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09.17.07

Novell’s Microsoft Deal — The “Advantage” That Wasn’t

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Novell, Red Hat at 6:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

With some concrete figures at hand, one can finally accept Novell’s dependence on Microsoft and declining growth, which is limited by Microsoft’s involvement (or lack thereof). From the news:

One year after Microsoft deal, Novell’s Linux sales growth slows

Nearly a year after shocking the open-source community by cutting a deal with Microsoft Corp., a primary spike to Linux sales at Novell Inc. has slowed and the company has yet to win market share from rival Red Hat Inc.

Initially, Novell officials emphasized the importance of that first-quarter rise in Linux orders and its ties to that Microsoft deal. As Linux sales slowed in subsequent quarters — from year-over-year growth of 659 percent to 114 percent to 95 percent — executives have backed away from espousing the importance of Linux orders to Novell’s overall business strategy.

It wasn’t long ago that Alfresco raised concerns because, judging by its own figures, Novell’s attraction stayed relatively flat whereas Red Hat demand was up sharply. Novell’s bragging about patents and interoperability as a competitive advantage no longer sits right. To cite one who was a self-confessed Novell fan:

“Once I bought into the community, I became community-oriented. That’s Red Hat’s strength, and that’s where Novell falls short. To me, it looks like Novell just uses Linux as an entry to selling proprietary products to put on top of it. As for open source, it looks like Novell tosses its dead products out to the community.”

It very much aligns with Novell’s vision of a ‘mixed source’ future.

This is just another reminder which not only provides the insight of people, but also gives number to support the claims that Novell gained no advantage from its deal with Microsoft. Worse — it was left further behind Red Hat or had its growth slowed. The honeymoon did not last forever. In the long term, Novell will get stung along with the rest of Linux.

Novell thinks about Novell, not Linux. But without Linux, there are no prospects for Novell, which falls right into Microsoft’s hands.

I'm Linux
Novell’s vision of GNU/Linux

Quickie: European Ruling Bad for Microsoft

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Microsoft, Servers at 4:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Here we go (in case you haven’t heard about it yet):

The EU’s Court of First Instance dismissed Microsoft’s appeal on all substantive points, reversing the Commission only on the creation of a monitoring trustee to ensure implementation of one of the remedies.

The European Commission found in 2004 that Microsoft had used its dominance in personal computer operating systems to damage smaller rivals.

Good news for Linux. For Microsoft — not so much…

The EU’s decision is likely to be seen as used as precedence in the United States as well.

OOXML Vote in Russia Overwhelmed by Scale and Pressure (Updated)

Posted in Asia, Formats, Open XML, Standard at 2:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“In Soviet Russia, OOXML votes for expert” (origin of this type of humour)

If Sweden’s vote on OOXML could be bought (bribery), then any country was virtually up for sale. Although it’s a bit late now, details have just arrived from Russia. It voted blindly and it voted “Yes”. Here is a fragment of text extracted from an article which reached the Russian press:

CNews found out the Russian Technical Committee Information Technology, which was to study OpenXML, did not cope with the task in time and handed down no expert opinion. Askold Piavchenko, the Russian Technical Committee Information Technology Chairman tells CNews “they were to speed up OpenXML study, so 6 thousand pages were to be studied in half a year”.

Rob Weir has warned about this. He suggested that a large pile of paper would discourage critique, which can be described as nitpicking (and thus dismissed) given the scale and complexity of this set of specifications. Moreover, Rob told us that Microsoft lied to committees about key dates. This way, less time was left for judgment ans accumulation of comment before the final vote was due.

No wonder everyone dislikes this “superb standard”, which others are simply paid to support.

Update: this is becoming obnoxious. Microsoft is now pressuring journalists to write something nice about OOXML. Spotted minutes ago:

Microsoft expressed disappointment at our views and said “a better story” would have been the positive benefits OpenXML…

The Microsoft PR agents are clearly at it again. They are still trying to make a Windows-only proprietary format seem like something that it is not. Hey, Microsoft, leave the journalists alone.

2006 Flashback: Ron Hovsepian Nods in Approval on Linux Patents

Posted in Deals, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents, Ron Hovsepian, Steve Ballmer at 1:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ron Hovsepian confusedHave another quick look at this old video where the Novell/Microsoft deal is formally announced.

Ron Hovsepian has stubbornly denied claims about patents. He said that the deal was never — at least in his own eyes — about patents, but if you skip to 31mins 31secs in this stream, then you will see Ron smiling and even noddling when Steve Ballmer, who sits right next to him, speaks about “patent salesmen” and “a patent resolution”. Watch the video and skip the dross if you want to see this for yourselves.

This is fairly concrete evidence that Ron’s subsequent comments on this issue were nothing but “damage control”.

Reforming USPTO: Patently Absurd – The Video

Posted in Hardware, Novell, Patents, Videos at 1:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The following video shows the faces and brings together the voices of those whom we describe as “patent trolls”. Novell was recently a victim of one (if not two).

Some days ago, an update was published about the patent dispute between Nokia and Qualcomm.

Nokia told a Dutch court on Friday it is not infringing patents of U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm because the cell phone maker uses chips of Texas Instruments, which already pays for Qualcomm patents.

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