    MattD: Novell was a desperate company and desperate companies (and people) do desperate things… sometimes selling their own souls. The cost… Linux, Open Source, Competition, Choices…

    The biggest enemy remains Microsoft. Novell is willingly allowing itself to be used as pawn for short-term monetary gain. Microsoft’s benefits are huge as they continue to infect Novell’s Linux and a number of open source applications with proprietary MS-only softTech. If this continues, Microsoft indeed will have cause to assert copyright claims on some Linux distributions creating a cascade effect.

  18. Skeptic said,

    August 17, 2007 at 12:49 pm

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    @MattD: What a great analysis–thanks. The situation is worse than I thought. This info gives greater motivation to not only continue boycotting Novell (and Linspire, Xandros, etc.) but also be more careful in understanding the priorities and philosophies of other GNU/Linux distributions.

    IMO, openSUSE will inevitably attract Windows refugees. Given openSUSE’s affiliation with Novell, I hope other distributions can, in turn, attract those refugees away from openSUSE at some point.

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 17, 2007 at 4:58 pm

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    Terrific analysis, MattD. Mind if this dissection gets posted as a new item (with credit to you, of course)? It deserves more attention.

  20. MattD said,

    August 18, 2007 at 6:51 pm

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    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    Roy, no problem on posting as a new item. Feel free to make any corrections (add/delete/additional commentary) – there are some things I didn’t tie together well becuase of the length of the post (Samba, MONO, Exchange with a special focus on the server market and how these, in addition to OOXML/MS OFFICE are intended to be used as tools to snake their way into the enterprise market and curtail future competition – these thoughts could come later though…).

    It all boils down to keeping Microsoft products viable on a platform that (until recently = Novell/Xandros) was never going to be bullied (IP Threats and forced MS code).

  21. MattD said,

    August 18, 2007 at 9:22 pm

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    It just occurred to me that they (Novell and Microsoft) have hijacked the word “Open Source”. I know I read somewhere before that this term was hijacked. On the statement below for example, they clearly apply IP/copyright/royalty themes to what was once Open Source (aka, FOSS – *Free* Open Source Software).

    “Novell will also make running royalty payments based on a percentage of its revenues from open source products.”

    We need to come up with a new name for their version of “Open Source”.

    Patented Open Source (POS)
    Copyrighted Open Source (COS)
    Limited Open Source Software (LOSS)
    We will sue you if you use this code without coughing up serious dough software (maybe this last one is too long;-)

    Maybe you can hold a naming contest as a new item with a focus on good acronyns:

    GROSS…
    LOSS…

  22. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 18, 2007 at 10:52 pm

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    How about CPAL? Published just yesterday:

    Stop Whining: Let’s All Be (C)PALS

    Apparently having an Open Source Initiative (OSI) approved license does matter.

    Companies that had once shunned the official open source label while still operating as open source entities are starting to adopt a new OSI license, the Common Public Attribution License (CPAL).

    I’m currently working on a short item which explains how Microsoft’s OSI invasion attempt will possibly backfire. Michael T is apparently not too excited about what is happening. ESR is just eerily quiet (no word since the Fedora flame) and Bruce Perens is seemingly travelling in Europe, sometimes with RMS who is now in Peru (not hurt by the earthquake, fortunately and despite malicious rumours). So, I just don’t know what is going on at the OSI as far as leadership and direction is concerned. Chris diBona has joined the discussion and I’ll post about it shortly.

    When MuleSource changed to CPAL (last week), Michael said (quite formally for all I can tell) that he was “quite pleased” and Matt Aslett could not ignore the use of the word “quite”. It is either lack of enthusiasm or frustration (the hypocrisy argument is a killer for the OSI, which is now caught between a rock and a hard place).

    Microsoft love everything that’s happening. It is dividing the community at the expense of (owing and due to) those willing to compromise and ‘dilute’ key values.

  23. camille.elemia said,

    September 20, 2007 at 5:07 am

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    Hi Roy. I think you can really help me on the IBM -Novell-Microsoft thing that’s really boggling me. Will you? Thanks a lot, Camille.

  24. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 20, 2007 at 9:55 am

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    Camille, having seen the message here, it seems safe to say that Monday’s European ruling (protocols needs to be revealed to everyone), as well as many other factors that we cover in this site, ensures that Novell gets little or no advantage in the datacentre. There is no clear advantage if you are choosing Novell. It’s all perceived value.

  25. camille.elemia said,

    September 21, 2007 at 10:24 am

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    Hi guys. I am really needing your help regarding Novell. By the way, I am from the Philippines. Luckily, I found this very useful blog. I really need expert opinions and views on this matter. Really good thing i found you guys. And to Roy, thanks a lot for answering my queries.:) I have here some questions about Novell. :)

    It seems to me that this whole partnership with Microsoft is very controversial. So, how do you think the company will expand their products and services geographically? Do you think this partnership will be a great help to that? What do you think will be their growth strategy (considering their alliance with MS)? Do you see any potential for this?

    Second is regarding their competitive posture. I know for a fact that Novell is in competition with many companies. So how do you think does the company see itself in competition with larger companies? and in what product/service categories? I think their top competitors globally are IBM (for storage, according to several analysts I have talked to), Microsoft and JBoss (for Virtualization), what else can you add to that?

    How do you think will the company differentiate itself from IBM or Microsoft especially in the field they are competing? I mean I know they have lots of products that are overlapping. You know…

    Thanks a lot dudes,
    Camille :)

  26. camille.elemia said,

    September 21, 2007 at 10:26 am

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    And to MattD, wonderful analysis. I am just new here and I must say that analysis was a real guide for me. Keep it up! :)

  27. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2007 at 10:41 am

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    Lots of question there, but I’ll gladly try to address them.

    It seems to me that this whole partnership with Microsoft is very controversial. So, how do you think the company will expand their products and services geographically?

    Not everyone is aware of the problems with this deal. Some are cautious, but Novell has long-time and loyal customers.

    Do you think this partnership will be a great help to that?

    Novell’s PR will make it seem so. Microsoft’s PR folks will help give this impression because it’s in their interest as well. Some hard figures suggest that Novell is still dependent on Microsoft’s ‘good’ will.

    What do you think will be their growth strategy (considering their alliance with MS)? Do you see any potential for this?

    The worst for Novell is yet to come. Some parts of the deal ‘expire’ in 4 years and the damage to Novell’s image was done.

    Second is regarding their competitive posture. I know for a fact that Novell is in competition with many companies. So how do you think does the company see itself in competition with larger companies?

    Linux, GNU, and other projects are a huge ‘company’ to have. There are many developers. Novell uses their services and helps them too. However, the deal is seen as a betrayal by many developers, so Novell distances/alienates.

    and in what product/service categories? I think their top competitors globally are IBM (for storage, according to several analysts I have talked to), Microsoft and JBoss (for Virtualization), what else can you add to that?

    IBM and Novell collaborate now (they have for quite some time), but that relationship is a relatively healthy one.

    How do you think will the company differentiate itself from IBM or Microsoft especially in the field they are competing? I mean I know they have lots of products that are overlapping. You know…

    Novell depends on its transition to Linux and many of its products overlap with those of rivals like Red Hat. The mistake Novell made was making itself dependent (financially and technically) on a rival that once said that Novell had to be “slaughtered” (Jim Allchin quote).

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    European courts are restraining the EPO, which has been trying to bypass or replace such courts (with the UPC); it certainly seems as though European Patents rapidly lose their legitimacy or much-needed presumption of validity



  7. Any 'Linux' Foundation Needs to Be Managed by Geeks, Not Politicians and PR People

    Linux bureaucracy has put profits way ahead of technical merits and this poses a growing threat or constitutes risk to the direction of the project, not to mention its ownership



  8. Links 23/4/2019: Kodi 'Leia' 18.2 and DeX Everywhere

    Links for the day



  9. Code of Coercion

    Entryism is visible for all to see, but pointing it out is becoming a risky gambit because of the "be nice!" (or "be polite!") crowd, which shields the perpetrators of a slow and gradual corporate takeover



  10. António Campinos Would Not Refer to the EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal If He Did Not Control the Outcomes

    António Campinos and his ilk aren’t interested in patent quality because his former ‘boss’, who publicly denied there were issues and vainly rejected patent quality concerns as illegitimate, is now controlled by him (reversal of roles) and many new appointees at the top are "yes men" (or women) of Campinos, former colleagues whom he bossed at EUIPO (as expected)



