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Novell Results Are in: Net is Down Very Sharply (36%)

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sell Novell

FORECASTS [1] and waiting games [2] are both over. Novell’s latest results are in and they are no better than the last quarter’s (revealing that Novell operates at a considerable loss).

So first of all — let’s start with the good news. Novell employees needn’t worry about Ron, who received a $6.9 million compensation plan for his ‘wonderful’ achievements. It was similar two years ago.

But what are these achievements? Driving the company to this?

Novell Inc.’s (NOVL) fiscal first-quarter net income fell 36% on sharply lower interest income as invoicing fell short of expectations.

Here are the earnings figures:

For the first quarter, the company reported earnings of $10.7 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with $16.8 million, or 5 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue is down too:

Novell reported net revenue of $215 million, compared to $231 million previous year. Ten Wall Street analysts expected revenues of $229.95 million.

This pretty much confirms what we already know about the layoff because the company must explain to investors what it will do next. Novell has already laid off at least 25 SUSE-focused employees. They would have cost about 25 x $70,000 = $1.75m to keep per year. So they could, in principle, work for 4 years with a good wage at the expense of that “compensation” for Ron Hovsepian. How does it feel to be shafted by the very same management that sold out to Steve Ballmer, who is already busy suing Linux [1, 2]?

“Did they learn nothing from those FAT patents?”Meanwhile, elsewhere inside the company, Novell is making .NET more popular. Did they learn nothing from those FAT patents? Is Novell just another Microsoft department now? One that’s producing Windows software like NetWare and some Microsoft ‘plugins’ or Microsoft ‘addons’ for GNU/Linux (Mono, Moonlight)? For that task, Microsoft must be inside GNU/Linux, hence the alliance with Novell. They get to be inside SUSE, they have indirect membership in places like the Linux Foundation [1, 2, 3] and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. They gag critics that way. Even Red Hat must keep polite now.

As a side note, since everyone is talking about TomTom at the moment, it’s worth emphasising that this patent situation shows precisely what Microsoft might do with Mono and Moonlight and why it wants them inside GNU/Linux (Moonlight brings Mono with it to desktops like KDE). Novell increasingly focuses on Microsoft technologies. One of our readers said one hour ago that he tried “compiling mono from SVN on [his] gentoo box and it crashes with a sigsegv in the make process.”

The reader claims: “I go ask at #mono (on the gnome irc network) and miguel says ‘gentoo is eternally broken’.”

That’s nice. On the face of it, the only thing that’s “eternally broken” is Novell. And to quote other people, “Novell Is bleeding to death.”

[1] The Outlook

Computer maker Dell Inc., retailer Kohl’s and software developer Novell Inc. of Waltham report quarterly financial results.

[2] Dell, Gap, Kohl’s, Novell on earnings deck

Novell Inc., which provides open source software for businesses, is foreseen posting fiscal first-quarter earnings of 6 cents a share on revenue of $227.4 million. Its shares were up 1.2% at $3.34.

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  1. Myfraudsoft said,

    February 26, 2009 at 6:42 pm


    Well of course, Gentoo is “eternally broken”. Any non-Ballnux distro is.

  2. Ghazan said,

    February 26, 2009 at 7:07 pm


    You have been talking about big cuts at Novell coming this week, but nothing happened. Was your source, who you were so sure about, just wrong?

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 27, 2009 at 6:54 am


    Novell could axe jobs on falling demand

  4. a said,

    February 27, 2009 at 7:21 am


    Gentoo is broken because people who don’t understand the implications of applying a specific compiler option apply it anyway. It’s a known fact that GCC can break applications when aggressive optimisations are enabled. If users don’t understand this, it’s their fault and maybe their distros fault for not making this clear.

    There are many OS projects out there who won’t deal with gentoo related crashes for exactly this reason.

  5. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 27, 2009 at 7:33 am


    Your friend Balrog also refused to take suggestions on how to get it to compile.

    Pretty dishonest overall, not that anyone expects any less of you and your trolls.

  6. Ian said,

    February 27, 2009 at 8:16 am


    One that’s producing Windows software like NetWare

    I just tried to install Netware on windows. It didn’t work.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 27, 2009 at 8:25 am


    IPX/SPX, Windows drivers, etc.

  8. Balrog said,

    February 27, 2009 at 8:44 am


    I was looking for suggestions in the first place (or I wouldn’t be there). I didn’t get any useful information overall; apparently no one knows / no one cares.
    Obviously, the Gentoo people blame Mono (I asked at #gentoo too) by saying it’s probably buggy code (it sure seems that way).

    All I got from #mono was that Gentoo was doing something weird, which after checking the ebuilds, wasn’t true, and the patches Gentoo applies are bugfixes that are already incorporated into trunk.
    Just my two cents. I want something that works, and if it doesn’t, there is a need to fix it.

  9. Ian said,

    February 27, 2009 at 8:56 am


    IPX/SPX, Windows drivers, etc.

    IPX is basically dead. Novell isn’t a hardware company, so what drivers are they making? I don’t understand what you’re angling at?

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 27, 2009 at 9:15 am


    Client side mostly.

    A lot of the networked environments they target are just enabling Windows clusters, at least based on my personal experience. “Windows software like NetWare” was a quickly-thrown-in phrase that I wrote in IRC and then passed over very sloppily for a blog where the key part was “Microsoft ‘plugins’ or Microsoft ‘addons’ for GNU/Linux.”

    Novell is still dependent on Microsoft and Windows. It complements the empire of an abuser. And that was the key point.

  11. Acai said,

    February 27, 2009 at 9:16 am


    It’s a known fact that GCC can break applications when aggressive optimisations are enabled. If users don’t understand this, it’s their fault and maybe their distros fault for not making this clear.

  12. Ian said,

    February 27, 2009 at 9:18 am


    You’re not wrong then. But you’re also ignoring the fact that almost all of their customers run Windows on the workstation. Are you advocating Novell stop support Windows? If Novell considered that at any point in the near future, they might as well just lock the doors and call it now.

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 27, 2009 at 9:23 am


    It has always made Novell an odd bedmate for S.u.S.E.

  14. Ian said,

    February 27, 2009 at 10:03 am


    When you think about it, not really. NetWare was a dead end without a major rebuild and lacked 3rd party support. Novell’s desktop strategy isn’t very clear, but their server strategy is, which explains Suse.

  15. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 27, 2009 at 10:17 am


    Balrog: First off, it’s pretty dishonest of you to:

    1. complain when svn won’t build (svn, by its very nature, is in flux)
    2. not mention which revision on which branch you are even talking about
    3. not mention which gcc flags you used (for mono /and/ the rest of your system, e.g. glibc, etc)
    4. compiling software on gentoo is asking for problems. according to google, people have problems compiling KDE and the stability of KDE apps (and no doubt other apps) on Gentoo systems.

    Once again, purposely trying to fail – just like Roy’s other friend who purposely tried to fail to build Moonlight so that he had an excuse to fail. And… just like him, you chose to build from svn.

    Dishonest? Or just retarded?

    I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to decide.

    If you really want Mono or Moonlight, and you just *have* to compile your own instead of using packages, why not at least use released versions? Preferably source packages put together by your distro maintainers.

  16. Anonymous said,

    February 27, 2009 at 11:42 am


    > Novell could axe jobs on falling demand

    You’re avoiding to answer Ghazan’s eligible questions. You have been touting imminent huge layoffs. So where are they? Or will you for once admit that your site is only about spreading FUD?

  17. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 27, 2009 at 11:49 am


    Be patient. My source was reliable.

  18. saulgoode said,

    February 27, 2009 at 11:52 am


    If you really want Mono or Moonlight, and you just *have* to compile your own instead of using packages,…

    Isn’t that *required* if anything other than Microsoft’s proprietary codecs are to be used?

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 27, 2009 at 12:03 pm


    ..Which would be wiser now that Microsoft is suing Linux and looking for infringements inside it (e.g. FAT)?

    See this article for details.

  20. Balrog said,

    February 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm


    @Dan O’Brian:
    I was compiling from SVN to test out the new .NET 3 support and Silverlight 2.0 support. I’m not complaining about the build failing, but about their refusal to help and telling me to ask at #gentoo (where those people tell me it’s a bug in Mono).

    I have used release versions, and yes, the do work (fine in Gentoo, by the way), but that’s not the point here. SVN is there for testing, and if it doesn’t work, troubleshooting is necessary so the maintainer can fix the problems. Seems like this wasn’t the case in this situation.
    I used the ‘moon’ branch from SVN, latest rev. My gcc flags are quite standard (I’m using regular ‘make’ by the way).

    Yes, you need to compile from source to use ffmpeg codecs, but not from SVN. (The ebuild for Moonlight in the gentoo portage tree doesn’t have an option for proprietary codecs, by the way.) Silverlight 1.0 support does NOT require Mono, so that makes it easier.
    But to test the new features that are supposed to be coming soon (basically .NET 3.0 support and Silverlight 2.0 support), you need SVN mono and SVN moonlight. I understand it may be broken, but dismissing the problem and blaming the distro people isn’t going to fix it.

  21. Gentoo User said,

    February 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm


    Be patient. My source was reliable.

    That wouldn’t happen to be the same “source” you used here, would it?

    By the way,

    How does it feel to be shafted by the very same management that sold out to Steve Ballmer, who is already busy suing Linux

    Your callousness is appalling. It’s easy to sit there and pontificate like this to normal people who have nothing to do with your grievances when you don’t have a job to lose, a family to feed or apparently any other sort of responsibility beyond writing a blog and pretending you’re important, isn’t it?

  22. seller_liar said,

    February 28, 2009 at 8:19 am


    Mono (and some other mono packages) from stable release fails a lot .Sometimes , Mono and mono packages does not detect the dependencies correctly (gtk-sharp, gtkhtml, ligdiplus and other monodevelop).

    Result : all autconf tests passes, but the app does not run.Or autconf does not find dependencies.(Mono packages does not use similar PATH)

    Monodevelop installs but does not run if some dependence have not found.The big problem is the monodevelop autconf runs 100% , but fail when try to run monodevelop

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