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02.11.08

The Real Story Behind the Novell/Microsoft Deal or Just a Conspiracy

Posted in Deals, Microsoft, Novell, Ron Hovsepian, Virtualisation, Xen at 9:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Novell

The following new article sheds some light on an important aspects of the Novell/Microsoft deal. It appeared earlier today in the Financial Times:

The two companies linked arms once in 2006 when Microsoft wrote Novell a check for USD 348m. The move was designed to show the company is not a monopolist, said Levitt.

Be aware that IDC is little more than a Microsoft-dependent firm [1, 2], so its words must be taken with a great degree of caution. Nevertheless, there is an element of truth therein.

A reader contacted us earlier and his message was enlightening.


Do you remember after the shady deal
http://mp3.com.com/Microsoft+makes+Linux+pact+with+Novell/2100-1016_3-6132119.html
a novell manager got hired by Microsoft ?
Looks suspicious, don’t you think ?
I don’t find the story anymore.
Do you have it ?


Thoughts come to mind about burial, withdrawal and manipulation of search engines or articles [1, 2] (information control), but can anyone remember the name of that manager? It predates the creation of a joint interoperability lab and it may suggest that an inside affair was involved in making the Microsoft/Novell deal happen. We already have some details about the story, which we extracted from the audiocast delivered by Dan Bricklin.

“Be aware of the fact that Microsoft had its own General Manager in charge (to an extent) of XenSource before using Citrix to virtually ‘steal’ it and put Xen in the dustbin.”We last mentioned this about a week, but we wish to find out more about Justin Steinman’s employment history. We also wish to find out which Novell employees were hired by Microsoft just before and after the deal. If Crispin Cowan worked on AppArmor while at Novell, then that’s an example which is only 3-weeks old, so it is probably of little or no relevance.

Be aware of the fact that Microsoft put its own General Manager in charge (to an extent) of XenSource before using Citrix to virtually 'steal' it and put Xen in the dustbin. Then you have the recent news about Microsoft’s plan to steal/hijack Yahoo in a hostile fashion. This is not far-fetched; it’s often strategic.

We have been looking for potential Novell/Microsoft 'insiders', so in case you know any, please speak out. Groklaw suggests that Justin Steinman might be one of the men to look into because he occupies a role in both companies and he is sometimes held responsible/accountable for a lot of this uncomfortable situation.

There might be more to this mess than a small group of people. Watch the sample of comments posted to the OpenSUSE mailing list. People are still unhappy and there is a serious issue of mistrust that Novell is trying quite hard to wash away.

Our reader, who shared quite a few insights, adds:


[I] Did not know this, [and it's] interesting and fits the systematic corruption, but what i remember went the other way round: The Novell manager got a job at Microsoft i thought as a reward for making the deal.


What the reader may or may not know about are Ron Hovsepian's bonuses which came shortly after he had signed the deal. We saw a similar pattern later on.

It’s a bit of a post mortem really, but Novell’s recent actions expose a lot. Some questions that still need to be addressed and answered are centered around employment, communication and possible exchange of money. Judging by the past, there is little or no reason for Novell and Microsoft to be friends, but what if an influenced (by the outside) leader was put in place? Look again at the XenSource and Yahoo examples.

We still have an article that is very damaging to Novell and we cannot quite publish it yet because of possible implications (it’s not safe). It will probably come out one day. We are close to finding some big answers.

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