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08.28.10

Novell is Not Well, Downgraded

Posted in Site News at 5:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell is not well

Summary: Novell takes the blow investors have been expecting for a while; S&P is downgrading Novell and analysts are concerned amid takeover expectations

NOVELL keeps looking for a way out of the mess it’s in. Novell news got dominated by financial writings, mostly negative ones. S&P is downgrading Novell. It also downgraded Microsoft recently.

The report says: “Standard & Poor’s analyst Jim Yin this morning cut his rating on Novell (NOVL) to Sell from Hold after the company’s disappointing July quarter results after the close yesterday.”

Another new article says that “Novell Inc. Falls Short of Analyst Expectation” and adds: “We’ll have to see if this negative announcement hurts NOVL’s stock price in the near term. NOVL has lost -0.08 percent during the past month and is currently above its 200-day moving average.”

Here is some Novell coverage which came before the results [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12] and some of the coverage which came afterwards [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,
10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20]. Novell’s stock took a dive, which some people took advantage of. The dive would have been worse had Novell not warned about poor results in advance. We have already covered these results twice before [1, 2]. Here are some numbers broken down by areas of operation:

Revenue from the Security, Management and Operating Platforms division, which includes the Linux business, fell from $110 million to $108 million. The Collaboration division had revenues of $69 million, a good $11 million less than in the previous year.

More recently these results were also covered in:

A site filled with Microsoft boosters said, “Hey, Novell: No News is Bad News”

When pressed on the issue during last night’s earnings call, Novell treasurer Rob Kain waved it away: “As soon as the Board has reached a conclusion, we will make a public statement on it.” This is the second quarterly report since the failed buyout offer, and we’re all still in the dark.

To Novell’s credit, investors seem to have plenty of patience for the process. Share prices have wavered around the original buyout price, give or take about 10%. That’s a much higher level than where the stock was trading before this drama started. Still, I’d like to remind CEO Ron Hovsepian and his team that not every play for a higher bid works out as planned.

Could VMware buy Novel as several sources have been guessing for months [1, 2]? It is said by Egbert that Novell’s secrecy is not helping:

“We remain concerned over management’s silence in relation to the company’s strategic review process. The prolonged process is weighing on sales. We think management is focused on selling the company, but as time goes by, the original offer of $5.75 is becoming increasingly attractive,” said Katherine Egbert, an analyst at Jefferies.

Piper Jaffray is just neutral on Novell.

Quick Mention: Novell Does Not Support OpenOffice.org Like it Used to

Posted in Fork, Novell, Office Suites, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Oracle at 4:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sale men

Summary: While Novell is looking for a buyer it also reduces spendings on Free software projects which are essential

NOVELL INC., a forker of OpenOffice.org [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], no longer pays anything to sponsor an annual OpenOffice.org conference. Brian has attempted to find out why, but he cannot get an answer. His summation says that things don’t compute and his summary is: “Why isn’t Novell a sponsor at the upcoming OpenOffice.org Conference?”

If you’re waiting for information on OpenOffice.org from Oracle, you may need to wait a little bit longer.

[...]

Sources inside the company cite that as the main reason why they are not willing to discuss business issues, such as OpenOffice.org, at this time.

[...]

When checking out the conference sponsors, I noted that Novell was nowhere to be seen on the list. I did dig into the conference program, and found that Novell has a presence in the participations, so they will be there.

This is notable to me, at least, because lately Novell has been sending out little hints that they’ve been less than thrilled with how collaborative the OpenOffice.org community has been. This is nothing new, mind you: they were complaining about the same thing when Sun was the big OpenOffice.org backer.

There is no taking away that fact that Novell is a big contributor to OpenOffice.org, but their absence from financially sponsoring the major OpenOffice.org event of the year is something to note. Is Novell about to take their ball and go home? Were there more transparent ways Novell was involved in this particular conference? Or is Novell worried about the future direction of OpenOffice.org, too?

What is going on at Novell?

Links 28/8/2010: Diaspora Coming Within Weeks, SFLC Now in India Too

Posted in News Roundup at 4:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Open source scores

    Microsoft is laggard in everything except desktop operating systems, Office and gaming. Internet Explorer has not been able to pass the Acid 3 test which signifies that it is not standards-compliant.

    What Mr Scott would fear to accept publicly is the rise of the Ubuntu operating system and how the future release (Meerkat) is being adapted to netbooks (where Win 7 has not been ported). Mobile applications have been hammered and its newer version was greeted with a big yawn. It’s difficult to compare search engines in terms of content but Microsoft-funded agencies have been claiming Bing’s “meteoric rise”. The fact is that Google does not need to shout about its offerings.

    There is a serious lack of choice from OEMs while buying new hardware. Mr Scott may not be aware that Linux has been ported to almost everything under sun. I run my entertainment servers attached to Wi-Fi that streams music and is connected to the web on 10-year-old legacy systems ported to Unix which does not need a reboot. Windows does not provide “support” to old hardware.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

Free Software/Open Source

  • PixelLight Open-Source Cross-Platform 3D Engine

    It’s built entirely in C++ and already runs on Windows and Linux, with test versions already running on mobile devices and web browsers. Definitely looks like something to keep an eye on.

  • Open-source 3D engine PixelLight released
  • Brazil goes all-digital with 2010 census

    Better known for its beaches and passion for soccer, Brazil also happens to be the world’s second-leading open source country (just behind the U.S.) and boasts an IT services sector that rivals China and India. The South American country is now putting its digital leadership on display by carrying out its first-ever paperless, all-digital population census.

  • Government saving with open source

    Achieving significant efficiency savings and more from IT is possible – Peter Dawes- Huish, CEO, LinuxIT, considers how open source based systems and outsourcing can provide the solution

    I attended a seminar the other day and I was amazed just how much misinformation there was around the adoption of open source based software and the services surrounding it. The reasons, the strategies, the options, the benefits it offers both the private and public sector today.

    I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because open source (OS), by its very nature with such a developer led resource is such a fast moving field, or those within the OS community and providers of Enterprise Open Source, like LinuxIT, just need to work harder at getting across the ability of OS to transform the management and performance of IT environments. Its ability to contribute towards IT innovation, interoperability, reliability, flexibility, return on investment and so on.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle

    • The future of Solaris

      In 2005, Sun released the source code to Solaris, described then as the company’s crown jewel. Why do this? The simplest answer is that Solaris had been losing ground to an open source competitor in Linux. Losing ground was a symptom of economics. Students who had once been raised on Solaris were being inculcated with Linux knowlege. The combination of Linux and x86 were good enough and significantly cheaper; new companies for whom the default had once been Sun/Solaris/SPARC were instead building on x86/Linux. OpenSolaris along with x86 support were specifically intended to address this trend. Indeed, the codename for OpenSolaris was “tonic” — the tonic for Solaris’ problems.

  • CMS

    • Replacing SharePoint with Open Source CMSs

      Probably the most compelling reasons to deploy an open source solution instead are price and flexibility. The licensing costs of SharePoint, plus Windows Server, plus SQL Server and the rest of the bundle are not insignificant. If you’d prefer to avoid becoming too deeply entrenched in Microsoft-based solutions, you’ll find several open source alternatives — and three I personally recommend: Alfresco, MindTouch, and Drupal.

      Why those, and not some of the other open source CMSes? Alfresco and MindTouch are two of the most feature-compatible replacements for SharePoint. Drupal is not a direct replacement for all of SharePoint’s features, but handles many of the use cases for which SharePoint is popular. All three not only enjoy a strong user and developer community, but also have strong commercial support, making them much more suitable for enterprises that choose open source but still seek support and training services.

    • Open-source Diaspora set launch date

      Diaspora, an open-source social network describes itself as “privacy-aware, personally-controlled”, will be launched on 15 September, according to the developers.
      The project is considered as an alternative to Facebook, but many believe that it is difficult to challenge the world’s largest social network, which has 500 million users and is estimated to be worth $33bn currently.
      A team of four US students built up Diaspora trying to solve some of the problems appeared in Facebook, when it was criticised for being overly complex and confusing, as well as privacy concerns. “We want to put users back in control of what they share,” Max Salzberg, one of the founders said.
      Diaspora made headlines earlier this year when Facebook was in intense criticism.

    • Facebook alternative Diaspora eyes launch date
    • Elgg, the open source social networking CMS announced version 1.7.2

      A new version of the popular open source social networking CMS, Elgg has been released! 1.7.2 is primarily a bugfix release.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Government

    • U.K. releases its first contribution to Drupal

      The U.K. government has just released its first contribution to the Drupal community.

    • Data.gov.uk releases open-source code
    • Government still not using open source

      Government reluctance to use open source software is creating problems for cost savings at a local level, a councillor has said.

      The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has been trying to move away from Microsoft software options in favour of moving towards more cost effective open source software.

      Computer Weekly reported that this could save up to one third of the council’s IT costs.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Designing culture: The other community plumbing

      4. Don’t be Tom Sawyer.

      Here stood the board fence which tom sawyer persuaded his gang to pay him for the privilege of whitewashing. Tom sat by and saw that it was well done.

      Tom Sawyer is interesting because Tom, by being a smooth talker, convinced everyone to do his work for him. Many companies approach their community strategies as having other people painting their fences. The popular term now is crowdsourcing. In this model, a company says “I have a lot of problems. Maybe I can convince a bunch of people to do my work for me.” Sometimes it works, like Dell’s IdeaStorm. But it works only for big, powerful brands. It doesn’t work when a company asks for help, and everyone ignores them. And it doesn’t work because as a company, you can’t build a community around yourself.

    • Pharma’s Future: Open-Source R&D

      The future of pharmaceutical R&D may lie in open-source research, with key data being made available to a number of people, including college students and university researchers, in an open and collaborative process. Open-source drug development would leverage an online community of computer users worldwide.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source: A Developing Robotics Industry

        The Menlo Park, Calif-based company, founded in 2006, develops open-source hardware and software for the robotics industry. Its robot PR2 (Personal Robot 2) is being sold as an example of what software developers can do with an open-source robotics platform.

  • Programming

    • Ruby on Rails 3.0 due this week

      Ruby on Rails 3.0, a major upgrade to the popular open source Web development framework, is due in a final release this week, the founder of the framework, David Heinemeier Hansson, said on Tuesday.

Leftovers

  • John Lennon’s loo fetches £9,500 at auction for Beatles fans

    A porcelain lavatory which John Lennon told a builder to use as a “plant pot” has fetched £9,500 – nearly 10 times its guide price – at an auction today.

    The loo was used by the music legend when he lived at Tittenhurst Park in Berkshire between 1969 and 1972.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Walter Reed says it mishandled nuclear material

      The military’s flagship hospital acknowledged Thursday it mishandled two packages of radioactive material last spring in an incident regulators said may have exposed staff and patients to elevated radiation levels.

    • MIT researchers unveil autonomous oil-absorbing robot

      The system, called Seaswarm, is a fleet of vehicles that may make cleaning up future oil spills both less expensive and more efficient than current skimming methods. MIT’s Senseable City Lab will unveil the first Seaswarm prototype at the Venice Biennale’s Italian Pavilion on Saturday, August 28. The Venice Biennale is an international art, music and architecture festival whose current theme addresses how nanotechnology will change the way we live in 2050.

Clip of the Day

Richard M. Stallman Speech Patents Calgary Canada 2005


Mozilla Avoids MPEG-LA’s Latest Poison Pill and Rejects Patents Just Like Samba Does

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Patents, Red Hat at 11:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MPEG LA logo

Summary: Mozilla maintains its anti-patents stance and Red Hat could take a lesson from Mozilla

MOZILLA is a strong supporter of free codecs and strong opposer of patents. It is therefore not surprising that despite the latest stunt from MPEG-LA (a lot of the press foolishly promoted this), Mozilla rejects H.264.

MPEG LA, the group that licenses the h.264 video codec, has extended its royalty-free use (for free internet video) from 2016 until, well, forever. Update: Kinda. But Mozilla thinks the better part of forever could belong to Google’s WebM format.

Mozilla is in many ways like Samba, at least as far as patent policy is concerned. Challenging Samba’s position there is this company which came out of Microsoft and goes by the name of “Likewise” [1, 2, 3, 4]. It is 'open' core with Microsoft patents, pretending to be “open source” with GPLv2/3 (just for the ‘core’, the ripped off bits). It’s more like a Samba ripoff, so promotion of its announcements (publicity is all they seem to be good at) is probably unnecessary. Also watch how ACCESS keeps pretending to be a “LINUX” player in its latest press releases about proprietary software. The now-embattled ACCESS plays with software patents, just like many fake ‘friends’ of “Open Source”. It is good to check which companies gather software patents while they market themselves as open. Sadly, Red Hat went that way too (see links below). It does not contribute to ending of dangerous patents and if Red Hat gets sold under hostile circumstances (along with its patents), it will be a disaster. We have begun talking with Red Hat lawyers about it and they are responsive.

What is Interval Research Corporation? (Origin of Paul Allen’s Patent Troll)

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 11:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Interval banner

Summary: A quick review of the patent troll which is used by Microsoft’s co-founder to sue almost everyone but Microsoft

IN OUR previous two posts about Microsoft’s co-founder Allen becoming a patent troll [1, 2] we attempted to gather more information about the shell he was using. It was originally called “Interval Research Corporation”.

One reader gave us a link to the Web site from 13 years ago (the site no longer exists). In the interests of preserving this for history, here is how Interval described itself back then: “Interval Research Corporation considers how technology will impact individuals and experiments with the possibilities.

“Founded in 1992 by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft Corp., and David Liddle, a computer industry veteran with deep roots in research, Interval is a research setting seeking to define the issues, map out the concepts and create the technology that will be important in the future. With its long-term resources, Interval pursues basic innovations in a number of early-stage technologies and seeks to foster industries around them — sparking opportunity for entrepreneurs and highlighting a new approach to research.

“Typical research areas at Interval include signal computation, digital entertainment systems, field ethnography, adaptive computational structures, portable and wearable information technology, interactive entertainment, wireless communication and sensing, network cultures, design, technology and lifestyle choices, immersive environments, on-line journalism, and experimental media.

“To bring a fresh and real-world perspective to creating these futures, Interval has gathered a broad range of people to make up its research staff, including film makers, designers, musicians, cognitive psychologists, artists, computer scientists, journalists, entrepreneurs, engineers and software developers. The company also collaborates with other research groups and university laboratories, including the Royal College of Art, the MIT Media Lab, the Santa Fe Institute and Stanford University and many others.

“Technology will change the way we perceive our world. Interval will change the way people feel about technology.”

Allen’s colleague at the time (co-founder David Liddle) is described in Wikipedia as “co-founder of Interval Research Corporation, consulting professor of computer science at Stanford University, and credited with heading development of the groundbreaking Xerox Star computer system. He has served on the board of many corporations. He was chair of the board of trustees of the Santa Fe Institute from 1994 to 1999.”

What has he been up to since then? Allen’s history is well known and documented extensively on the Web, even some literature. So let’s take a look at Liddle. He appears to be here and according to LinkedIn, his recent professional history is as follows:

# Director
Karmasphere

(Privately Held; Information Technology and Services industry)

March 2010 — Present (6 months)

# Director
Electric Cloud

(Privately Held; Computer Software industry)

2007 — Present (3 years )

# Director
Klocwork

(Privately Held; Computer Software industry)

2005 — Present (5 years )

# Director
MaxLinear

(Public Company; MXL; Semiconductors industry)

2004 — Present (6 years )

# Director
Optichron

(Venture Capital & Private Equity industry)

2002 — Present (8 years )

# Director
New York Times Company

(Venture Capital & Private Equity industry)

2000 — Present (10 years )

# Venture Partner
U.S. Venture Partners

(Partnership; Venture Capital & Private Equity industry)

January 2000 — Present (10 years 8 months)

# General Partner
U.S. Venture Partners

(Partnership; Venture Capital & Private Equity industry)

July 2000 — July 2009 (9 years 1 month)

# President, CEO
Interval Research

(Privately Held; Computer Software industry)

1992 — 1999 (7 years )

Prior to that he worked for IBM, Metaphor Computer Systems, and Xerox Corporation. Prior to Xerox he earned his Ph.D. and right now he works as a venture capitalist. The interesting thing is that he left Interval 11 years ago having served as president and CEO there. Their Web site vanished and suddenly it resurfaced out of nowhere only with a lawsuit and some patents. Did someone just pick up those patents and decide to sue without the awareness of Allen and Liddle? Maybe they just carried Allen’s name in the press release in order to gain credibility? We decided to find out. Given that Microsoft was excluded from the lawsuit, it’s quite likely that Allen had a role. If so, this shows that he is just as malicious and greedy and Gates. As Against Monopoly put it:

Paul Allen Files Patent Lawsuits Against The Entire Web (Except for Microsoft)

[...]

Obviously, the less-than-clarifying Bilski decision from the Supreme Court isn’t deterring him.

