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

02.05.09

Novell Layoffs May Have Not Been Announced Yet

Posted in Europe, Finance, Microsoft, Novell at 10:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

100 layoffs merely seismic waves?

LARGE-SCALE Microsoft layoffs have only gotten started according to analysts, but it’s not the exception. Microsoft is likely to have more than one ‘wave’ of layoffs. Its subsidiaries are likely to suffer a similar fate, as they already have [1, 2].

Back in November, Novell was shutting down offices across Europe and German employees of Novell have apparently just discovered/uttered this thing:

“The day after Hovsepian said no more cuts beyond 100, he told German employees (as per German law) that there would be more cuts coming,” the source said.

It also seems that the 100 or so that have been announced could be a conservative count, with this initial round going deeper.

“I’m hearing from all over the company that, in fact, the cuts are deeper than ’100 employees,’” the source said.

[...]

It doesn’t take a nuclear physicist to conclude the actual number could lay somewhere between 100 and 1,000.

2.5% in terms of layoffs seemed rather low considering the fact that the company had made only minimal adjustments. The person who talked about these adjustments quit the company a few weeks ago. Novell still operates at a significant loss and it loses business (core business like Netware). Some say it might be acquired by Microsoft one day and Novell was recently voted the least likely technology company to survive 2009.

Eric Lai’s 'damage control' report in ComputerWorld (later it spread itself to other IDG domains) refuted a seemingly inaccurate report from CNET, but it was not able to altogether rule out layoffs. Novell was forced to say something.

Lai’s report was followed by many more, such as:

I. Novell confirms 100 layoffs

The open source vendor Novell on Saturday confirmed that the company was trimming its workforce by less than 100 people, considerably fewer than had been anticipated.

II. Novell cuts 100 workers

As layoffs go, the ones that took place last week at commercial operating system maker Novell were pretty small, and a lot less than was originally reported out there on the Web.

III. Novell axes 100 staff

Novell has confirmed it has laid off around 100 staff after reports of much higher numbers of lay-offs started circulating last week.

IV. Novell dispels rumours but loses 100 workers

As Novell employs around 4,200 people worldwide, the figure represents just 2.3 per cent of the workforce. Some sources had predicted that up to 25 per cent could be handed their marching orders.

There’s no guessing what may happen next. Could the report from CNET actually be right?

As a side note, later we discovered that editors and writers of IDG were being laid off as well.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

7 Comments

  1. aeshna23 said,

    February 5, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Gravatar

    Does anyone have any thoughts on whether Microsoft’s outright buying of Novell would hurt Linux? I have some fears around this issue, but perhaps someone has another perspective.

  2. Jose_X said,

    February 5, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Gravatar

    >> Does anyone have any thoughts on whether Microsoft’s outright buying of Novell would hurt Linux?

    You sound like you are trolling big-time. And do you mean to suggest by this comment that Linux is not being hurt now?

    I’ll bite…

    Right now Novell are Microsoft’s GPL mittens.

    Microsoft has many preferred partnerships, companies that get very special treatment to help further Microsoft’s goals. One reason they aren’t bought is that antitrust rules would kick in.

    Novell is also Microsoft’s ambassador to the FOSS world (or the traitorous servant that opens the back door to let them in and clean you out.. take your pick).

    Really, it’s cheaper not to buy. Keeping “illegitimate children” around or court jesters or whatever is a cheap way to get others to grovel at your feet but cost only a fraction. Leadership hierarchies of companies that are Microsoft partners ensure that only a very few (select few at the top mainly) have to get paid handsomely. Microsoft has many special partners (some more special than others). This partner network helps them keep their monopolies. It would be too expensive to pay market value for each company. And it’s more fun to keep them competing with each other for attention.

    Novell, VMware, etc, channels and talent will very possibly one day be in the cleaning out stages. Let the stockholders that weren’t savvy be left with the shell companies. [in the case where the partner doesn't make it into the next level]

    Microsoft gains with Novell on the side and they may very well dump them tomorrow anyway. Why buy when you can take everything you need much cheaper through other means? Novell could belong to the court and get greater privileges than a serf, but still cost a lot less than the actual King, Queen, Princes(ses), etc.

    Microsoft has ex-employees working in other companies likely contributing towards Microsoft ends. These people are closer to the “family” than most that would be picked up in an acquisition. They’ll save their million dollar bills for their extended family.

    So, I don’t know where Novell will end up.

    Look, Novell is helping to grow Microsoft’s platform hooks and is sharing their intelligence with Microsoft. They’re being useful to Microsoft right where they are. Whether they get bought entirely, have some of their assets bought (or stolen), or whatever is a detail as far as I’m concerned.

    Novell might also serve as a magnet to attract those developers in love with Microsoft. If these will grovel for cheap.. if these still have a few moral bits left.. they likely will be cheaper and as useful if kept in the pool of illegitimates. Although particularly low-moral ones can serve well here, as well. [To keep things simple, I'm using "low morals" to cover things like "every man for himself".]

    I’m probably off, but this is roughly how I view Microsoft’s world and Microsoft’s attitude towards it. Yes, some will benefit, at a cost to most everyone else.

    [Hey, I’m in the rant posting business “today” http://boycottnovell.com/2009/02/05/microsoft-emc-vmware-for-patents/#comment-59419 . No, it’s probably coincidence.]

  3. aeshna23 said,

    February 5, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Gravatar

    >>You sound like you are trolling big-time. And do you mean to suggest by this comment that Linux is not being hurt now?

    Just for the record, I’m sincerely interested in the topic. I’m concerned about the patents that Novell has.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 5, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Gravatar

    aeshna23,

    The downside of never censoring comments is that people become suspects until proven otherwise. ;-)

    Jose_X,

    aeshna23 is with the white team, not Dark Forces. ;-)

  5. NotZed said,

    February 5, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Gravatar

    I agree with Jose – it is much better for them not to buy Novell.

    - Brand would be damaged much more, apart from the gnu/linux guys, there’s all the netware and groupwise people with long memories.
    - Possible regulatory interest which is currently avoided.
    - Better ‘wedge’ potential as it is, e.g. now redhat has to counter two heads, rather than one, one of which is blurringly similar to themselves on the surface.
    - Mono being an independent project lends tremendous legitimacy to the ecma standard and `cross platform’ claims.
    - There would be something of an engineering exodus. It may be delayed by the dire economy but it would happen eventually.

    etc.etc.

    I wouldn’t pick on the `morals’ of the employees – Novell is a pretty good place to work, they pay well, have good benefits, and have quite a few interesting things to work on. HR are jerks, but that’s their job.

    I think the intent of the original question was regarding a more direct impact on linux itself? Novell has a lot of IP related to Unix, and probably a lot of other IP related to modern computing in general e.g. networking, security, authentication and authorisation – identity management, and so forth. In that regard it could be an issue.

    Not to mention controlling a large number of developers – even if many got pissed off and left.

    But they’d be better off funding/encouraging a proxy to buy them in almost all of these cases, if it came down to that.

    And i’m sure both Sun and IBM, and Google would have something to say about it – they have much more to lose than the free software community.

    I doubt they’re going `down’ any time soon though, a few layoffs is expected in the current economic climate. Just as a lower-than-expected profit for MS isn’t even close to the end of redmond.

    And being laid off really sucks, hopefully those who are have planned for this, or can find work elsewhere.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 5, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Gravatar

    IIRC (I have not checked my notes), Novell lost $16 million in the last quarter. Assuming about $16k per head, the scale of layoffs cited by Asay makes sense to me, but what do I know?

  7. Jose_X said,

    February 5, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Gravatar

    On various topics, I get *very* spirited. Hopefully no one will take it personally (I’ll have to keep remembering to watch my language).

    The morals thing and Microsoft love thing I mentioned was a little below the belt. The thing is that it would not shock me if I were to find out that Microsoft studies and classifies targets to some degree (whether accurate or not), always trying to get for free what they might otherwise buy, and always trying to find a way to vanquish the opponent. It’s about $$. Deception is effective and efficient.

    I don’t know much about Novell’s patents though we certainly got an idea with SCOX-aga that they own something.

    I don’t worry about copyrights, and I have never worried too much about patents. I do hope Bilski helps a lot.

    I think the sanest approach to avoiding/defending against patents is to always try to come up with something through your own way or to try to stick to a wide mix of things. In a group atmosphere, you would have to place trust on the components. Having a mixed bag is safest (not putting all eggs in same basket). Not sure what would happen in court, but I feel I would try to defend my position vigorously if there was a record of how some result was achieved (as opposed to having copied or borrowed). This would make easier arguing that the “invention” was not that amazing to begin with. [Of course, the point of FOSS is that you borrow as much as reasonable.] Also, there are groups that will disclaim various things. Stay away from particular situations if there is reason to think the patent risks are already elevated. When you have enough understanding of the material, you can more quickly and effectively route around should you be pressured to do so. Etc.

    When these things are done, you minimize the odds of a case 1/4 (vs 2/3) http://boycottnovell.com/2009/02/04/the-api-trap-part-1/ .

    Finally, patents aren’t my only concern by a long shot; however, even there, if I were to have to pay or to have to abandon something, I’d rather it be because of someone I trusted and/or is small or something like that. You give people a chance.. just not 20. And the group attacking should realize they have something genuine to lose by turning against you. How high might the damage be? Etc.

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 16, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 16, 2020



  2. Links 16/1/2020: Mozilla Layoffs, PinePhone Braveheart Shipping, KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS Reaches Beta

    Links for the day



  3. Microsoft is a Market Leader in Lying and Corruption

    Microsoft is working hard to describe itself as the exact opposite of what it is and what it has been; ‘Internet rot’ helps a lot with this agenda, not to mention control of the media (the narrative)



  4. The European Patent Organisation Continues to 'Piss All Over' Separation of Powers

    The EPO continues to scatter invalid patents (IPs) that are European Patents (EPs) all over Europe and nobody can stop this, not even the judges of the EPO because they lack independence (by their very own admission)



  5. Zealots of Team UPC (Patent Litigation) Now Attacking the Courts and the Judges, Removing Their Mask on the Face of Things...

