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06.21.08

Novell ‘Pulls a Microsoft’ (Which Brings Faux History Back)

Posted in Deception, Finance, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A ruthless, merciless Novell

The cultural overlap between Novell’s and Microsoft’s management was mentioned here before. It’s not entirely clear, however, if Novell will ever go as far as Microsoft has. Sometimes you can find Novell inheriting and adopting similar strategies though.

One of the patterns worth noting is deceiving investors. This might not be as severe as Enron’s story, but you can never find out the truth in its entirety until the bitter end (SCO too delivered quite a whopper out of nowhere at the time).

It’s important to re-highlight the reasonable observation that, despite what Novell tells you, things are not going too well. A vice president quit the company some days ago. There was also talk about restructuring and the impact was felt:

Egbert this morning repeated her Hold rating on the [NOVL] stock, but trimmed her price target to $7.50 from $8.

NOVL today is down 12 cents, or 1.8%, to $6.24.

We don’t typically take Egbert seriously, but her pessimism in this case is rather telling. Having investors fooled is a vicious exercise that leads to losses and financial injuries, so it’s sad to see Novell stooping this low. Yes, Novell actually admits doing this (albeit only in private).

And now come this: Novell gets quite the nerve when infiltrating its competitor’s summit, and by no means with friendly intent.

Me: We saw the cheeky little banner that Novell managed to hang outside the conference…

[Red Hat's] Whitehurst: You like that…you should have seen the big floor thing they had. They had a big sticker on the floor but it turns out…not sure who had rights to that area but it wasn’t supposed to be there so it’s gone.

Red Hat PR minder: Cheeky, that’s a very nice way to put it…very diplomatic.

This is not the first time that I’ve seen this kind of behaviour. Back in the late 1990s when the Outlook vs Notes war was raging, Microsoft decided to hold its Outlook conference in Boston, which also happened to be the stopping ground of Lotus, maker of Notes. Lotus hired a fleet of vans embossed with its logo to drive round and around the Microsoft exhibition to show the Redmond boys it wasn’t going to take such provocation lying down. Juvenile but amusing.

The headline used to say “dirty tricks”, but the author later changed it to “cheeky tricks”. Maybe he was trying to appear more polite. Or maybe an editor stepped in to intervene. As you can see above (watch the photo), Novell is once again following Microsoft’s path of dirty tricks. It’s the intoxication of arrogance. Maybe.

These footsteps to the Kingdom of Malice have not died out just yet. Some readers might already know and remember this, but for those who do not, be aware that when PlayStation3 was launched (2006), Microsoft ran a coordinated campaign to sabotage Sony’s parties around the world. It was despicable. Some PlayStation fans actually cried because of this and the vicious strategy definitely came from the top.

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