The question is, how much of a role does Allen really play here? According to Wikipedia, “As of June 2008, the interval.com domain registration was maintained by Digeo, another Paul Allen company.” The article also says that “Interval Research was issued approximately 300 patents” and that Allen’s own Interval Licensing LLC holds them. A direct relationship can therefore be shown.

Mark Ballard Shows Why British Government Must Move to ODF as Doorway to Software Freedom

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument at 10:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UK flag with Tux

Summary: Calls from within the United Kingdom to facilitate a promised migration to Free software, via international standards such as ODF

IN RECENT weeks we wrote a great deal about Free software in the UK public sector (lack thereof rather). A few days ago we showed that the government would save an enormous amount of money by moving to ODF. The following new article agrees to a certain degree and it was researched by the same person who helped expose misconduct in Newham (Microsoft moles [1, 2, 3]):

  • Tory council’s open source plans stymied as government considers policy

    A leading Tory council has been delayed in its attempt to replace Microsoft with open source software because the government is yet to fulfil an election pledge to introduce open standards.

    The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, one of the four “vanguard” councils testing the government’s Big Society project, also came to the attention of Microsoft after its IT strategy promised in April to “move away from the Microsoft Office platform and replace it with an open source or cloud alternative”.

    The council’s IT strategy proposed open source and open standards would cut its IT costs by a third. But Liam Maxwell, councillor responsible for IT policy at the borough, said the initiative depended on central government mandating the use of open standards in office software.

    “We are trying out open source. The problem is that Open Document Format (ODF) has not been adopted by the government yet,” said Maxwell, who helped draught Conservative technology policy before the election. “Why hasn’t ODF been adopted by government?” he said, calling for it to be done.

A migration to Free software in the British government is not far fetched at all. A lot of Europe is already doing it and even Data.gov.uk makes some commendable moves. From several days ago we have:

  • Data.gov.uk releases Open Source code

    As part of the government’s ongoing work around transparency, today we are releasing some of the custom software code we’ve developed – a CKAN module for Drupal. This is available for anyone to review, use, or modify. We’re excited to see how developers and colleagues across the world put this work to good use in their own applications and projects.

A short while ago we retold the story of France and OpenOffice.org, showing the role of Microsoft's office suite in stifling rapid migrations to GNU/Linux. A move to ODF is very crucial because of that. As for OOXML, it is a scam and as the i4i case helps show, it is probably not legal, either. Reuters tells the story of i4i at this moment:

“Microsoft sat in meetings with us where we explained how it works and we believed if you’ve got a patent, a patent is full disclosure and in return you guys have to respect that and that is the law,” said i4i co-founder Michel Vulpe, whose software patent was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 1998.

In 2004 Vulpe became suspicious that the software giant was using their technology, without permission, in its popular Word software. In 2007, when Microsoft began touting its XML capabilities, i4i got serious and launched their patent infringement lawsuit.

At the time, Vulpe said the reaction from friends was a mixture of laughter and horror.

With ‘partners’ like these, who needs rivals?

Canonical Should Adhere to Freedom Principles, Keep Feet on the Ground (Not ‘Cloud’)

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 9:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Matt Asay in clouds

Summary: Under new leadership, the Debian-derived Ubuntu sees a push for Fog Computing and further disposition of Freedom values

Matt Asay, Canonical’s newly-appointed COO, continues to show lack of commitment to Free software. Instead, semi-Open Source, 'open' core, and an obsession with Fog Computing occasionally crop up. Here is a new article where Asay puts a question mark as he seemingly provokes opposers of ‘open’ core:

  • Open Core naysayers celebrate…proprietary software?

    The odd thing is that the free software crowd hails this as progress. We are absolutely not veering toward an open-source future, where all software is released under an OSI-approved license. Far from it. Instead we’re simply seeing companies figure out that they don’t need to compete on distributed database management systems like Cassandra, because they have plenty of proprietary value elsewhere.

Another new example of provocation with a question mark:

Asay has not blogged in CNET for a long time, maybe because it caused him trouble. He does tend to say some darn things which irk Ubuntu users (or Canonical customers) at times. He also belittles some competitors, which is not appropriate in a “news” site. He can’t please everyone and anyone can accept that he wants to do the right thing. Either way, regarding that latter article (in which he’s consensually linking to Linux FUD from Microsoft MVP Jason Hiner, who has a track record of attacking Free software), one person among two in the comments section writes: “I thought you are done with your anti-free software crap already. You are wrong on so many levels that it’s not even funny anymore.”

Separately, in ZDNet there’s Canonical staff talking about a shift to Fog Computing, which the FSF is very much against (at least Canonical tries to adhere to openness, which is not necessarily the same as freedom). Published yesterday:

Canonical: The cloud shift is developer-led

Neil Levine has headed up corporate services at open source Ubuntu-backer Canonical since August 2009. Prior to that, he was the chief technology officer at Claranet, which provides managed hosting from the datacentre up to the application layer. Enthusiastic about open-source schemes within the cloud, he recently attended the launch of the OpenStack scheme, an attempt to make it easier for companies to get off the ground in cloud computing.

[...]

We’ve had a product on the market for over 1.5 years, and we were the first open source cloud option. We took the product to a lot of businesses and they talked to their operations people and infrastructure people who said: “yeah, we love this, this is great, but I can’t just deploy it with nothing to run on top. I have to have an application”. Then they talked to their application people who said: “I want to do cloud, but this is the problem I’ve got at the moment” — whether it’s analytics or big data issues.

Canonical ought to look at the goals of the Debian project and remain somewhat loyal to that doctrine. If Ubuntu became just another brand in a group of non-Free options, not much would actually be achieved. To be fair, other distributions are also attempting this Fog Computing dabbling; they too should not lose sight of the goals of GNU and Linux.

Apple Monogamy: How Apple Retaliated Against Partner That ‘Dared’ to Explore Linux

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft at 9:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple snipers

Summary: SurfaceInk committed the ‘sin’ of testing GNU/Linux, so Apple dumps it as a company to do business with

Y

ESTERDAY we wrote about Microsoft allegedly threatening to withdraw support for an application developer if GNU/Linux was also supported. This is reminiscent of a recent story about a game maker which Microsoft allegedly treated this way. Apple turns out to be no better than Microsoft in that regard. Check out this news:

  • Apple dump SurfaceInk over potential iPad rival demo

    SurfaceInk’s 12.1-inch tablet reference design may have won them headlines when they demonstrated the Ubuntu-powered slate back in June, but it also lost them Apple as a client. CEO Eric Bauswell confirmed to the NY Times that, because of “Apple’s growing awareness of our turnkey capabilities,” the two companies had “gone separate directions.”

  • Apple dumps design firm SurfaceInk due to potential tablet threat

    In June, the company showed off a 12.1-inch tablet running Ubuntu Linux that had quite a few features the iPad lacks, including a mini-HDMI connection to push video to HDTVs, and two cameras for video conferencing. It had also said that it was working on a more portable 7-inch model. The tablet was intended to show SurfaceInk’s clients the sort of capabilities it had, and didn’t seem to have any future beyond being a mere prototype.

  • Apple severs ties with tablet-design firm

    SurfaceInk, which also has a turnkey business that creates and licenses products, has enjoyed success in the tech world. According to its site, the company’s clients have included Hewlett-Packard, Palm, and Belkin.

  • Developer of Tablets Loses Apple as Customer

    SurfaceInk, a company founded in 1999, has done engineering design work in the past for clients — and Apple competitors — like Palm and Hewlett-Packard. The company, which has about 50 employees, also has a so-called turnkey business, which creates products and licenses them to other companies.

    It was that latest part of SurfaceInk’s business, which the company began about five years ago, that apparently unsettled Apple. While SurfaceInk had gotten clients mostly through word of mouth, in June it publicized a prototype 12.1-inch tablet during an electronics trade show.

    The device was meant to showcase SurfaceInk’s design capabilities to potential clients, Mr. Bauswell said. He said that Apple viewed those capabilities as a potential competitive threat.

  • Apple fires former design partner over tablet

    Apple has severed all ties with a small Silicon Valley design firm thats its been doing business with for the past decade, the company SurfaceInk has helped with the development of many of its products.

  • Apple dumps SurfaceInk over rival tablet

    I understand having to look after your company’s wellbeing but this suggests overkill on Apple’s part. Then again, is anyone surprised by such a reaction?

Apple’s hypePad is said to be popular mostly among existing customers of Apple. Apple knows that its niche product is under substantial threat from Linux, which it is already suing.

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