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More on Novell’s Finances: SUSE and Mono Failures

Posted in Debian, Formats, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, SLES/SLED at 4:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Contradiction in claims about Novell’s SUSE franchise (business up, still losing money)

Earlier on we expressed skepticism about Novell's SUSE numbers, having found that the company's results were rather poor overall, probably leading to offshoring of operations. Here is a Microsoft fan who covers it (he seldom says anything negative about Microsoft or its allies and he works for Barron’s). It turns out that we were right because now we find a contradiction. While former Novell employee Matt Asay claimed a rise in Novell’s SUSE business, we now find the video above and a headline which says that “Novell’s Linux Business [is] Still Not Profitable.” Does this mean that Novell only counts growth in terms of revenue when it suits it? It must be the black art of non-pedantic statistics. The article goes as follows:

Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL) is managing to grow its Linux business despite a difficult economy, but is it profitable? The answer, according to both Novell’s CEO and its CFO, is not yet.

“We have invested heavily in our Linux business to gain market share and acquire new customers,” Novell CFO Dana Russell said on the company’s quarterly conference call last night. “While the business is not yet profitable, we are making steady progress and plan for it to be break-even no later than 12 to 18 months from today.”

Novell entered the Linux business in 2003 with the acquisition of SUSE Linux for $210 million and Linux desktop vendor Ximian.

Ximian is a problem and a disgrace to Free software, being the type of offshoot which produced a bridge for Microsoft to embrace and extend GNU/Linux in a malevolent fashion. Too bold an accusations? Well, in relation to the article above, Art Cancro responds by asking if Novell will be “Bankrupt soon.” He writes: “I certainly hope that Ximian (who call themselves “Novell” these days) will go bankrupt very soon. They are basically just the Linux division of Microsoft.

“[W]hy on Earth would IBM want a third-class version of .NET, which is just chasing Java’s tail?”In response to this, says another person, “Way back when I used Microsoft’s assembler on a TRS-80, they were the only company that expected users to pay full price for upgrades. At that time I wished they’d go bankrupt soon.

Someone who goes by the name “oldvaxman” calls Novell a “Good Buy”, then stating: “I think Novell would be a good purchase for IBM

We wrote about this possibility on April 1st because the date seemed suitable. It might make some sense, but why on Earth would IBM want a third-class version of .NET, which is just chasing Java’s tail?

Here is a blog item from this morning. It is about the hypocrisy of Mono supporters. It’s primarily about copyrights.

One of the things that bothers me about Novell is there are a few very vocal people pumping out a lot of disinformation. Some of it I have touched on in passing, but I might just try my hand at pointing out one point at a time in a series of posts. Fear my blogging!

Most of the disinformation is in the areas of mono and Moonlight (no surprise there), but I’ll start with what I consider a clear cut case of hypocrisy from another controversial Novell project…

Those who help Mono development merely improve code which is owned by Novell and helps Microsoft. Fortunately, regarding Tomboy, there is a solution in the making. Yesterday Gnote migrated to Squeeze, which means there will be a backport for Debian Lenny users pretty soon.

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