EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.21.09

Special Partner of Novell Bought Out by Microsoft Partner

Posted in Deals, Identity Management, Microsoft, Novell at 8:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MS Novell

Novell recruits Microsoft employees to become executives and its leadership in general is cause of concern, so it’s only reasonable to at least be a little apprehensive when an ally of Microsoft buys a company that is a close partner of Novell.

PDS Acquires Provident Technologies

[...]

Provident’s long-term clients include Sheboygan Falls-based Johnsonville Sausage, for which Provident implemented comprehensive Novell identity and systems management solutions to achieve a single point of control for thousands of employee and digital partner identities.

The resulting Novell-based solution for Johnsonville paid for itself in a matter of months, reducing user management time and costs by 80 percent, reducing the number of passwords by 85 percent and cutting IT travel time and costs by 90 percent.

There is a report following this press release, but it’s not a large acquisition, so not much more coverage could be found.

Sheboygan-based Provident Technologies is a Novell Platinum partner specializing in identity management and Linux-based solutions. Provident has engineering and sales divisions in Sheboygan, Madison and Milwaukee. The company is also an authorized sales and service repair facility for Hewlett Packard and Samsung printers, HP workstations, laptops and tablet PCs.

Here is the more interesting portion:

Provident Technologies is a Novell Platinum partner specializing in identity management and Linux-based solutions with engineering and sales divisions in Sheboygan, Madison and Milwaukee. Provident also is an authorized sales and service repair facility for Hewlett Packard and Samsung printers, HP workstations, laptops and tablet PCs.

All Provident staff will be joining PDS as part of the acquisition, including chief operating officer Angela Daniels, who will lead PDS’s provisioning and platform management software services as a director in the computing architecture group. As part of the transition, PDS will maintain an office in the Sheboygan area indefinitely.

“Provident Technologies boasts rich IT infrastructure expertise, and we are pleased to welcome them to the team,” said PDS chief technical officer Austin Park. “The skills added by the incoming group of consultants in open source, Novell Zenworks and Novell identity management solutions will complement our already strong consulting capabilities in configuration management with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and LANDesk.

“PDS continues to strengthen the Microsoft platform business, which we are well known for,” Park added. “But we can now offer our customers more choice with expertise in open source software as well.”

Provident’s long-term clients include Sheboygan Falls-based Johnsonville Sausage, for which Provident implemented comprehensive Novell identity and systems management solutions to achieve a single point of control for thousands of employee and digital partner identities.

This means that they may intend to use Novell technologies to make “Microsoft platform business” stronger.

Microsoft Vice Presidents Richard McAniff and Lewis Levin Are Out — Just Ahead of Layoffs

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And Microsoft pretends to have changed

WHO CAN DENY that Microsoft suffers badly? Our previous post spoke about the departure of a Microsoft Vice President, but she’s not alone. There are at least two more, based on this comment which had Mary Jo Foley convinced (she may have received a confirmation of some sort).

VPs are already leaving. Look for Lewis Levin or Richard Mcaniff (richardm) in the address book or on the web site. They are already gone. So I think executives will be axed also. I’m not sure why everyone thinks product groups will get the big axe. Did you forget about MSIT, or product support? There must be 3000-4000 people in MSIT and product support across the world. Also just letting all CSGs and vendors go would be a huge savings.

[...]

But like I said look for VPs who are already gone, richardm, lewisl. Not sure who else is gone. I think that execs need to be worried also not just the front line.

Why did they leave so quietly?

Needless to say, this chaotic state of affairs harms Microsoft, which is the most vicious opponent of Free software, despite all the “open-source” ‘fluff’ pieces, a new example of which comes from IDG|IDC [1, 2]:

Microsoft for the first time is contributing code to an Apache open-source project, continuing the company’s softening of its attitude toward open-source software and the community that supports it.

This is self serving. There is no charity in a company that by its very own admission hates the GPL and hates Linux. It’s not an ordinary company. Apache is hopefully keeping its eyes open [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. The article says “open-source” (mind the dash), not “Open Source” and definitely not Free software. It’s probably no coincidence.

“Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer [...] I can’t imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business. I’m an American; I believe in the American way, I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don’t think we’ve done enough education of policymakers to understand the threat.”

Jim Allchin, President of Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft

Microsoft’s GNU/Linux-Hostile Vice President Quits

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ONE of the most gruesome people at Microsoft has been Gerri Elliott, whom we mentioned recently for her strategy and involvement in programmes against Free software and against GNU/Linux [1, 2]. She even interfered with national educational panels. Well, the good news is that she’s out, probably ahead of massive layoffs [1, 2] and negative results.

I missed this: Gerri Elliott, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of its Worldwide Public Sector business, is out.

