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11.13.08

How Long Before Everyone Accepts That Novell is with Microsoft More Than with Linux?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Servers at 6:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell and Vista

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

NOVELL prefers to ‘cannibalise’ GNU/Linux than to further the agenda of Free software. What does that say about Novell?

“Novell is trying to steal Red Hat’s business (revenue source) while the servers still run Red Hat’s product.”Novell wants to replace free Linux with a Linux that’s encumbered by Microsoft’s ‘patent tax’. What does that say about Novell?

Novell is trying to steal Red Hat’s business (revenue source) while the servers still run Red Hat’s product. What does that say about Novell?

Novell’s Web site hardly advertises migrations from Microsoft/Windows to SUSE/Linux. What does that say about Novell?

We wrote about this subject earlier in the week [1, 2] and we shall revisit it soon.

Why doesn’t Novell announce (e.g. in a press release) a Novell-sponsored migration from Windows to SUSE?

Novell is building bridges between its Suse Linux OS and that of Red Hat in an effort to make it easier for Red Hat users to migrate across to Suse Linux Enterprise Server.

To Novell, the enemy of the enemy is a friend, i.e. Red Hat’s enemy is Novell’s friend. As Sean Michael Kerner puts it, ““Novell Goes After Red Hat Linux Users,” but not Windows users.

There are a plenty of ways to grow a business, including the old-fashioned approach of stealing customers from your competition. The latest entrant is Novell, which is pitching customers of Red Hat’s Linux to migrate over to Novell.

Has Novell made any progress at all? That’s in doubt.

Novell Attacks Red Hat With Linux Migration Offer

[...]

So, did Novell really steal market share from Red Hat last year? And can the company really hope to take 3 to 5 percent market share from Red Hat over the next 12 months?

Alfresco’s extensive survey indicated last year that the Microsoft/Novell deal may have actually driven customers away from Novell.

Over at Groklaw, Pamela described this latest move from Novell as “another Oracle-like move”. She added: “Now do you get deeper insight into the Novell-Microsoft deal? Everybody hates Red Hat’s success, which Red Hat achieved without violating the GPL’s terms or selling out to Microsoft, and so they all try to figure out ways to try to bleed them to death for profit. It’s like how everybody wants to sue Google all of a sudden. Well. There’s a sucker born every minute, they say, so somebody will pay thousands per server for this, I suppose. But you know what the song says: Ain’t nothing like the real thing. And Red Hat is the real thing.”

Those who wish to help GNU/Linux should boycott Novell. The last thing the world needs is a Linux which is ‘tainted’ by Microsoft tax and Microsoft APIs (control).

“Every time you use Google, you’re using a machine running the Linux kernel.”

Chris DiBona, Google

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21 Comments

  1. mike said,

    November 13, 2008 at 5:01 pm

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    I can’t imagine anyone would choose to move to suse from redhat. Unless there was substantial financial incentives – even then, that isn’t enough to get people to leave windows is it?

    Although it is substantially the same (and almost entirely technically the same), the little differences make it a frustrating pain in the arse and a fairly unpleasant experience. And none of those differences are an improvement anyway.

    Any claim of wrenching 3-5% market share from anyone is simply laughable. It would make much better financial sense to go for linux virgins who haven’t already invested in learning the platform. And it makes much better financial sense to be going after a bigger segment of the market – not a niche, which enterprise linux remains. And that only means windows. Really, this sort of marketing just doesn’t make any sense for Novell on any level.

    It’d be like them going for apple customers … wtf would you bother, it’s just not going to make you a lot of money even if you did get a substantial fraction to jump on board, an obvious impossibility. Well it’s even worse than that because of the brand-damaging ill-will it generates when both parties are based on the same shared resource, particularly in this instant-worldwide-word-of-mouth age we live in. It may well just be incompetence, I can’t imagine what else – perhaps no other option due to some sort of non-compete MOU (with a monopolist! which would also be incompetence)?

  2. Victor Soliz said,

    November 13, 2008 at 11:26 pm

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    But you can already hear the apologists screaming “Novell deserves Red Hat’s market since they do a lot for Linux!”

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 14, 2008 at 3:46 am

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    There is more nasty stuff coming from Novell pretty soon. They don’t just attack Red Hat. You’ll see.

  4. Sammy said,

    November 14, 2008 at 11:43 am

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    I guess none of you understand how the free market works. Red Hat and Novell are public companies with an obligation to their shareholders. There’s no “that’s not fair” in business, and the nature of open source makes it possible for Oracle and Novell to use approaches like this. This is ultimately a good thing because it makes all the companies work harder for our business.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 14, 2008 at 11:50 am

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    “Free markets” never worked without regularisation/regulation. it’s a fallacy. One solution it to add a level of ethics or caps.

  6. Victor Soliz said,

    November 14, 2008 at 7:45 pm

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    Yeah as you can see, the apologists will basically stand for anything, they love Novell so strongly it is a religion for them, good work Sammy.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 14, 2008 at 7:50 pm

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    I saw another “Sammy” in another blog or article criticising Novell today. Same pattern. I’d just ignore it.

  8. Jose_X said,

    November 14, 2008 at 8:07 pm

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    I know Novell shareholders want to make money, but I doubt they want to kill a goose with golden eggs. They are trying to trick the goose to keep laying despite mistreating it.

    Decisions come with consequences. I guess now they will work harder for my business. :-D

  9. Victor Soliz said,

    November 14, 2008 at 8:10 pm

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    Actually, Sammy, I think your post deserves some laughter… At the end of the day, you are showing what the problem is with Novell… Against RedHat, it is showing such fierce competitiveness, of course, against MS, Novell behaves as if MS was their sugar daddy… It is kind of ridiculous that Novell shows this sort of selective competitiveness, this is the source of the criticism. MS is the leader of the market right now, yet Novell is amazingly incompetent against them while at the same time it is so fiercely trying to destroy Red Hat…

  10. Jose_X said,

    November 14, 2008 at 8:11 pm

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    >> Decisions come with consequences. I guess now they will work harder for my business. :-D

    Decisions come with consequences. I guess now they will work harder for my business.

    Laughing face not necessary.

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 14, 2008 at 8:14 pm

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    Novell closed offices in Europe a week or so ago. The English-speaking press said nothing about it. And those who believe that Novell does well financially are easily fooled by PR. Let’s not be gullible, shall we?

    BTW, about that latest marketing blitz from Novell… it’s sold as Microsoft ‘Linux coupons’.

    It ought to be realised who pays the ‘anti-Red Hat’ bills. To Microsoft, weakening the #1 committer to Linux is not only a way to gain power in the server room; it’s also a way of suppressing competition on the desktop — competition that forces it to give away Windows for free (c/f Netbooks).

    At the same time, Microsoft uses Novell to weaken Sun, which makes Microsoft Office a lot less necessary. Microsoft does this with OOXML, maybe Go-OO, and Mono (anti-Java).

  12. G. Michaels said,

    November 14, 2008 at 8:20 pm

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    @Roy:

    I agree, things like those are suspicious. But of course your collaborators also engage in that sort of thing, so one does not know what to think anymore:

    http://slashdot.org/~SockDisclosure/journal/214377

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  13. pcolon said,

    November 14, 2008 at 9:17 pm

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    Dude; Twitter hasn’t posted anything concerning this post-get a life.

    BTW, I don’t think he mentioned having any RED HAT-to-novell microsoft “linux coupons” or RED HAT customer migration plans either.

  14. Jose_X said,

    November 14, 2008 at 9:30 pm

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    G Michaels, that’s really weak. What does “your collaborators” have to do with what Novell is doing?

    There are other related comments here (I only vouch for mine, but you may want to read the others).
    http://www.computerworlduk.com/community/blogs/index.cfm?entryid=1502&blogid=14

  15. G. Michaels said,

    November 14, 2008 at 9:57 pm

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    It’s quite simple, really. Roy is actively collaborating (and yes, that is the correct term and the IRC logs back it up) with someone who is known to be a nymshifter and crapflooder on at least one major FOSS online community (Slashdot).

    Any link Roy posts to an article on another website that includes a point about how the comments there support his POV (which he does quote often, sometimes even quoting them wholesale, one in the current front page) is naturally suspect. This Slashdot troll has already been engaged at least once in off-site anonymous attacks to defend Roy (the Bruce Byfield article about BN, where he posted with his Baton Rouge Cox IP address in the clear, but of course neither Linux.com nor Byfield know who he is).

    Similarly, pretty much any “independent” praise of BN or Roy in the context of a dispute tends to be suspect. So is the common “oh those are munchkins” argument he likes to use.

    Someone who can dedicate that much time and energy into gaming one website can certainly game any other. I mean, 14 accounts? Just today there were another two shill threads with four different accounts here:

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1029711&cid=25760911
    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1029711&cid=25761107

    twitter likes to characterize all this as “M$” stalking him and intercepting his home internet connection, and Roy simply dismisses it as “personal attacks”. Roy spends all his time writing up ad hominems and you’re-guily-by-association posts, so I don’t see why he’s upset about someone who cares enough about his readers to warn them about the dishonesty and lies (which then give way to insults and threats) that seem to have crept into his blog.

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  16. Jose_X said,

    November 15, 2008 at 5:04 pm

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    Alright G. Michaels, but you won’t be able to use that excuse all the time. For all I know, the nymshifter you mentioned works for Novell. In any case, a lot of people can probably see that this blog has rough spots, but that doesn’t take away from what it does offer.

    There is very little in this world that is not suspect.

  17. Jose_X said,

    November 16, 2008 at 6:05 pm

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    G. Michaels, I only know Twitter a bit from a few times I have dropped by IRC. I remember more good than bad from Twitter. [Twitter will offer up reasons for why s/he has numerous online names. IMO and if possible, it's better to just sign the post in the text body if the website gives you problems or limits your postings based on the username.]

    I think if you look at the blogs here, you’ll see that there is a constant introduction of evidence. Yes, there are suggestions sprinkled over many places that because X is related to Y then there might be something more there than meets the eye. Sometimes those suspicions are supported further over time and sometimes they are not.

    There is an awful lot that is written here as blog entries by few people (one mostly) in a short time. When you post that much in such short time, you will not use the best language and make the best conclusions all the time, but mistakes found by those replying are not going to result in Novell getting a free pass. I actually have seen some posters here attacking BN who sometimes appear to do little except along the lines of providing links to Twitter this or Twitter that and almost completely ignore the content of the particular blog entry.

    Of course, sufficient times when people do complain, they don’t ignore the actual blog. Those will be the times when we are more likely to find that BN got the facts wrong somewhere or got too sloppy clearly distinguishing opinion (allegations and theories) from fact (something proven in court or widely accepted). The mistakes do happen.

    I have always seen Novell as a sideshow to the real threat, Microsoft; however, no one likes to be undermined by stealth. Microsoft uses many techniques. They seem not to have too much they are unwilling to do (especially if it is legal) to preserve their very lucrative position. Deception in many forms and keeping secrets are fair game. You necessarily have to point to potentially missing dots if you want to counter Microsoft efforts today and not years from now in court as the harmed party. It’s a MUST to build theories ahead of time and then keep adjusting them if necessary as more evidence comes to light.

    There is much motivation and behinds-the-scenes discussions that are never going to be made public. BN will almost always tend to err on the side where you consider the “evil plot” scenario. A lot of times, taking that side had proven to have been accurate as evidence later surfaced. Not always.

    Some people feel Novell is being counter-attacked too much and unfairly. Some people feel BN is being counter-attacked too much and unfairly. Each of these groups might think the real truth is being manipulated or adjusted to paint their group in the worst possible light.

    I think a balanced view is not going to be found on this website. Neither in the main blog nor in the entries that criticize it. To BN’s credit, I have seen many aggressive comments allowed to be posted. People have the opportunity to read the many many blogs and the even larger number of replies (pro and against).

    So far, I find BN a VERY valuable asset. Replies made to correct facts and help get the story straight are valuable. Posted opinions can also be very interesting.

  18. Jose_X said,

    November 16, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    Gravatar

    >> I only know Twitter a bit from a few times I have dropped by IRC.

    And from some comments read on this website, though I remember more from IRC (I don’t visit Slashdot very much).

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 16, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Gravatar

    Thanks, Jose. I need to add that where something is not a confirmed fact it is usually stated in order to distinguish between speculation and proven facts.

    There are also things that I know and am not allowed to publish (it could expose the source of the leaks), so while evidence may be lacking, it is based on something substantial.

  20. Jose_X said,

    November 16, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Gravatar

    >> I think a balanced view is not going to be found on this website.

    I meant generally, or as the average posting.

    Obviously, there will be many balanced views provided here and there. It would be strange indeed if no one was able to provide any balanced view here ever.

  21. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 16, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Gravatar

    Do you define ‘balanced’ as “also echoing Novell PR department”?

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