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. British Media Slams Battistelli for Attempting to Cover Up 2 Years of Juridical Abuses With Help From the Administrative Council of the EPO

    A growing voice of concern about the integrity of the European Patent Organisation, whose management appears to be in cahoots (overseers/regulators included) so as to cover up its own serious abuses



  2. Boards of Appeal Still Under Attack From Team Battistelli While the EPO Proceeds to Granting Patents on Carlsberg BEER!

    The lunacy of the EPO with its patent maximalism will likely go unchecked (and uncorrected) if Battistelli gets his way and turns the EPO into another SIPO (Croatian in the human rights sense and Chinese in the quality sense)



  3. Memo “Deliberately Leaked to Cover up the UPC” With Its Many Associated Issues Amid Brexit

    Some eye-opening updates about the awkward move from Lucy Neville-Rolfe, who made promises (expression of intent) she can neither fulfill nor justify to the British public



  4. Links 8/12/2016: Korora GNU/Linux 25, SparkyLinux 4.5.1

    Links for the day



  5. Links 7/12/2016: ROSA Desktop Fresh R8 Plasma 5, Ubuntu Touch OTA-14

    Links for the day



  6. The UPC Scam Part VII: A Fine Mess in the Making, as Nothing Can be Made of It Amid/After Brexit

    The final part in this multi-part series about UPC, which cannot be implemented in the UK as long as Brexit is on the agenda



  7. The UPC Scam Part VI: The Real Story Which People Missed Due to Puff Pieces Seeded by Battistelli-Bribed Media is That UPC Technically Cannot Come to the UK

    Another long installment in a multi-part series about UPC at times of post-truth Battistelli-led EPO, which pays the media to repeat the lies and pretend that the UPC is inevitable so as to compel politicians to welcome it regardless of desirability and practicability



  8. EPO Spiraling Down the Drain as Experienced Examiners and Judges Are Seemingly Being Replaced by Interns

    Implementing yet more of his terrible ideas and so-called 'reforms', Battistelli seems to be racing to the bottom of everything (patent quality, staff experience, labour rights, working conditions, access to justice etc.)



  9. A Lot of News From the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Today, With Some Important Decisions on Patents Coming Soon

    A roundup of today's outcomes from the US Supreme Court, which intends to review and decide on important patent cases



  10. In Historic Blow to Design Patents, Apple Loses to Samsung at the Supreme Court

    A $399 million judgment against Android devices from Samsung, with potential implications for other Android OEMs, is rejected by SCOTUS



  11. Good Riddance. Ray Niro is Dead.

    The infamous father of patent trolling is dead, so we need to remember his real legacy rather than rewrite his history to appease his rich relatives (enriched by destroying real companies)



  12. EPO Suicides Greater in Number Than is Widely Reported, Unjust System a Contributor to These

    The horrible regime of Benoît Battistelli has an enormous human toll (fatalities), far greater than the Office is willing to publicly acknowledge



  13. Lobbying Disguised as 'Reporting' by the Patent Microcosm, Which Wants More Patents and More Lawsuits (Lawyers Needed)

    A rebuttal to some new articles about patents, especially those that strive to increase patent-related activities (usually for personal gain)



  14. USPTO Echo Chamber That Lacks Actual Software Professionals Deciding on Patentability of Software

    A look at yesterday's "Roundtable on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility," which lacked involvement from those actually affected by patents rather than those who sell, trade, and exploit these



  15. More Examples of Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Taxing Linux, Even After Microsoft 'Joined' (Paid) the Linux Foundation

    A quick look at the past week's news and clues about Microsoft's (and its broad army of patent trolls) strategy for taxing Linux, or imposing bundling at zero cost (to Microsoft)



  16. Heiko Maas, the SPD “Cash for Access” Affair, and Suspicions of Unwarranted Censorship at IP Kat (Again)

    Unsayable views or just a glitch? Readers of IP Kat express concern about a culture of censorship at IP Kat



  17. Endgame for Battistelli at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Battistelli turns bad into worse by spitting on the very notion of accepting justice (from the highest court in The Hague or even the UN in this case)



  18. Les Échos Chamber: Having Corrupted the Media (With EPO Money), Battistelli Now Uses It for More UPC Propaganda

    The lies about the Unitary Patent are now being broadcast (Battistelli given the platform) by the publication that Battistelli pays



  19. Rumour: EPO in Berlin the Next Casualty of Battistelli's 'Reform' (Organisational Suicide Plan)

    Months after we learned that a former staff representative in Berlin had been dismissed we come across an anonymous claim that Berlin's 'branch' of the EPO will be folded onto Munich's



  20. Caricature: the Maas App

    The failure of Maas to even bother with regulation of Battistelli (among others) earns him this cartoon



  21. Links 5/12/2016: Linux 4.9 RC 8, DeepMind as FOSS

    Links for the day



  22. Leaked: Battistelli Acknowledges Bunk 'Justice' in About 100 Cases at the Internal Appeals Committee of the EPO

    A look at Battistelli's response to the latest from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), exceptionally delivering two decisions at the very end of last month



  23. The UPC Scam Part V: Unitary Patent Regime a Fantasy of Patent Trolls

    "Good for trolls" is a good way to sum up the Unitary Patent, which would give litigators plenty of business (defendants and plaintiffs, plus commissions on high claims of damages) if it ever became a reality



  24. EPO at a Tipping Point: Battistelli Quarrelling With French Politicians, Administrative Council Urged to Act, Staff Unrest Peaking

    The latest messages about Battistelli's regime at the EPO, which faces growing opposition from more directions than ever before



  25. Quality of Patents at the EPO Dependent on the Appeal Boards When Battistelli Assesses Performance Using the Wrong 'Production' Yardstick

    A look at some recent articles regarding patent quality in the US and in Europe, in particular because of growing trouble at today's EPO, which marginalises the appeal boards



  26. Microsoft's Push for Software Patents Another Reminder That There is No 'New' Microsoft

    Microsoft's continued fascination with and participation in the effort to undermine Alice so as to make software patents, which the company uses to blackmail GNU/Linux vendors, widely acceptable and applicable again



  27. Links 5/12/2016: SparkyLinux 4.5 Released, Kondik Exits Cyanogen (Destroyed After Microsoft Deal)

    Links for the day



  28. Software Patents Continue Their Invalidation Process, But Patent Law Firms Try to Deny This in Order to Attract Misinformed (or Poorly-Informed) Clients

    A roundup of news about software patents and demonstration of the sheer bias in the media, which is mostly controlled or steered by the patent microcosm rather than actual inventors



  29. Patent Trolls of Microsoft and Ericsson Are Trying to Tax Everything, Especially Linux Devices

    An update on Intellectual Ventures and Unwired Planet, whose operations pose a growing problem for Free software and Linux-based products (e.g. Android)



  30. Asia's Patent Litigation Chaos Getting Worse, Reaching Countries in the West, and Sites Like IAM Actively Promote This

    The race to the bottom (of patent quality) in China, the growth of patent trolls in the region, and the ruinous litigation strategy which now spills over even to the US -- through the Eastern District of Texas -- and may inevitably come to Europe (especially if the UPC ever becomes a reality)


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