  11. Links 22/4/2019: Linux 5.1 RC6, New Release of Netrunner and End of Scientific Linux

    Links for the day



  12. USPTO and EPO Both Slammed for Abandoning Patent Quality and Violating the Law/Caselaw in Order to Grant Illegitimate Patents on Life/Nature and Mathematics

    Mr. Iancu, the ‘American Battistelli’ (appointed owing to nepotism), mirrors the ‘Battistelli operandi’, which boils down to treating judges like they’re stooges and justices like an ignorable nuisance — all this in the name of litigation profits, which necessitate constant wars over illegitimate patents (it is expensive to prove their illegitimacy)



  13. IRC Proceedings: January 27th, 2019 – March 24th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  14. IRC Proceedings: December 2nd, 2018 – January 26th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  15. Links 21/4/2019: SuperTuxKart's 1.0 Release, Sam Hartman Is Debian’s Newest Project Leader (DPL)

    Links for the day



  16. The EPO's Use of Phrases Like “High-Quality Patent Services” Means They Know High-Quality European Patents Are 'Bygones'

    The EPO does a really poor job hiding the fact that its last remaining objective is to grant as many European Patents as possible (and as fast as possible), conveniently conflating quality with pace



  17. A Reader's Suggestion: Directions for Techrights

    Guest post by figosdev



  18. Links 20/4/2019: Weblate 3.6 and Pop!_OS 19.04

    Links for the day



  19. The Likes of Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), Team Campinos and Team UPC Don't Represent Europe But Hurt Europe

    The abject disinterest in patent quality and patent validity (as judged by courts) threatens Europe but not to the detriment of those who are in the 'business' of suing and printing lots of worthless patents



  20. The Linux Foundation Needs to Change Course Before GNU/Linux (as a Free Operating System) is Dead

    The issues associated with the Linux Foundation are not entirely new; but Linux now incorporates so many restrictions and contains so many binary blobs that one begins to wonder what "Linux" even means



  21. Largest Patent Offices Try to Leave Courts in a State of Disarray to Enable the Granting of Fake Patents in the US and Europe

    Like a monarchy that effectively runs all branches of government the management of the EPO is trying to work around the judiciary; the same is increasingly happening (or at least attempted) in the United States



  22. Links 19/4/2019: PyPy 7.1.1, LabPlot 2.6, Kipi Plugins 5.9.1 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Links 18/4/2019: Ubuntu and Derivatives Have Releases, digiKam 6.1.0, OpenSSH 8.0 and LibreOffice 6.2.3

    Links for the day



  24. Freedom is Not a Business and Those Who Make 'Business' by Giving it Away Deserve Naming

    Free software is being parceled and sold to private monopolisers; those who facilitate the process enrich themselves and pose a growing threat to freedom in general — a subject we intend to tackle in the near future



  25. Concluding the Linux Foundation (LF) “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 3)

    Conferences constructed or put together based on payments rather than merit pose a risk to the freedom of free software; we conclude our series about events set up by the largest of culprits, which profits from this erosion of freedom



  26. “Mention the War” (of Microsoft Against GNU/Linux)

    The GNU/Linux desktop (or laptops) seems to be languishing or deteriorating, making way for proprietary takeover in the form of Vista 10 and Chrome OS and “web apps” (surveillance); nobody seems too bothered — certainly not the Linux Foundation — by the fact that GNU/Linux itself is being relegated or demoted to a mere “app” on these surveillance platforms (WSL, Croûton and so on)



  27. The European Patent Office Does Not Care About the Law, Today's Management Constantly Attempts to Bypass the Law

    Many EPs (European Patents) are actually "IPs" (invalid patents); the EPO doesn't seem to care and it is again paying for corrupt scholars to toe the party line



  28. The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Once Again Pours Cold Water on Patent Maximalists

    Any hopes of a rebound or turnaround have just been shattered because a bizarre attack on the appeal process (misusing tribal immunity) fell on deaf ears and software patents definitely don't interest the highest court, which already deemed them invalid half a decade ago



  29. Links 17/4/2019: Qt 5.12.3 Released, Ola Bini Arrested (Political Stunts)

    Links for the day



  30. Links 16/4/2019: CentOS Turns 15, Qt Creator 4.9.0 Released

    Links for the day


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