Given the things that Gerri has done to harm people’s rights and their freedom, it’s reassuring to hear that she may be taking an early retirement, so she can’t inflict more pain and damage from within other companies.

Axe sign

How Novell Leverages Microsoft .NET to Market Itself

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 2:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Moonlight is problematic to install on anything besides SuSE/Novell. On those install is dead easy.”

Peter Köhlmann, longtime SUSE user, hours ago (USENET)

A bad penguin -- Novell

Signs That Seven (Bundy) is Vista’s Younger Twin

Posted in Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 1:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Married with children
Seven is on the left

OVER at IDG, one popular columnist believes at Vista will continue to slide into the shade while another new writer who arrived from CNET says that “Vista and Office Could Be the Downfall of Microsoft” and here is what he expects to happen next:

When the time comes that Windows XP can no longer be pre-installed on new computers, Macs and Linux will both benefit, of course. How much? I can’t wait to see. If someone has to learn a new operating system, they may as well do it on a system that’s immune to most malicious software. I hear that the tech support from Apple is terrific, certainly the price on Linux can’t be beat. And they can both run Open Office.

Vista is not the last among Microsoft’s headaches. Its successor, Vista 7, already contains embarrassing bugs that are quite severe, not just cosmetic.

Following the availability of Windows 7 client Beta and Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta, Microsoft revealed that neither of the next versions of its Windows operating systems were able to join domains with names exceeding 15 characters in length. Any attempt to join Windows 7 client Beta or Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta machines to a Domain Name System (DNS) with a 15+ character domain name would result in an error message, the company informed – “The attempt to join this computer to the << domain_name >>.com domain failed. The parameter is incorrect.”

And this is what they call “beta”? A couple of years ago, Microsoft fanalysts said that Microsoft was “Chang[ing the] Meaning Of ‘Release Candidate’.” They were referring to Vista.

Joe Wilcox, an analyst with JupiterResearch, said that Microsoft’s corrupted the term.

“‘Release candidate’ is a long-standing term, it has meaning behind it,” said Wilcox. “The name says it all. This should be code that’s ready to release.” It’s not, said Wilcox. And Microsoft told him so.

“I was told that Microsoft recognizes that it has plenty of work still to do on Windows Vista and that Release Candidate 1 is not a near-final version,” Wilcox went on. “I was told that Microsoft’s approach, perhaps, definition, of a release candidate had ‘evolved.’ I countered that Microsoft had changed the definition.”

Michael Cherry of Kirkland, Wash.-based Directions on Microsoft agreed that Microsoft’s misused ‘release candidate.’

“They’ve completely messed up the vocabulary,” he said. “What exactly is a pre-release candidate?” he asked, referring to the term Microsoft used last week to describe a publicly-available build of Vista that immediately preceded RC1. “What they released [as RC1] would in the old vocabulary be a Beta 3.”

Cherry said he had installed RC1, but immediately had several bugs to report. “Someone like me shouldn’t be submitting four new bugs on a build called ‘release candidate,’” he said.

So history appears to be repeating itself. The Vista 7 BSOD saga is reaching new heights (yes, “beta” means fatal BSODs, by Microsoft’s standards). We gave examples some days ago [1, 2] and this just does not stop.

BSOD at start-up:

[...]

BSOD after logging in:

[...]

BSOD while looking at themes:

[...]

So there you go. Nothing much has changed really, and even the error message is presented the same way as some of the previous versions of Windows. Still counting on Windows 7?

Watch the videos, which make compelling proof. Thanks to Juna for collecting this pictorial evidence.

Truths about Vista 7:

Vista 7 starts now

Jim Allchin (2002): “There’s Going to Be a Patent Lawsuit on Linux” (Analysts Cartel Part V)

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 12:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“[Microsoft's] Mr. Emerson and I discussed a variety of investment structures wherein Microsoft would ‘backstop,’ or guarantee in some way, BayStar’s investment…. Microsoft assured me that it would in some way guarantee BayStar’s investment in SCO.”

Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO

“IT WILL be simply, “Hey, these guys took intellectual property.” And whether the lawsuit comes from Wind River or in X, Y, Z, there’s going to be one. Guaranteed,” said Jim Allchin less than 6 months before SCO attacked Linux. That’s the third such circumstantial evidence from September 2002, which includes:

Here’s what we have today [PDF], coming from the mouth of a high executive from Microsoft:

MR. ALLCHIN: Let me ask you another question. When you install these boxes of Linux for customers, do they even think about any of the licenses? Do they worry about the issue that there’s indemnification -

MR. VINOKUR: That’s the first thing the first thing they ask is, what about this licenslng on Microsoft? No, there’s no licensing.

MR. ALLCHIN: But do they — but there is licensing.

MR. VINOKUR: There is, but -

MR. ALLCHIN: And there’s going to be a patent lawsuit on Linux. It’s bound to happen. I’m just asking -not and the patent lawsuit won’t really be about the license. It will be simply, “Hey, these guys took intellectual property.” And whether the lawsuit comes from Wind River or in X, Y, Z, there’s going to be one. Guaranteed. As I sit here today, I will guarantee you at some point there’s going to be a challenge about the patents. Not about the license per se.

MR. MARTIN: Class action lawsuit.

MR. WATTS: The ones we deal with, as I said, most of those right now are a lot of the law enforcement, and lot of those guys have — of course they think they’re impregnable even with the Microsoft license. They have a hard enough time with that one. Someone gets XP and they all want to put it on. Guys, you don’t do that. But as for that part, they think -

MR. ALLCHIN: Not just — no one’s thinking about it. They think there is no license.

MR. WATTS: Yeah.

MR. VINOKUR: Well, no, you’re talking about, you know, how it’s freely available. You buy one box from Redhead and then you go put it on a hundred if you want. And they say it themselves, Redhead says it, Suse says it, you know. It’s the support that they want from you. Or if you need the support because you have questions, then you call them -

MR. ALLCHIN: The point that I’m trying to understand, that there’s — there’s indemnification that is being passed on when you buy products from Microsoft. You don’t get that. And eventually, you know, in the litigious society that we live in, something is going to happen.

The text below is the remainder that we did not include in the previous part of this series (also see part 1, part 2 and part 3 for context). It’s worth adding that, charmingly enough, the assistant who transcribed the minutes turned Red Hat into “Redhead”. There are some other translational/transcription errors that are more minor and indicate lack of familiarity with some technology (e.g. SQL).


Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit px07175, as text – Part II

Part I here


Read the rest of this entry »

WhiteHouse.gov Moves to GNU/Linux?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Servers at 10:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This might be the effect of Akamai, but still

Netcraft image

Little update:

<trmanco> It still runs windows
<trmanco> According to the [whitehouse.gov] website headers:
<trmanco> Cache-Control: (spec)
<trmanco> private, max-age=805
<trmanco> Connection: (spec)
<trmanco> keep-alive
<trmanco> Content-Encoding: (spec)
<trmanco> gzip
<trmanco> Content-Length: (spec)
<trmanco> 8130
<trmanco> Content-Type: (spec)
<trmanco> text/html; charset=utf-8
<trmanco> Date: (spec)
<trmanco> Wed, 21 Jan 2009 15:24:08 GMT
<trmanco> P3P:
<trmanco> CP=”NON DSP COR ADM DEV IVA OTPi OUR LEG”
<trmanco> Server: (spec)
<trmanco> Microsoft-IIS/6.0 <—
<trmanco> Vary: (spec)
<trmanco> Accept-Encoding
<trmanco> X-AspNet-Version:
<trmanco> 2.0.50727 <—
<trmanco> title=”White House.gov Agenda Articles Feed” href=”/feed/agenda.aspx
<trmanco> title=”White House.gov Press Office Feed” href=”/feed/press.aspx

Patents Roundup: Acacia Extortion, European Lobby, and Failed Systems

Posted in America, Courtroom, Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 9:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Plager said he regretted the unintended consequences of the decisions in State Street Bank and AT&T. Those rulings led to a flood of applications for software and business method patents, he noted. If we “rethink the breadth of patentable subject matter,” he said, we should ask whether these categories should be excluded from patent protection.” —US. Senior Judge S. Jay Plager, speaking at a symposium at George Mason University

Bad Software Patents

AMONG the many weird patents that are new we also find several from Acacia, which accommodates Microsoft employees and attacks GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11].

Acacia does not make products or inventions. It’s relies on patent mercantile. Here is one of the latest purchases:

Acacia Subsidiary Acquires Patent for Online Promotion Technology

This patented technology generally relates to online promotion of consumer products and can be used to provide consumers with web access to discount coupons and rebate offers.

Acquisitions are followed by extortions (racketeering), such as this latest one:

Acacia (ACTG) Subsidiary Enters Patent License Agreement with Horizon Tech.

Acacia Research Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTG) announced today that its subsidiary, Telematics Corporation, has entered into a patent license agreement with Horizon Technologies, L.L.C. The Telematics technology generally relates to systems and methods for displaying mobile vehicle information on a map.

“Enters Patent License Agreement” means “Receives Protection Money”. Mind the generality of the patent above and behold the type of — shall we say — rubbish that becomes a patent in the United States:

Meanwhile, Experian and Visa offer BankruptcyPredict, a bankruptcy score that “uses patented technology and processes to create a more comprehensive view of consumers most likely to drive bankruptcy losses over the next 24 months,” according to its Web site. BankruptcyPredict scores range from 50 to 950, with a lower number indicating a higher risk of bankruptcy, Experian’s Wagner says.