    The tactics of Team UPC aren't changing, only the shamelessness associated with these tactics is changing (because it looks like the end of days to them)



  6. Microsoft Now Uses or Leverages Software Freedom Against Free Software

    A reader's explanation of what Microsoft is trying to accomplish with its so-called 'embrace' and what steps will come next (how they manifest themselves)



  7. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 15, 2020



  8. Links 15/1/2020: CentOS Linux 8.1, Oracle VirtualBox 6.1.2 and GNU Sed 4.8

    Links for the day



  9. OSI Board at Microsoft: This is How Institutions Die or Completely Lose Their Purpose/Direction

    The photo (or meeting) may mark the turning point of the Openwashing as-a-Standard Initiative (OSI), which less than a year earlier took a bucket of money from Microsoft



  10. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 14, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 14, 2020



  11. When Microsoft's Actions Speak for Themselves (About Back Door Access)

    Unwittingly, people are being reminded of the 'special relationship' between Microsoft and the US Army (or government); The back doors or bug doors are still there, even 7 years after Edward Snowden's NSA leaks



  12. Why You -- Yes, You Too -- Should Consider Migrating to GNU/Linux

    The window is closing (and Windows/Vista 7 closing down); the chance to use machines that the users actually control is still there



  13. Can We Please Stop Lying for Microsoft in the Mainstream Media?

    Dishonesty for short-term financial gain (e.g. advertising money) will be a big loss in the long run. There’s a reason why so many news sites perish and Datamation (where I wrote more than a decade ago) now throws away remnants of reputation by spreading a big lie from Microsoft.



  14. It's Only Factual and Truthful to Point Out That About Half of the EPO's Management Committee Are From the President's Nation (and Many Are Underqualified Friends of His)

    The patent-granting extravaganza of what a reader and contributor of ours likes to call "Club Med" will result in great pain (not just for the Office but for Europe as a whole); pointing out who's to blame (the culprits) is an exercise in practicality



  15. Stranger Than Fiction: Team UPC's Mental Condition

    Team UPC's delusions continue to unmask UPC proponents (in 2020) as totally and entirely detached from reality



  16. Links 14/1/2020: IBM Joins LOT Network; X.Org Server 1.20.7, Tails 4.2.2 and Zanshin 0.5.71 Released

    Links for the day



  17. Vista 7 is Dead, Long Live GNU/Linux

    A reminder of Microsoft’s universal “PC tax” ambitions — evidence that the company was never interested in ‘playing nice’ with anybody



  18. Links 14/1/2020: Git v2.25.0 and End of Vista 7

    Links for the day



  19. Systematic Abandonment of the Independence of Judiciary at the EPO (or Collective Amnesia)

    The ‘constitution’ or the convention upon which the EPO is based (known as EPC) is routinely violated and nobody seems to care anymore; the EPO governs itself and conducts itself without as much as a fundamental legal text



  20. They Always Say They Love Linux (and 'the Children')

    Microsoft says it “loves Linux” and the Gates Foundation insists it “loves children” but the real underlying motivations have more to do with monopoly (Windows, Monsanto etc.) and nothing to do with “Linux” or “children” or whatever



  21. The Media's Obligation is Not to Repeat the Lies of EPO Management, But Money Changes Things

    The ridiculous lies about prospects of the Unified Patent Court are now spreading to EPO-friendly publishers — few powerful people to whom truth isn’t valued as much as the customers (their subscribers and sponsors are law firms)



  22. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 13, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, January 13, 2020



  23. The FSF and GNU Need a Better Savannah to Attract GitHub Refugees

    Thomas Grzybowski's explanation of why GitHub poses a risk to software freedom and what can be done about it



  24. Links 13/1/2020: Linux Lite 4.8, Linux 5.5 RC6, Corebird Continues as ‘Cawbird’

    Links for the day



  25. GNU is Not Linux and Not UNIX, Either

    When GNU started it needed to clarify that it wasn't UNIX but a UNIX-like replacement for it; now it needs to argue, sometimes in vain, that calling GNU with Linux just "Linux" is factually wrong



  26. Mansion of Pedophilia – Part VII: Guilty Verdict in Case of Pedophilia (Staff at the Mansion of Bill Gates), But Where Was the Mainstream Media?

    We take our first glimpse at court documents and a preliminary look (overview) of what the case in question entailed, with updates on the record for almost 5 years



  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 12, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 12, 2020



  28. Open Letter to Richard Stallman About the Free Software Movement

    New letter to the founder of GNU and the FSF; the authors "wish to have it published as an open letter as well."



  29. Links 12/1/2020: End of Windows 7, LibreOffice 6.4 RC2 and Sparky 5.10

    Links for the day



  30. EPO Management Already Meddles in (Illegally and in Clear Violation of the EPC) BoA Cases. Now It Does the Same to Bundesverfassungsgericht (FCC, Germany's Constitutional Court).

    Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) cannot be left alone by Team UPC, its media front groups (or pressure groups with publication as a weapon) and the EPO’s active ‘harassment’ of those assessing legality; this merely reinforces many people’s negative views (the EPO operating outside the rule of laws which govern it)


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 Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts