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Quickie: More on the Novell Layoffs Rumour

Posted in Novell at 8:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Matt Asay seems to have gotten hold of more details about a rumour that we mentioned just days ago. According to him:

Word on the street is that Novell will be laying off 50-60% of its Workgroup division this month, likely toward the middle. This is not surprising given that division’s lackluster results, but the rumor mill suggests that Workgroup isn’t the only business unit that will be affected.

Layoffs are a terrible thing and nothing we take pleasure in. It this hurt the selfish management and the investors, however, then the only advice to give now it to

Sell Novell

Microsoft/Novell/Linspire Deals: Shoot First, Then Try to Make Peace (or Ask Questions)

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, Xandros at 6:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Further to yesterday item about the OSC and OIN, it is now being claimed that Microsoft “regrets” its acts of so-called patent terrorism‘.

Microsoft is regretting the way it handled the patent protection deal with Novell and other Linux vendors, according to open-source advocates.

“It’s akin to a situation someone assassinates a father and then gives money to to the victim’s child, purely out of guilt. “It this is true and Microsoft expressed “regrets”, then it’s truly a PR stunt. Novell did this too when it tries to extinguish opposition to its patent deal. It’s akin to a situation someone assassinates a father and then gives money to to the victim’s child, purely out of guilt. We have all seen this before, not just in technology.

Take for example another company that is notorious for monopoly abuse. Thy name is Intel. It used a great deal of FUD, sabotage, “dumping” techniques, and may have resorted to imposing production delays in its campaign to sabotage OLPC, which is a not-for-profit (i.e. charitable) project. Why? Because it used AMD chips and Linux. Intel’s CEO does not encourage the use of Linux because he fears the wrath of Microsoft, according to the press.

One year goes by and Intel then says that it will actually help OLPC. Reason? It is probably because OLPC is no longer a threat. Intel has caused a lot of harm to it. By that stage, mass production cannot not be reached to sustain the low costs ($100 or less). Returning to the example of Microsoft, having already scared some CIOs with patent claims, the company wants to have it both ways and also make peace with those whom it deliberately hurt. Will this ever work out for Microsoft like it did (sadly enough) or Intel, which now sees itself as a ‘partner’ in OLPC and even considers stealing the role of AMD chips in the project? Hopefully not.

In case you are not aware of Intel’s monopoly abuse, here are some articles from the past year:

Intel is a huge problem in its own right, but that goes beyond the scope of this Web site.

As another example, consider the story of how Kevin Carmony’s premature and irresponsible actions drove away the Linspire community which later created KlikIt Linux.

I was as upset about this deal as many others were. I even had a phone call with Kevin Carmony regarding the matter.

Well, at one point on the forums, Kevin Carmony told some upset members that if they did not like the way things were, they can start their own distro and see how it goes. So, former Freespire Leadership Board member Chris Medico assembled a team, of which I was honored to be asked to be a part of, which he lovingly calls Freedom Force. Within weeks, this new project, based on Kubuntu, had an Alpha. The project is called KlikIt Linux.

We decided community is as important, if not more important, than technology.

Anyway, within a short time our community grew to 50, then 100, then more. It has not grown by us marketing. It has been organic word of mouth in Microsoft Software forums, Xandros Foums, Linspire, PCLOS, Mint, Kubuntu, etc. The word keeps spreading, people like it, and they like the community.

Destroying something and then trying to calm down the storm is a bad strategy. But that’s just what Novell, Linspire, and Xandros have done. Don’t forget that they by all means know they have sinned. but they were paid. They just want to buy back your affinity using the money they have earned from the betrayal.

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part III: Novell in the Press

Posted in GNU/Linux, Identity Management, Interview, Marketing, NetWare, Novell, SLES/SLED, Virtualisation, Windows at 4:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Timely Mentions

The Inquirer takes a look at what it considers to be top firms in Utah and Novell is one of them.

2. Novell. Novell went into the 1990s with the lion’s share of the fledgling network operating system business but managed to louse up the franchise with a series of wrong moves including the Digital Research and WordPerfect acquisitions. Windows NT munched through NetWare and the company’s latest plan is based on Suse Linux and security and management tools. No longer based in Utah, Novell is now headquartered in Massachussetts. The company was named as a misspellling of the French word for “new”, according to popular lore.

John Dragoon, who is the main marketing man at Novell, gets a mention elsewhere and here is what he has to say.

Marketing Magnified: John, how is Novell marketing organized?

I believe form follows function and have structured marketing accordingly. Accountability is measured in three big buckets: awareness/brand, generating demand, and sales enablement. Our marketing organization structure reflects the skills necessary to execute against those three buckets. I’ve been at Novell for nearly four years and have put our current structure in place over that time. In June I tweaked our organization a bit to beef up our sales enablement capability. I have five direct reports who head teams organized by branding and communications, marketing strategy and planning, marketi


Subscription-only tutorials have been posted to the Web and here is one of them. Only hours ago, a promotional GroupWise video was brought to YouTube also.

Novell’s Roots and Partners

The legacy of Novell has it mentioned in a lot of places. One of the companies that have a dependency/relationship is IronKey.

IronKey Inc., a provider of secure portable computing products and Internet security services, announced today that the IronKey’s family of Intelligent Secure Flash Drives is now certified as fully compatible with Novell ZENworks USB/Wireless Security, part of the Novell ZENworks Endpoint Security Management set of solutions for securing remote devices. Enterprises can now use the incredible security and performance of the IronKey to carry and protect corporate data and provide a safe and secure online experience for enterprise users, no matter where they are.

E.ON UK has plans to work with Novell.

E.ON UK, a power and gas supplier to 4.9 million UK homes, has cut the time it takes to set up new users on its network from seven weeks to five days. This comes as the E.ON group gears up for a major expansion programme in Europe.

The company – which is expanding in the UK, Russia, Spain, Portugal and Turkey – plans to integrate its UK identity management system from Siemens with its European Novell identity management system by the end of the year. This will allow it to control access to buildings and IT systems for more than 70,000 employees outside the UK.

Tuxedo Softwar ties with Novell return to light.

It was invented inside Bell Labs in 1983 to solve AT&T’s multi-system transaction processing problems. It was then spun out as part of Unix Systems Labs. USL was purchased by Novell in 1993 and BEA bought Tuxedo from Novell in 1995.

Concurrent once again shows its commitment to Novell. This isn’t the first such evidence.

NightStar Debugging and Analysis Tools Now Available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and openSUSE Linux from Novell

3Com’s Linux/Open Source approach bring back stories about its relation to Novell.

By 1987, 3Com was competing with Novell in providing “workgroup computing” at a time when the word “Novell” was synonymous with “network”. A close relationship with Microsoft for a NetWare-competitor called LAN Manager to be run on OS/2 was undermined by the spectacular failure of

Entrigue sidles closer to Novell.

Entrigue Systems today announced it is now a Novell Ready Technology Partner in Novell’s PartnerNet program and Entrigue supports its Script Start application on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell.

Syncsort and Novell have a mention here.

Novell and Syncsort Integration

Promo-Soft, with offices in Barcelona, Spain is a Novell-centric solution provider. “As a strong Novell partner, we are committed to offering only solutions that will work seamlessly with Novell environments. That is why we are very happy to now offer Syncsort”s Backup Express,” stated Victor Galino, CEO for Promo-Soft.

Novell’s Products and Milestones

Novell has the following message to carry using a press release.

Furthering its commitment to delivering a single, real-time view of security and compliance activities across the enterprise, Novell today announced it has released a new service pack to improve its Sentinel 6 security information and event management (SIEM) product. Sentinel from Novell helps make sense out of collected event data, identifies security or compliance issues, and tracks remediation activities, streamlining previously error-prone processes and building a more rigorous and secure management program.

More details about the Sentinel enhancements can be found here.

Sentinel 6 from Novell gathers and correlates security and non-security information from across an organisation’s networked infrastructure…

Looking at Novell’s own turf, it has virtualisation to harp about.

If you’re looking for more information on virtualization, we aren’t letting you down. Novell just launched “Virtualization from Novell. Built to Innovate.” As the site says, “Only Novell gives you the ability to virtualize Linux, Windows and NetWare on one common Linux platform with complete support for all three operating systems.”

And like you’d expect from any self-respecting microsite, it has white papers, customer case studies and video interviews with technical gurus. Check it out.

Novell also has a supposedly-new page on creating the “ultimate Linux desktop” based on its products.

In this document I am presenting a solution based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP1 with VMware virtualization. The outcome is a multi-boot (Linux/Windows) environment which allows user to load both systems natively and virtualized as well providing ultimate flexibility. Because the solution uses real hard drive partitions (not file images) the performance is very attractive.

There won’t be a digest next week because I’ll be away for 5-6 days.

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: The Better Side of Novell

Posted in Asia, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Novell, Servers, SLES/SLED at 4:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


On the development front, it is reassuring to know that Novell carries on its work on the open source ATI/AMD driver.

The key Novell developers include Matthias Hopf, Luc Verhaegen, and Egbert Eich. Stefan Dirsch, who maintains the fglrx driver packaging scripts for SuSE, also has contributed to the xf86-video-radeonhd driver.


In the legal front, Novell keeps pressuring SCO out of business.

Novell wants the money SCO owes it, and sooner rather than later. As Groklaw succinctly summarized it: “If the New York Daily News was coming up with a headline for this filing, it’d probably be something like this: Novell to SCO: Drop Dead. First Pay Up.”

Here is an article that predates this.

Novell spokesman Bruce Lowry said he hopes the bankruptcy court judge won’t attempt to impede the arbitration proceeding from going forward as planned.

Novell has insisted that it is not the next SCO and it has actually been sitting hard on SCO for quite some time.

Business in the Door

Novell has some wins to brag about. The first one comes from Mexico.

Providing services to more than 12 million people and 830,000 employers, INFONAVIT has deployed SUSE Linux Enterprise as the basis for its new payment collection system.

From Pakistan comes this, about deployments in banks.

KARACHI: The BankIslami has joined the league of elite brands of the world in deploying Novell’s SUSE Linux enterprise server and SUSE Linux Enterprise desktop for its IT requirements.

Here is the experience of one retailer whose story is told to IT Pro.

Online gadget specialist I Want One of Those (IWOOT) has chosen to deploy SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell as part of its ongoing open source strategy.

The deployment is part of the online gadget retailer’s strategy to reduce IT costs by migrating its infrastructure to open source-based technology components, having moved its website and other front-end IT systems to Red Hat last year.


Novell is apparently going to staff up its Ireland operations. It seems like good news and it aligns with Google’s expansions in Ireland.

Enterprise software company Novell is in the process of expanding its Dublin operations, growing employment at the Sandyford facility from around 100 at the start of this year to approximately 200 by the end of the year, siliconrepublic.com has learned.

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: OpenSUSE 10.3

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE at 4:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Here is the first part among a short series. These digests have become too large to fit a single post sensibly.

OpenSUSE 10.3 Reviews

OpenSUSE 10.3 is officially out of the bag and a series of quick reviews have emerged. Here isthe review from ReviewLinux.Com:

openSUSE 10.3 was released today October 4, 2007 and I am going to take a First Look at this Linux OS. It’s GNOME desktop is what I installed off the DVD and I have a few pictures plus a short flash video of the desktop.

Here is another review.

While OpenSUSE 10.3 is a robust and stable distro, I feel that Novell is throwing in “the bleeding edge” as a test platform for SLED. Instead of pushing new software, the team should focus on improving YaST which indeed has new gnome-like icons but inside it’s the same stiff control center. On the other hand, I am really impressed with the hardware compatibility, the only peripheral that didn’t work out of the box is the webcam. I’m also happy to see that the fonts have improved since the last release. It’s defenately the best looking linux distribution out there. To sum it up, OpenSUSE 10.3 is just like a luxurious car: beautiful and powerful but uses lots of gas.

OpenSUSE Screenshots

Several sites have published not a review, but a collection of screenshots that had been grabbed from the installation of the final release of OpenSUSE 10.3. Here is one gallery and here is another.

OpenSUSE 10.3 Pre-release

Earlier in the past week, a look was taken at 3-D effects in the new OpenSUSE.

In openSUSE 10.3 with the package for desktop effects, Compiz, is now a version 0.5.6 and the new things are many. Compiz comes from the start and contains some useful effects. To get the real “Hollywood” effects you can download Compiz Fusion.

There was also another sneak peek at various improvements that the new version incorporates.

With this last article the Sneak Peeks series comes to an end for this release. But don’t worry: it’s tightly packed with an extra share of information on the latest openSUSE 10.3 goodies! Today we’re going through all those things that either didn’t get the chance to have their own article, or are extra convenient small improvements that haven’t been properly covered.

Here is a review of an earlier version of the 64-bit edition.

Finally, I got the time to write about my experience with Suse Linux 10.3 in the past one week of usage.

Finally, here is the press release about the release:

Community distribution includes everything a user needs to get started with Linux, including enhanced user interface, installation tools and multimedia support

This is probably the most formal announcement, among very many.

Corel Serves Microsoft, But Does it Even Better

Posted in Corel, Formats, Interoperability, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard, SUN at 12:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


When it comes to OOXML, Corel is a particularly interesting story. Quite a few years ago, when Corel became a big threat to Microsoft and a close friend of Linux, Microsoft essentially hijacked and subverted the company’s natural route [1, 2]. Antitrust memos reveal a lot more information [1, 2] which Microsoft does not want you to have. Fortunately, copies had been grabbed before Microsoft settled the trial in Iowa (Comes vs. Microsoft).

Nowadays, Corel remains somewhat of an obedient Microsoft ‘sockpuppet’. It is blindly helping perpetuate the monopoly’s impact [1, 2]. Things are not so grim however.

In the very latest press release, Corel heralds what was already expected.

Corel Provides Support For ODF and OOXML In New Beta of WordPerfect® Office”

Free Beta Allows Customers to Open, View and Edit Open Document Format, Microsoft Office 2007 Files

Corel Corporation a leading developer of graphics, productivity and digital media software, today announced a new beta version of Corel® WordPerfect® Office that supports both the Open Document Format (ODF) and Microsoft® Office Open XML (OOXML), the default file format for Microsoft® Office 2007.

“If anything, the above is further proof that ODF and OOXML can coexist in the same application…”As usual, Andy plays the role of the peacemaker. If anything, the above is further proof that ODF and OOXML can coexist in the same application, but Microsoft refuses to support ODF in Microsoft Office, despite the fact that it is the international standard. Microsoft does this purely due to financial interests, so the needs of the user/customer are irrelevant (or secondary at best). Why can Corel do it but Microsoft cannot? Is it a budget issue, just like the one we sarcastically mentioned hours ago? This is not the first time that Corel gives Microsoft a lesson.

As many as 8 of the top 10 benefits of Microsoft Office 2007 provide capabilities that have already been addressed by Corel WordPerfect Office X3. Some “new” features of Microsoft Office 2007 have even been part of Corel WordPerfect Office for close to a decade!

Meanwhile, Sun has released a revised version of its ODF plugin for Microsoft Office. No funny business this time, OK?

The newest version of our ODF Plugin for Microsoft Office is available, you can find it here.

We have fixed the installation problem that occurred on some systems, and have made many improvements to the filters.

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