The Bilski ruling is likely to have eliminated such a ridiculous patent, which should now be too frail to stand a chance in court [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14].

There is a lot of pro-software patents lobbying in Europe and Digistan asks the question, “Where does the pressure come from?”

Although it does not say this in Digistan, the answer is “Microsoft”, but it’s not alone.

Peter Jungen and the EEI wonder if openness rhetorics risks turning Europe into an innovation “dead zone”.

We wrote about Peter Jungen last month. He’s likely to be part of the cronies cartel.

As asserted rather explicitly in this post from About.com, software patents are a horrible idea. [via Digital Majority]

Software Patents are a means to extort money from companies who can’t afford to defend themselves in court. The typical cost is at least $1 million. This very recent example shows all that is wrong with software patents in the US.

Characteristics of a Failed System

Signs that a reform is desperately (and urgently) needed are all over the place. From the past few days alone we gather:

1. Brookings Conference on Software and Business Method Patents Highlights Need for Reform

Last week there was a conference of significant interest to the free and open source software community on the problem of software and business method patents at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. I was pleased to find that Red Hat is by no means alone in its opposition to patents on abstract ideas. There were, to be sure, some proponents of the status quo, but respected voices are acknowledging the serious problems in the current system and laying the intellectual groundwork for reform.

The conference was co-sponsored by the Computer & Communications Industry Association (of which Red Hat is a member) and Duke University School of Law (our neighbor just down the road in Durham, N.C.). A list of the two dozen scholars, lawyers, and industry representatives who participated is here.

2. Patent Trolls Erode the Foundation of the U.S. Patent System

Climbing out of the deep economic recession the United States is facing will require multiple remedies, but there is no doubt that ongoing innovation will be critical to restoring the long-term economic health and prosperity of our country. Innovation is so key to our nation’s prosperity that our founders enshrined the general principle of intellectual property as an essential element of economic development in Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution. The basis for this constitutional provision establishing a patent system was not the protection of individual rights to inventions per se, but rather the promotion of economic development in a young and ambitious country.

3. When All You Have Is A Patent Hammer, Every Software Task Looks Like A Nail

If I’m right that, as I argued on Friday, there’s a cultural gap between the patent bar and the technology industry on the subject of software patents, an interesting question is how we got them in the first place. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that software was widely believed to be unpatentable, and major technology firms were hardly clamoring for patent protection. Peter Mennell, a Berkeley law professor who spoke at last Wednesday’s Brookings patent conference had an interesting perspective on how this came about. He argues that the impetus for software patents came from patent attorneys within major software firms who spread the “gospel of patenting” within their companies. Not surprisingly, CEOs tend to delegate patent issues to their patent lawyers, and of course patent lawyers will tend to have more pro-patent views than their bosses. And so despite the fact that few technology executives were enthusiastic about patenting, the patent lawyers who worked for them pushed their firms in that direction. And of course, once some software firms started acquiring significant numbers of patents, it sparked the arms race that we’ve talked about here at Techdirt.

4. Firm Files Complaint for Patent Violation Against Nokia, RIM and Palm

Saxon Innovations of Tyler, a patent-holding company from Texas, is reported to have claimed that up to three patents it owned had been violated by six companies that import handsets into the United States, including Research in Motion, Palm and Nokia.

Saxon Innovations of Tyler is just a patent troll. Unlike other patent trolls, these litigators don’t even have a Web site. Their homepage currently states: “Saxon Innovations LLC website is currently under construction. Please visit us again soon.”

Mysteriously enough, contrary to last year’s findings from Patent TrollTracker (Rick Frenkel [1, 2, 3, 4]), intellectual monopoly litigation is said to be declining.

There’s a new report out that highlights that there were fewer IP related lawsuits in the US in 2008 than in 2007. The drop was about 10%: from 10,276 to 9,210. However, the reasoning given in the report for the decline is difficult to square with reality. It claims that: “The trend reflects the success of the recording industry in protecting its copyrights, leading the industry to bring fewer lawsuits in the past few years.

Could recessionary trends be the cause? Patent/IP litigation is an expensive gamble. SCO knows.

“I think that “innovation” is a four-letter word in the industry. It should never be used in polite company. It’s become a PR thing to sell new versions with.

“It was Edison who said “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration”. That may have been true a hundred years ago. These days it’s “0.01% inspiration, 99.99% perspiration”, and the inspiration is the easy part. As a project manager, I have never had trouble finding people with crazy ideas. I have trouble finding people who can execute. IOW, “innovation” is way oversold. And it sure as hell shouldn’t be applied to products like MS Word or Open office.”

Linus Torvalds

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts