09.27.07

Gemini version available ♊︎

Novell’s Linux Business Does NOT Climb Since its Deal with Microsoft (Updated)

Posted in Deception, Finance, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Novell at 2:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Don’t judge the health of a 25-year marriage based on the honeymoon

The press if going ga-ga after Justin Steinman’s claim that Novell is doing well despite and because of the deal with Microsoft. But Justin is a PR agent, and the reporters do not bother to perform a quick and independent sanity check.

I was going to write more about this tomorrow because I’m submitting my thesis today (didn’t have any free time), but while the press is blindly spreading such disinformation, I can’t help it anymore. To keep this short, watch what we said just days ago and follow the links therein. It’s clear that while Steinman says:

“The affect on sales year over year, for Novell’s first three quarters of our fiscal year, which ends Oct. 31 — our Linux business was up 243%”

Ron Hovsepian confusedThe reality is (from last week’s news): “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.

This comes from the article, “One year after Microsoft deal, Novell’s Linux sales growth slows,” which shows that Novell/Microsoft’s quota of SUSE coupons has almost been exceeded and the ‘gift’ (as in “Greek bearing gift”) runs out. We have covered many such articles and this one just happens to be the most recent. The articles are consistent, and it’s a damn shame that ComputerWorld decided to blindly project (or echo) Novell’s PR pitch.

Quick temporary boosts cannot be described as a climb, especially when they involve an ill reliance on a fierce rival, which has already backstabbed Novell.

There is some similar misinterpretation about the GPLv3 at the moment, with figures that come from Evans Data. Keep on eye only on Palamida, which shows that GPLv3 adoption keeps climbing.

Update: another source agrees. Hours after we had posted this item. the following was posted elsewhere.

Details Needed On Novell’s Allegedly Soaring Linux Sales

Slashdot is linking to a story supposedly showing that Novell’s Linux business has seen amazing growth in the nine months since they signed a controversial patent deal with Microsoft. “The affect on sales year over year, for Novell’s first three quarters of our fiscal year, which ends Oct. 31 — our Linux business was up 243 percent year over year,” said Novell exec Justin Steinman. But so far, at least, this growth doesn’t appear to be reflected in Novell’s financial results. If my math is right, Novell’s revenue for “Linux platform products” totaled $32 million in the first three quarters of 2006, while the total for the first three quarters of 2007 is $53 million.

Once again, Novell’s PR spins like a ballerina. I’ve left a comment in Slashdot.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

16 Comments

  1. Harsh Chaudhry said,

    September 28, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Gravatar

    Could you please provide a permalink to the slashdot story?

  2. NoDough said,

    September 28, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Gravatar

    It’s interesting that you use math to validate your posts. Let’s use some math on the figures you provide above as evidence of slowed Linux sales.

    We’ll start with some arbitrary number to use as Novell’s Linux sales, say 10,000 units. Then we’ll apply the year-over-year growth numbers you show above.

    10,000 + 659% = 75,900 an increase of 65,900 units
    75,900 + 114% = 162,426 an increase of 86,526 units
    162,426 + 95% = 316,731 an increase of 154,305 units

    I’m sorry, explain to me again how this is a slowdown in sales.

  3. Duncan said,

    September 28, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Gravatar

    @NoDough:

    You aren’t familiar with corporate financial reports, are you?

    It works like this. Typically, a corporation may do half of its business in a single quarter. As an easy example, for retailers at least here in the US, that’s normally the quarter before Christmas. It follows that for such retailers, the quarter after Christmas is often much smaller than the previous quarter, even if they are growing. Likewise, a tax services business will do probably 80 or 90 percent of its business in a single quarter, over 50 percent in a single month, the one taxes are due.

    The comparison is thus much more accurate if done against the same period last year, thus accounting for seasonal variations. Each quarter is compared against the same quarter the previous year, not against the previous quarter.

    Thus, your math above is based upon an invalid assumption. Each quarter is compared against the same quarter a year ago, and we have the first quarter up 659% against the year ago quarter, the second quarter up only 114%, the third up only 95%. The trend is clear, and if it contiinues, first quarter next year will be negative several hundred percent even if the base growth continues, because most of this year’s figure for that quarter was the one-time boost in sales from MS. (I’ve not bothered doing the specific math.)

    Duncan

  4. NoDough said,

    September 28, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Gravatar

    Duncan,

    We are having a good laugh at your expense on a forum I frequent. May I have your permission to post your explanation there? It’ll have them ROFLTAO.

  5. Mickey Mouse said,

    September 28, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    Gravatar

    >> The trend is clear, and if it contiinues, first quarter next year will be negative several hundred percent even if the base growth continues, because most of this year’s figure for that quarter was the one-time boost in sales from MS.

  6. Mickey Mouse said,

    September 28, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    Gravatar

    >> The trend is clear, and if it contiinues, first quarter next year will be negative several hundred percent even if the base growth continues, because most of this year’s figure for that quarter was the one-time boost in sales from MS.

    Negative several hundred percent growth, huh? That would be a severe problem for any business indeed.

    Actually, things are even worse for Novell than you have stated. At that rate, they’re going to have to pay other companies to take their Linux products. Yes, that’s right, due to the deal with Microsoft, they’ll have to pay $5000 an installation.

    Of course, that leads to the problem that demand for Novell’s Linux will skyrocket if they’re paying companies to take it, so let’s say they get 100,000 orders next quarter. That will be a loss of $500,000,000 in just one quarter!

    Gee, how wonderful is the liberty that we get with this site! When you can just write down anything you want and pretend it makes sense, life is really interesting! The FSF could learn a thing or two about freedom. How about adding a fifth freedom to the GPL that says your software can do anything you want it to do, so long as your desires are sincere.

    As always, they made a deal with Microsoft, so if it’s anti-Novell, it must be correct.

  7. Lawrence said,

    September 28, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    Gravatar

    @NoDough,

    I am an impartial bystander. Could you please explan why you think that Duncan’s logic is flawed. It makes sense to me, though I am certainly no expert. Thanks.

  8. Mickey Mouse said,

    September 28, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Gravatar

    Lawerence:

    If your salary increased by 95% last year, you would not say you took a pay cut because it tripled the previous year. If he wants to make a point, he should show factually that without the boost of the Microsoft coupons, Novell would have *less* Linux revenue than it has now.

    That would be a lot more enlightening than speculation about trends in growth rates being interpolated into the future. The average temperature climbs about 40 degrees here from January to July. Therefore by December the average temperature should surely be 125 degrees.

    In calculus terms, he’s confusing his derivatives.

  9. antikristian said,

    September 28, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Gravatar

    You do know you are reprinting MS bought FUD… I’m just waiting for the Con colivas and TCO punchlines…

  10. Mickey Mouse said,

    September 28, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Gravatar

    >> You do know you are reprinting MS bought FUD

    There is nothing on this site that is not anti-Linux FUD. Microsoft only wishes someone actually cared about this site.

  11. NoDough said,

    September 28, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    Gravatar

    Lawrence,

    In my opinion, Roy and Duncan are using numbers in a dishonest way to support their anti-Novell bias. My grandmother used to say, “Figures never lie. But liars often figure.”

    In Duncan’s post he attempts to debunk my debunking by pointing out that my calculations are linear while the percentage increases are non-linear. He has a point, but it does not validate Roy’s original hypothesis (which, by the way, is also linear.)

    Here’s the original hypothesis.
    Base facts
    Q1 2006 – Q1 2007 saw 659% growth.
    Q2 2006 – Q2 2007 saw 114% growth.
    Q3 2006 – Q3 2007 saw 95% growth.
    Extrapolation
    Decline in growth will continue at the current rate, therefore…
    Q4 2006 – Q4 2007 will see ~ 0% growth.
    Q1 2007 – A1 2008 will see ~ -100% growth.

    Looks very logical, doesn’t it? But it’s FUD.

    The first problem with these numbers is, as I pointed out in my first post, each percentage of growth number has a different base from which to begin. If you have one customer, 600% growth is relatively easy to achieve and not very impressive. (Wow! A whole six customer increase!) However, if you have 100,000 customers then 100% growth is quite impressive indeed. So, without the actual base figures, the percentages mean nothing.

    In order to do a true trend analysis, you would have to have the actual growth figures, not percentages.

    Mind you, I am no defender of the MS/Novell deal. Frankly, I couldn’t care less if Roy and Duncan want to criticize them for making the deal. However, when they start manipulating numbers to manufacture FUD just to make their point… well, then I have a problem with it.

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 28, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Gravatar

    @Duncan: you beat me to it with the explanation. I was just about to respond in the same way after I had read NoDough interpretation. Coupons don’t last forever, and it shows.

