08.23.08

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Novell Befriends the School’s Bully, Fights GNU/Linux with MS-IP/Ballnux

Posted in Asia, Formats, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Interoperability, Microsoft, NetWare, Novell, Patents, Ron Hovsepian, Servers at 10:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

An Unsuccessful Anti-Red Hat Deal

In previous coverage of the latest development [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13], we stressed that Novell is getting closer to Microsoft and more hostile towards other GNU/Linux vendors.

Sean Michael Kerner summarised the news thusly: “The deal will provide a margin of profitability for Microsoft and help Novell in its fight with Red Hat.

“Novell has been living in Red Hat’s shadow for a long time.”Novell has been living in Red Hat’s shadow for a long time. Now it finds shelter in Microsoft’s belly pouch where it’s whispering “attack Red Hat”. Novell has, essentially, sidled with a bully to scare all those other kids in the playground.

Despite a lot of this, Novell keeps losing prospective customers to Red Hat based on merit and reputation alone. Here is a new example, as told by a $3-billion-dollar company.

When Sabre began to move from proprietary systems, the company evaluated other open source operating systems including Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise but concluded that Novell was not as “mature” or respected as it is today and decided Red Hat was a more “proven” option, he said.

It’s clear that Novell suffered from Red Hat jealously. It lived in a state of uncertainty. It became accustomed to milking the Netware cash cow, which got depleted over time, leading to trouble. Back in 2005, when Red Hat was doing pretty well, Ron Hovsepian said that open source was slowing. It was less than a year later that Hovsepian inherited the helm and Novell strategised on something different.

It’s About Software Patents

Watch the following good post from Don Marti.

Well, some people don’t listen to Julie Bort’s advice. At Microsoft Subnet, she wrote, “At this point in the game, Microsoft should really come clean with a statement that rescinds its Linux/patent/suing threat altogether.”

Good idea, but no such luck. This morning’s press release haul brings “Microsoft and Novell Expand Successful Interoperability Relationship,” which says,

“Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc. are announcing an incremental investment in their relationship to meet accelerating customer demand for their business model solution, which is designed to build a bridge between open source and proprietary software to deliver interoperability and intellectual property (IP) peace of mind for organizations operating mixed-source IT environments.”

Intellectual property peace of mind. Novell has a solid Linux, and punches above its weight in kernel contributions, so why does the marketing strategy so often come down to whining, “buy from us instead of Red Hat, or Microsoft will sue you?”

Interoperability? Not So Much.

Here’s Peter Judge’s take:

Myself, I think that virtualisation and document interchange are multi-platform by definition, so how much work is there really in those areas?

And at Linux Today:

So much for the “open” protocols MS published if they require special collaboration.

Microsoft deliberately made things incompatible by pushing OOXML with corruption and by plaguing hypervisors with a validation program that only Novell is permitted to be part of. It’s very clearly an anti-Red Hat move. Microsoft and Novell are, first and foremost in this case, anti-Red Hat companies joined by an anti-Red Hat alliance and pro-software patents push.

Watch this comment (complaint) about parroting of a press releases.

I say, good job at parroting Microsoft’s email, sugar-coating this alliance that is going nowhere with either Linux or Windows users. Businesses are not looking to buy into Novell’s Microsoft licensing backdoors either.

Simply put, Novell is being paid by Microsoft to support MS-OOXML. That’s all that’s come out of this alliance — press releases! And has anyone used Novell’s version of OpenOffice? It honestly sucks.

Lastly, please, please name names of anyone you know who is exchanging MS-OOXML documents. They’re not online, that’s for sure. OpenOffice would be smart not to waste their time.

As Matt Asay just put it, “Microsoft wants to ‘build Windows,’ but how about bridges?”

Build bridges, not toll roads.

Through closed standards, aggressive patent FUD, and proprietary Office file formats and SharePoint repository, Microsoft has effectively declared war on the very idea of “breaking down barriers that prevent people and ideas from connecting”…unless you happen to be using 100 percent of Microsoft’s software to do the job.

One of the biggest trends to knock down barriers to true interoperability has been open source and the open standards it espouses, yet Microsoft has sought to impose a patent toll on open source. For those interested in connecting with Microsoft’s technology, Microsoft is glad to oblige, but only on its terms, with Microsoft firmly in control. Open source, however, believes in a very different kind of interoperability.

People are not happy, but press releases from Novell and Microsoft tell a different story. The worst thing one can do is repeat those stories and lend credibility to them.

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6 Comments

  1. pcole said,

    August 23, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Gravatar

    MS will continue to lose traction. The only way they’re moving their product is through “branding-OEM preinstalls”. IP threats is not helping MS or Novell, if anything, it’s working against them. People generally do not like threats even if they do not understand the threat; it makes them uneasy.

    Because of the downturn in the economy, consumers are looking at “the most bang for the buck”, they’re asking why so many expensive third party programs to get an usable desktop in place. The consumer space is all “sewn up”; so they think.

    Now MS is awarded the “PgUp-PgDn” patent. Isn’t it amazing how the worm turns. It’s only going to be seen as what it is: “IT-Capone”

  2. MonoHater said,

    August 23, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Gravatar

    I find this a bit disturbing (most worrisom is the developer.mozilla.org tidbit):

    <NylaX> are there any commercial applications that have been built using mono
    <Garuma> NylaX: yes
    <Garuma> company like Medsphere, Mainsoft and Linden Labs are using Mono for their software
    <miguel> There are also all the Novell apps
    <Garuma> check out http://www.mono-project.com/Companies_Using_Mono#Who_uses_Mono.3F
    <miguel> developer.mozilla.org is now powered by Mono
    <miguel> DekiWiki is a commercial app built with Mono
    <miguel> So any DekiWiki users are Mono users

    BTW, which sites are built with DekiWiki? Any way to tell? I want to avoid them. Wikipedia isn’t one, is it?

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Gravatar

    I suppose you don’t know that DekiWiki is pretty much Microsoft..?

    From http://swik.net/MindTouch :


    Redmond Refugees Driving Open Source

    Last week Black Duck Software run by a former Microsoft employee, Doug Levin, acquired Koders an open source repository and search engine. Likewise Software, the maker of an open source unified authentication product was started by some ex-Microsoft employees. Starting as a proprietary software maker they eventually moved to a open source development model and have gotten involved with the popular open source Samba project. Finally, MindTouch an open source wiki developer is run by ex-Microsoft employees and has seen great success with their open source project. All the companies mentioned above are run by ex-Micrsoft employees and all seem to be having decent success in open source.
    Deki Wiki and Application Collaboration

    One of my favorite open source projects is Deki Wiki by MindTouch. The product solves many of the same problems as Microsoft Sharepoint. More so than Sharepoint, DekiWiki extends its collaboration beyond people to the application layer. Rather than striving to be an all-in-one solution Deki Wiki boasts a robust web services API that allows for integration between other applications. Already Deki Wiki supports authentication via LDAP and Active Directory as well as authentication systems from popular open source content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla!.


    Also see:

    http://port25.technet.com/archive/2007/11/27/mindtouch-dekiwiki-cross-platform-open-source-wiki-platform.aspx

  4. MonoHater said,

    August 23, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Gravatar

    No, I wasn’t aware of that. Thanks for the info!

    Btw, any comment on developer.mozilla.org?

  5. MonoHater said,

    August 23, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Gravatar

    !!!!

    Wikipedia (http://wikipedia.org): WikiPedia uses Mono for its search facilities. The indexing and the actual searching is done by Mono-based applications.

    Argh!

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 23, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Gravatar

    I think I heard this before. I’m not sure if Wikia is also affected, but it might.

    BTW, see http://boycottnovell.com/2008/08/16/douglas-levin-quits/

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