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08.08.08

What Borland Can Teach Critics About Novell

Posted in Asia, Corel, Database, Microsoft, Mono, Security, Windows at 6:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Something that we had been looking for yesterday was finally found. It makes a pretty good description of a problem that will be discussed here briefly because it’s the nasty technique Microsoft used against Borland. It tries the same against Adobe. Possibly Novell, too.

Here is the article, which is just over a decade old.

Fierce competitors Microsoft Corp. and Borland International, Inc. have moved their battle from the networked desktop to the courtroom.

Borland last week filed suit against Microsoft, alleging that the Redmond, Wash., giant has been systematically recruiting Borland developers in an attempt to eliminate the company as a competitor. Microsoft and Borland are rivals in the budding Java and Internet tools markets.

[...]

The suit alleges that Microsoft’s Bill Gates himself sweetened the pot. Gross eventually accepted the offer, which included an additional half-million dollar bonus, last September.

A noticeably angry Borland CEO Del Yocam complained about the nerve of Microsoft. “How flagrant, driving limos up to the front of the company. That is what riles you,” Yocam complained. Yocam said his No. 1 goal is to get Microsoft to stop recruiting.

They seem to be trying the same thing with Adobe at the moment. India’s mainstream press reported on this issue a few weeks ago (previously covered here) and some months ago there were senior-level defections of this kind.

There are good reasons to suspect that the same thing happens at Novell [1, 2]. Martin Buckley and Dr. Crispin Cowan are better-known examples of this.

We recently wrote about staff intersections and warned about Ximian's influence on Novell. Novell is now recruiting .NET developers, so there’s increased convergence. IBM does not seem too happy about it and Bob Sutor is has become more vocal about it.

My one caveat with it is that it either requires .Net or Mono. I’ve removed the usual Mono applications from my Ubuntu Linux installation and am somewhat loathe to put anything requiring it on the machine. (This is a personal choice, as I’ve mentioned before.) Anyone doing a Java version or alternative implementation that is open source?

Having watched what happened to Corel and to Borland, it’s worth keeping an eye on the way Novell resembles Microsoft. It will probably become more noticeable over time.

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

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2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    August 8, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Gravatar

    It’s also a growing problem of what to do with the staff leaving Microsoft. They’ve shown themselves incapable of providing reliable advice in the field of information technology and because of the ubiqiuty of said tech, there’s not really any place they could be put without putting them at risk for recidivism.

  2. twitter said,

    August 24, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Gravatar

    An example, AppArmor is Dead.

    In late 2007 Novell laid off almost all the developers of AppArmor [4] with the aim of having the community do all the coding. Crispin Cowan (the founder and leader of the AppArmor project) was later hired by Microsoft, which probably killed the chances for ongoing community development [5]. Crispin has an MSDN blog, but with only one post so far (describing UAC) [6], hopefully he will start blogging more prolifically in future.
    The next step will be to make SE Linux the default and AppArmor the one that exists in a repository, and the step after that will be to remove AppArmor.

    This can only be good for M$. It weakens Novell and free software choice. All M$ partners are forced to weaken themselves like this.

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