    @Harsh Chaudhry: the Slashdot story is here:
    http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/27/1239251

  13. Stu said,

    September 28, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Gravatar

    Let’s all boycott Novell (owns more patents than any other linux vendor), and when they lose enough money, they will have a patent firesale to try to stay afloat. The high bidder on all those patents will of course be, Microsoft. Absolutely brilliant.

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 28, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    Gravatar

    Stu, don’t forget their ownership of “UNIX” and never underestimate the scale of acquisitions Microsoft can get away with. Your argument still relies on this far-fetched scenario.

  15. Open Honesty said,

    April 24, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Gravatar

    The one thing you have to remember is that open source leads to new things and concepts. Just ask Astrum Inc. http://www.astruminc.com what astrum did was to develop the first SUSE based Solution Stack using Novell technology. What they produced and what the independent testing reported was a beast of an appliance and Astrum published the reports on it’s website was the first ever Identity based encryption system that can target users who have access to critical data or compliant data and harden policies that are compliance mandated and lock them down in the appliance and integrate a eDirectory based HSM encryption card and develop a key management system that never exposes any part of the key. Hence this makes it the only solution to meet the up coming FIPS 3 compliance changes and make this appliance very unique in the market space.
    The problem:
    The concept was presented to Novell under NDA two years ago in 2006 and promises where made protection agreements signed and software groups worked with to ensure no competitive issues may arise. They did not! So Astrum shared with Novell executives the plan that at the end of the day would map 8 of the PCI requirements to the appliance and all Novell products could sit on top. What happened is Astrum became the first ever to develop and Novell based solution stack using SUSE enterprise in a appliance only to have it stolen from them!.. Hence the following links.
    http://sev.prnewswire.com/computer-electronics/20080416/AQW05816042008-1.html
    http://www.novell.com/linux2/appliance/
    Hence, who would expose there concept to a company who will steal it if it has enough market impact and that has ability to change a business direction for a major software company like Astrum did for Novell. Prior to 07 Novell couldn’t spell compliance much less understand an appliance?
    Develop for Novell on SUSE or jeOS, NO WAY!!!

  16. mass-carpone said,

    April 25, 2008 at 1:48 am

    Gravatar

    Sources?

    As I read it you only repeat your theoretical argument as to why Novell’s Linux businnes SHOULDN’T have grown.

    Where is anything new, where are sources that support you claim?

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 25/9/2021: GNU/Linux Recognition in Mainstream Media and Wine-Staging 6.18

    Links for the day



  2. Reminder: GNU Turns 38 This Monday Around Midday (When GNU's Founder Gives Talk in Poland)

    With media and Torvalds speaking again about anniversaries (this has gone on for the past week because Torvalds wrote about it yet again), it is important to recall the announcement that got the ball rolling and basically started it all (the GNU/Linux operating system) because it was in 1983, not 1991. We reproduce in full the announcement.



  3. Links 25/9/2021: Wine 6.18 and Chromium Complier Woes

    Links for the day



  4. [Meme] When the EPO Watches Everything ('Dissidents', Media, Etc.) and Isn't Being Watched by Anybody

    The EPO is taking Europe for a wild ride; Everything is a vehicle for the very same agenda, with nobody left to hold it accountable or ask any tough questions… (even the media is in the EPO’s back pocket or back seat)



  5. Virtual Oversight

    “eMeetings” that simulate an impression of oversight are like ‘ViCo’ to simulate access to justice; will that ever change and will oversight be restored at EPOnia, Europe’s second-largest institution?



  6. The Corporate Coup Against the Soul of the Free Software Community Is Not Over

    The erosion of community role in the development of GNU/Linux is a growing problem; part of the problem is that large corporations target technical and philosophical (perceived) leaders in coordinated smear campaigns, led by media they own



  7. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, September 24, 2021



  8. Links 24/9/2021: GNU Coreutils 9.0, BattlEye GNU/Linux Support

    Links for the day



  9. [Meme] 'Linux' Foundation is Greenwashing Microsoft Again, Misusing the Linux Brand Like Nobody's Business

    Microsoft has weaponised the Linux brand to dub a toxic company like itself (helping notoriously polluting companies and generating lots of waste, both directly and through planned obsolescence, inefficient software, DRM, etc.) as "green"



  10. Richard Stallman to Speak (in Person) in Poland, Dedicate the Talk to Medical Professionals

    Days after his talk in Ukraine Richard Stallman plans to do the same in Poland (just announced)



  11. Links 24/9/2021: 30 Years of Europe’s First Root Name Server, Repairability of Laptops Discussed

    Links for the day



  12. ZDNet Has Failed

    ZDNet is on the decline and its demise appears to have greatly accelerated in recent months; we take a quick look at this month's coverage and explain the conflict of interest (it's PR, not news, and it's far too shallow/blatant to simply overlook)



  13. [Meme] Some People Are Just Above the Law

    A lot of people are still flabbergasted or at least baffled/miffed to discover that some people are in effect above the law; not even Europol and Interpol can apprehend and hold them accountable; that needs to change. Had Benoît Battistelli worked for France Télécom S.A. (not the EPO), would he be arrested? What about António Campinos and his drunk son?



  14. NPR and PBS, Both Funded by Bill Gates, Try to Save Him

    Bill Gates continues to corrupt the media and corrupt social control media (such as Twitter) using his money



  15. The EPO Must Forsake Its Diplomatic Immunity and Quit Pretending It's About Patent Law (or Any Law)

    There's no sign of the EPO actually trying to obey the law and correct the mistakes of the past; to make matters worse, the existing administration adds yet more corruption to an already-massive pile while dismissing any form of oversight



  16. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 23, 2021



  17. Links 24/9/2021: Ubuntu 21.10 Beta, Istio 1.11.3, and More Milestones for Steam Deck

    Links for the day



  18. [Meme] President Campinos Addresses the Legacy of Battistelli's “Strike Regulations”

    A sequence of four EPO memes about those infamous and unlawful “strike regulations” that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have exploited to abuse thousands of workers



  19. [Meme] Bill Gates Keeps Digging Himself Deeper in the Grave Each Time He Speaks

    These sorts of ‘interviews’ with Gates’ own propaganda mills (he also pays Twitter now) aren’t going to improve his image; people aren’t infinitely gullible (Source)



  20. Linux Foundation and Other 'Diploma Mills' Say There's Demand for Their Products in Their New 'Research' (Marketing)

    The so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (LF), together with edX, are basically marketing their services and products, but this is disguised as 'research' (a false narrative widely parroted by shallow and paid-for media partners of theirs), piggybacking brands like “Linux” and buzzwords like “Open Source” (even when they promote proprietary things, e.g. memorisation of proprietary GUIs)



  21. [Meme] The EPO's Carte Blanche and 'Diplomatic Immunity' Card

    EPO staff is being taken for another ride by António Campinos and his cohorts, whose popularity among staff has likely gone down to sub-zero levels already (even faster than Benoît Battistelli)



  22. As Expected, Minimal Pseudo Compliance From EPO Management, Adding Insult to Injury

    SUEPO Central, the core of the staff union of EPO staff (almost 7,000 workers at the EPO, most of whom are SUEPO members), has strong words about the EPO's attitude and stance, which is perhaps unsurprising but still extremely disappointing



  23. Links 23/9/2021: PostgreSQL 14 RC 1 and MidnightBSD 2.1

    Links for the day



  24. Links 23/9/2021: More UPC PR Stunts and IBM (Poettering) TPM for Linux

    Links for the day



  25. The EPO is on the Run (Escaping Negative Press Coverage)

    Aside from tens of millions of euros granted to media and academia (to keep them complicit or silent about EPO corruption, which also implicates the EU) there’s also SLAPP and threats against staff representatives; but Members of the European Parliament are becoming interested in what’s really going on in Europe’s second-largest institution, so this utter waste of EPO money (manipulating the press and gaming universities’ research) might in itself become a scandal sooner or later



  26. [Meme] Lowering the Standards...

    It's time for another round of fluff at the EPO, this time without even travelling (PR-over-'ViCo')



  27. Gemini HTTP/HTML/Web Proxies and Self-Hosting Your Own Proxy

    Gemini protocol (gemini://) and the fast-growing Geminispace (expected to exceed 2,000 known capsules by year’s end, in effect quadrupling in a single year!) are possible to access using Web browsers, at least for those who do not have Gemini clients/browsers just yet; today we examine and give an outline of the options



  28. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, September 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, September 22, 2021



  29. Links 23/9/2021: GNU Parallel 20210922, Moroccan Propaganda From EPO

    Links for the day



  30. Links 22/9/2021: Google 'Upstream First' in Linux and New Maui Report

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts