EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.24.08

How Novell Fell in Love With Its Hitman

Posted in America, Antitrust, Bill Gates, Corel, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites at 12:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“There are people who don’t like capitalism, and people who don’t like PCs. But there’s no-one who likes the PC who doesn’t like Microsoft.”

Bill Gates

There are corny old stories about people falling in love with their foes or becoming fascinated with stalkers (e.g. James Bond and “the spy who loved me”). In some cases, people develop an obsession for those whom they hate or those hate them. Novell seems to validate some of these bizarre phenomena. Novell, which has a history of being abused and betrayed repeatedly by Microsoft, is quickly getting close to Microsoft. How close? Far more than most observers even care to realise.

“Microsoft uses Novell as a bridge.”BrainShare 2008 may be over by now, but some of the reports stand out because they demonstrate the relationship Microsoft tries to establish not only with Novell, but also with other FOSS and/or Linux companies, by association. Microsoft uses Novell as a bridge. Would you expect Microsoft to stay away from BrainShare (as in, not stick its finger in that pie)? That would be wishful thinking.

Perhaps the biggest shock walking into the exhibitors room at Novell Inc.’s annual conference last week in Salt Lake City was the very prominent booth of Microsoft, emblazoned with the slogan “Interoperability.”

By “Interoperability” they actually mean "Taxoperability". The intent here is to replace opens standards with a monster that enables Microsoft to charge for GNU/Linux, per copy.

In an interview, Ron Hovsepian was asked about the relationship with Microsoft. Watch his response.

At Novell Inc.’s BrainShare 2008 user and partner conference here earlier this week, CEO Ron Hovsepian spoke with Computerworld about a range of issues, including a skills realignment in his company that resulted in 1,000 of his 4,000 employees being replaced in the past year.

[...]

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 5 is “meets expectations,” how would you rate your satisfaction with your interoperability agreement with Microsoft? To date, I would put it at an 8 or a 9. The logic would be, it’s worked out for our customers, it’s worked out technically. The interoperability differentiation has resonated incredibly in the market. And it’s been the proper thing for the company financially as well.

It comes just a couple of days after this antitrust lawsuit made headlines. Visual reminder below.

Jim Allchin on Novell

Another set of fines could — if not should — be expected. Here are some more gory details.

Wacko conspiracy and sour grapes? Not really, as there’s a smoking gun [PDF] in this case, a 1994 email from Bill Gates that outlines just such a plan to withhold the technical information from competitors, noting that their products were superior to Microsoft’s and that, well, cheating was the only way that Microsoft could compete.

Slated.org has the E-mails archived as plain text. The Webmaster brought us an excerpt from it:

Its time for a decision on iShellBrowser

[...]

I have decided that we should not publish these extensions. We should
wait until we have a way to do a high level of integration that will
give Office a real advantage.

[...]

We can’t compete with Lotus and Wordperfect/Novell without this. Our
goal is to have Office’96 sell better because of the shell integration work

Now that Novell and Microsoft are close, one has to wonder about chances of mercy, prospects of pardon. Either way, it would be unfortunate to see Microsoft handing in another financial lifeline to Novell in the form of a fine, assuming it loses the case. It is in Microsoft’s interest to keep Novell going at the expense of other Linux vendors, whose products are not Microsoft cash cows, owing to illegitimacy of software patents and bogus claims. It’s a win-win situation for Microsoft and Novell. They could have money exchanged among themselves, shared for common objectives. without prudent scrutiny.

By the time that e-mail was written in late 1994, WordPerfect was already in trouble. It’s clear, though, that Microsoft had no problem in using its operating system monopoly to kick WordPerfect while it was down. Whether this case goes all the way through trial or is settled out of court, I have a feeling that Microsoft will end up paying for its role in WordPerfect’s downfall.

Matt Asay, bearing OOXML in mind, wrote about the irony in this situation.

“Pearly Gates and Em-Ballmer
One promises you heaven and the other prepares you for the grave. “

Ray Noorda (Novell’s CEO at the time)

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  2. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  3. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  4. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  5. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  6. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  7. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  8. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  10. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  11. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  12. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  13. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  14. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  15. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  16. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words



  17. Links 15/7/2014: New Plasma, Google Announces Project Zero

    Links for the day



  18. Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

    Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux



  19. White House Backs Away From Appointing Patents Zealot to Top USPTO Position

    Philip Johnson is no longer poised to become the Director of the USPTO, which is basically an establishment that provides protectionism to primarily US-based corporations



  20. Professor James Bessen Presents the Case Against Software Patents After Important SCOTUS Ruling

    The debate about software patents in the Unites States continues, with academia on one side and greedy patent lawyers on the other



  21. Software Patents Demising in the US as Microsoft Patent Attacks on Android/Linux Suffer a Huge Setback

    M-Cam's assessment of Microsoft's bundle of extortion (using software patents) shows toothlessness, irrespective of the SCOTUS decision to effectively annul "abstract" software patents



  22. Links 13/7/2014: KDE Activity Surge

    Links for the day



  23. Pro-Microsoft Spin in Microsoft-Funded News Networks

    The rogue media (misinformation) campaign of Microsoft benefits from networks which have been paid by Microsoft over the years



  24. Cronyism at Play: European Hostility Towards Free/Libre Software Despite Espionage and Moles

    Europe continues to be held hostage with back doors, lock-in, and massive payments to foreign powers, despite evidence that these powers are destructive and hostile



  25. Wirelessly-Controlled Contraceptives and Other Villainous Bill Gates Initiatives

    Remote controls for people's reproductive systems are now in the making and Bill Gates is a prominent investor in the technology



  26. Links 12/7/2014: CrossOver, New Wine

    Links for the day



  27. Links 10/7/2014: LXLE 14.04 in Headlines, Plasma 5

    Links for the day



  28. OpenDocument Format (ODF) Still Alive and Kicking

    Caligra, WebODF and various influential nations' departure from Microsoft Office will help famous projects such as OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice make ODF the only international standard for editable documents exchange



  29. The Effect of Corporate Media Bias: FOSS Demonisation and Microsoft Openwashing

    A set of very recent examples where the corporate press produces FOSS-hostile articles (or pro-Microsoft articles) by citing biased sources of convenience



  30. The NSA's Top (and First) PRISM Partner, Microsoft, Lies to Governments and Businesses as Office Gets Banned in China

    Developments in China reveal that security and privacy threats posed by reliance on Microsoft are so great that a ban becomes inevitable and continues to expand (Microsoft put on more and more block lists and blacklists)


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts