09.24.08

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Novell: From StopTheFUD to JoinTheFUD

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Servers, SLES/SLED, Virtualisation, Windows at 6:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

How quickly they forget

Jim Allchin on Novell

A couple of days ago we wrote about Microsoft’s new anti-VMware Web site. Based on some followups, it soon emerged that Microsoft had used similar memorable tricks like distribution of insidious material at VMware’s own event. Information about this can be found in the comments attached to that previous post. Also worth adding is the following new perspective, which compares these tactics to ones previously used against Novell.

As many of you know, I witnessed firsthand the tactics Microsoft used against Novell during the 1990s when I worked for the once-upon-a-time network operating system leader. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had déjà-vu experiences while watching Microsoft methodically run the same game plan against VMware’s Virtual Center product with Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager. Integrations, pricing, and marketing tactics are all repeats of the past.

This vicious attack on VMware is likely to continue [1, 2, 3] and the following article confirms what we saw and stated the last time. Microsoft hardly feels shameful of its use of a girls’ school to accomplish business (FUD) objectives. It’s not the first such incident as Microsoft did this in Singapore some months ago. Girls’ school/s lobbied for OOXML at Microsoft’s behest.

The cards also listed the URL for a new Microsoft Web site called www.vmwarecostswaytoomuch.com, which reflects Microsoft’s strategy of using price to grab market share from its well-entrenched virtualization market foe. The garishly colored Web site, which was registered on Aug. 27, is being hosted for Microsoft by Seattle-based advertising agency Wexley School For Girls.

[...]

“I also recall Microsoft doing something similar to Novell back in the day, and Novell coming back with something like stopthefud.com,” said Ward. “In the end, everybody must look at what is the best solution for their particular situation and make an informed choice on a hypervisor based on actual research, not FUD [fear, uncertainty, and doubt].”

There is again this mentioning of Novell. Ironically and sadly, Novell did not learn its lessons and it’s now an integral part of Microsoft’s FUD campaign. SJVN wrote an article some weeks ago asking Novell and Microsoft to stop the FUD that they disseminated jointly (“intellectual property peace of mind”). They fought against GNU/Linux that’s not SLED or SLES and they still do. It’s also difficult to forget the audiocast in which Justin Steinman warned that other distribtuions might not work (interoperate).

John Dragoon is happy enough to continue this marketing technique. He promotes the Microsoft/Novell site in his blog.

Our partnership has been a lot more than talk and press releases. In fact, our joint investment in an interoperability lab has delivered significant innovation in bi-directional virtualization, document compatibility and cross platform systems and identity management. The best, and I believe most interesting, place to discover all this is at our newly refreshed site at moreinterop.com.

They are still selling 'protection', not GNU/Linux.

Also mentioned on Saturday was a scoop about Lenovo and SUSE servers. Here are two newer reports, which happen to be showing what Novell strives to achieve.

All are designed to work with Windows Server 2003 and 2008 in addition to the forthcoming Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Server 2008. Yet on the Linux side, Novell — the producer of SuSE Linux — is Lenovo’s “preferred provider,” Tobul said. Lenovo will also be shipping the ThinkServers with Red Hat’s server operating system as well.

They are clearly trying to squeeze Red Hat out. There is another report about it.

The company is launching three tower and two rack x86 servers. ThinkServer TS100 Tower and RS110 Rack and ThinkServer TD100 Tower, TD100x Tower or RD120 Rack come with Microsoft Windows Server or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell, and Intel Core 2 Duo or Xeon processors.

It’s all about Novell and Microsoft, which are a pair now. Microsoft is happily using Novell to harm other vendors. In theory, it can later proceed to ruining Novell.

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

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14 Comments

  1. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 2:21 am

    Gravatar

    I don’t really have much to say about this article, but this is just too hilarious:

    Microsoft hardly feels shameful of its use of a girls’ school to accomplish business (FUD) objectives. It’s not the first such incident as Microsoft did this in Singapore some months ago. Girls’ school/s lobbied for OOXML at Microsoft’s behest.

    Damn those girls’ schools!! What are they thinking?!

    Oh, right – read the link:

    [..] a new Microsoft Web site [..] is being hosted for Microsoft by Seattle-based advertising agency Wexley School For Girls.

    You might want to read past the “with-it” corporate names, Roy. It’s not actually a girls’ school ;)

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:04 am

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    That one one bizarre web site.

    wexley.com

  3. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:16 am

    Gravatar

    I did try to look at it, but it’s all Flash so I can’t actually see anything (I don’t have a player).

    Certainly it’s a very bizarre corporate image to try to project.

  4. pcole said,

    September 25, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Gravatar

    - the URL for a new Microsoft Web site called http://www.vmwarecostswaytoomuch.com, hosted for Microsoft by Seattle-based advertising agency Wexley School For Girls.

    Kind’ve like Saddam Hussein using schools & hospitals to camouflage their weapons.

    ——————————————————-
    “Reeves asserted that the stunt makes Microsoft appear “somewhat desperate”, but solution providers told ChannelWeb they don’t think Microsoft has crossed any serious lines of propriety with its shots across the bow of VMware…”

    You don’t think unethical business conduct crosses any lines of propriety? This is the legacy we leave behind?

    MS’s flagship products (win-os & office suite) are tanking and instead of fixing it, attack some other company that’s doing well. The ultimate prize here is control of the datacenter and the enemy here is Red Hat, GNU/Linux/FOSS.

    ——————————————————-
    – “I think Microsoft, in all of their recent marketing — including the Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld ads — is simply trying to get common people to ‘talk’ about Microsoft,” said Rand Morimoto, president of Convergent Computing, an Oakland, Calif.-based solution provider and Microsoft Gold partner.

    Maybe; But not the kind of talk they (MS) want to hear.

  5. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 7:22 am

    Gravatar

    All due respect, but hiring a PR agency to write a website you don’t like isn’t very much like using vulnerable human beings to shield military hardware during warfare.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft does a lot of things by proxy, in order to divert criticism elsewhere.

    Case of point (fight against Google/Yahoo):

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/08/15/lawmedia-microsoft-astroturf/

  7. pcole said,

    September 25, 2008 at 7:40 am

    Gravatar

    In the overall context, it’s not physical bloodletting, it’s the erosion of our freedom that little by little we’re giving up through complacency.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Gravatar

    You’re talking to Alex here — one who takes things out of context to make a sound argument seem like an insult. Some minutes ago he suggested that I compared him and Dan to “masturbating monkeys”.

  9. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 25, 2008 at 8:22 am

    Gravatar

    That’s because you did.

    But speaking of taking things out of context, you are famous for that in your articles. Take for example the very article the comment was posted in.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Gravatar

    I am less interested in merely parroting articles that I cite. I am more interested in picking particular new bits of information from them, then analysing and researching these further, connecting them with other evidence.

  11. AlexH said,

    September 25, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Gravatar

    It wouldn’t have taken a lot of research to show that no Girls’ Schools were involved in the MS site.

    And frankly, I take offence at your insinuation that I suggested anything that you did not say yourself:

    The mutual corroboration by you and Dan reminds me of what Linus recently called a “security circus” or “masturbating monkeys”.

    You’re very quick to back off your own words, but you’re very slow to correct your articles (see first paragraph…).

  12. Shane Coyle said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Gravatar

    Whenever I see a VMware/Microsoft/Novell story, I always hear my friend Stafford at the CITI conference in the back of my mind:

    Web services, that’s the proprietary aspects, making active directory and eDirectory work together- enterprise customers want to see that, virtualization is very very key, customers want to utilize Linux as either a host operating system with Microsoft as a guest operating system, or vice versa, and yes wea re going to support the XEN technology there, the XEN hypervisor technology, Microsoft is going to support it too. Yes, there is a competitive angle there, yes we’re coming at VMware yes yes yes we are, ok thats part of it because but we’re doing it in an open source way, so were going to support the XEN technologies in our server platforms and togther collaborate and ensure it works properly, supported properly, etc
    Now as far as thats concerned, thats the technology aspects of it, now its broad from a Linux perspective, they’re essentially saying that anyone who is an OpenSUSE contributor is covered under the covenant. the covenant essentially is a patent agreement between Novell and Microsoft that says if you participate in the OpenSUSE distribution… as long as its not for commercial gain, that you are covered by this covenant, that they will not exercise what they believe is their patent rights…

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:29 am

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    OpenSUSE contributors deny this. Either he is wrong or they are in denial.

  14. Shane Coyle said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Gravatar

    Well, Stafford seemed pretty sure of himself, and anyone who had ever read the Microsoft covenant to the community must have seen it’s restrictions – only ‘hobbyist’ code contributed to opensuse.org that makes it into SLE is covered, because Novell already agreed to pay MS royalties on open source software shipped under the agreement.
    Stafford, during that same epic presentation, also had further comments regarding whether other distros and developers needed such a deal:

    We can’t say and speak on Microsoft’s behalf that they will speak to a single developer thats building a commercial product on the distribution and ensure that they have the same agreement covenant in place, we(Novell) can’t say that I mean, someone needs to go to them (Microsoft) and see if they are willing. Microsoft is very willing to sign up now, they are very very willing , so I do believe small, medium large, everyone can go and do this.
    Is this(deal) somehow exclusive by inference, because of the size that we are? I don’t believe so, and I also believe the people that are participating the individuals in the community take a look at the linux distros that you are participating in and building your technology upon, and by mere inheritance of agreements that are in place and the patents that they own and how they provide indemnification like RedHat does, like we do, that by inference would cover you.
    So, I can’t say that this wont cover the little guy, because the little guys we are encouraging to go speak to Microsoft and take a look at doing that, and Ithink Microsoft will take a look at doing that I dont think they would be aversed to doing that, unless they believe there is a patent infringement – clear, based upon that little thing that youve done but again this is where we would encourage you then to bring your little innovation, put it on SUSE Linux, and we’ll kick Microsoft’s ass jointly with you. (laughter)

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