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

11.22.10

SUSE, OpenSUSE, and Why AttachMSFT Won’t Care

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 4:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A rushed analysis of where AttachMSFT [sic] will stand when it comes to Novell assets and what this means to the OpenSUSE community

WE have about 10 more posts that we hope to publish today about Novell. In this post, we quickly say that OpenSUSE should prepare for exit from Novell. AttachMSFT [sic] (AttachMSFT was suggested as an Identi.ca Hashtag for the Novell/Attachmate/CPTN/MSFT deal), which is the buyer of Novell assets, is funded by what’s known as a “vulture fund”, which means that it buys companies only to sell whatever it has inside it that’s of value. The rest is just left to rot in the carcass. To quote it from someone else:

Glyn Moody’s tweet said it best. “Attachmate got the carcass after Microsoft’s mates ripped out the juicy stuff.

In our previous posts about the sale [1, 2] including this one about UNIX we have already covered most of the important points, but for those who do not know yet, Elliot’s Singer, the person who is responsible for Novell going on sale in the first place, is the one providing funds to AttachMSFT, which nobody really heard of before. Some background about Singer and his “vulture fund” can be found in:

To quote some readers of ours, Oiaohm speaks about a situation where “Attachmate would be likely to just discontinue mono. No mono no hope for MS of .NET being a golden egg long term.”

ThistleWeb says: “I do note the “consortium led by MS” part, aka the PR chaff they can use to deflect any criticism in legal cases”

Jan says: “More strangeness in #AttachMSFT “But as part of the deal [...] Elliott is to become an equity shareholder in Attachmate” http://is.gd/hAOV2 ”

Qu1j0t3 says: “evidently another successful hack of the legal system. #antitrust #microsoft #novell #attachmsft”

Oiaohm adds “CPTN Holdings is another name for Microsoft. [...] CPTN Holdings, a Microsoft (MSFT) led consortium”

Yes, antitrust is a major factor here and a bigger discussion about it can be found in our IRC logs (to be published after midnight GMT). Antitrust scrutiny might not have the ability to take proxies into account.

Back in 2006, Microsoft paid Novell over $300 million to put it under a lot of Microsoft control. Today it finds a way to pay a mere $450 million (small money to technology giants) and takes everything which is needs from Novell, notably software patents.

Jan asks: “What will happen with Mono after AttachMSFT?”

He also tells Jono Bacon (Canonical): “#AttachMSFT has Elliott (that hedgefund that bidded for NOVL in february) as investor. Makes sense now? ;-)”

Rob Myers explains to Jono Bacon: “And certain “intellectual property” goes to a Microsoft consortium…”

Alan Lord tells to Jono Bacon: “And I bet that that information (which #swpats etc.) will remain locked down until they decide to use them…”

“Boycott Novell” warns about Novell because it recognises it as a danger, especially a long-term danger. I personally received messages today (or messages to “Boycott Novell”) which give us credit for foresight.

OMG!Ubuntu! has covered this too, but then again, who has not? Novell is over and “it will be a bummer to see it go,” writes abeNd.org, “i know a bunch of my customers will probably scramble to want to migrate to microsoft asap”

Here is another corporate press article about it (similar to the press release, so no real exploration here).

Novell Inc. said Monday morning that it will be acquired in a private-equity-led deal valued at $6.10 a share, or about $2.2 billion.

Carlo Piana writes: “Now I’m in #paranoid mode WRT Novell sale. Going to read what the well informed @maryjofoley can tell us”

Is he serious when calling Mary Jo Foley well informed? She repeats what Microsoft says and Microsoft misinforms more than almost anyone. Here is what she wrote:

So far, Microsoft is saying little about its role in the deal.

“We are pleased to be a part of the acquisition of certain intellectual property assets of Novell. Microsoft looks forward to continuing our collaboration with Novell into the future, to bring mixed source IT solutions to customers,” said the company via a statement from Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing.

[...]

Attachmate officials have said they plan to operate Novell as two business units, Novell and SUSE, and join them with their Attachmate and NetIQ businesses.

Update: It sounds like Mono development will continue under the new Attachmate owners, as well.

No word about OpenSUSE. AttachMSFT just want to suck what’s left of SLE* (contracts) and have Microsoft paid for patents that nobody knows anything about. VMB_ware with Microsoft’s Maritz at the top would not have been much better as a takeover, but at least it’s one of those real companies with known products and brands. Our reader rpgdude writes: “OIN should buy the patents” (well, it’s too late now, isn’t it?).

cubezzz remarks: “Novell continues to grant IBM’s license of Unix”

It will get quite complicated if Microsoft indeed gets UNIX. But again, what about OpenSUSE? Nobody appears to be talking about it. Unless a way is found to make a lot of money from it, what will possibly keep Novell/AttachMSFT funding which the project requires? Novell was already a bad steward of OpenSUSE, for example whenever servers fell.

We have plenty of catching up to do with OpenSUSE news (although there is little going on there nowadays) and one thing that caught our eyes the other night is this post about OpenSUSE and KDE, which ends with:

Finally, users can make visual contact with their virtual desktops by hovering the bottom of the screen to make these arrows appear and go to a different virtual desktop. Additionally, there could be a window list much like Mac OSX’s or Windows 7 but sitting comfortably on the right edge of the screen which accumulates in similar fashion to what AfterStep did borrowing from NeXTStep.

OpenSUSE is technically just as good if not better than the proprietary competition, but it does not have marketing.

Here is Novell promoting SLE* in a recently-uploaded video. Why not OpenSUSE?

They are trying to get people to defect from Red Hat to Novell/SLE* (with more promotional videos), which Novell pays Microsoft for. Novell claims to have the most supported applications (watch the video above) — a claim previously disputed by others. Even Novell’s PR agents use the same tactics, having just pulled other talking points like number of appliances built by the fruits of Friedman, who was behind the project before he left the company. IBM is also among these talking points from Novell’s PR (we covered part I earlier this month), which tries to elevate morale as the best staff is leaving.

“Novell claims to have the most supported applications (watch the video above) — a claim previously disputed by others.”Most of the other news we found is just about SLES, so there is almost nothing to say about OpenSUSE. Timothy Prickett Morgan mentioned SLES in some of his good articles, the latter of which states: “At the moment, ScaleMP’s vSMP Foundation shared memory clustering software works with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5 and Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and 11.”

Novell servers also get a mention in other places (similar here), with the most major story being announced in a press release to generate some news like:

i. Novell announces The Hong Kong Jockey Club

ii. One of the World*s Largest Racing Organizations Standardizes on SUSE Linux Enterprise

To summarise the point of this quick post, Novell will no longer be Novell; it is going to be a bunch of assets in a shell, with its patents stripped away and sold to a Microsoft shell. OpenSUSE is unlikely to be part of this plan and since Novell too appears to have lost interest, the talented OpenSUSE people should try to fork OpenSUSE (trademark owned by Novell) or contribute to a different distribution. Novell authorised the death knell of OpenSUSE 4 years ago when it agreed with Microsoft that OpenSUSE should not be used in businesses which make money, not without being sued or extorted by Microsoft anyway. It’s there in the deal — the agreement both companies signed without consultation from OpenSUSE members.

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 28/8/2016: Q4OS 1.6, ConnochaetOS 14.2

    Links for the day



  2. The United States Has Gotten Over Software Patents

    A roundup of new articles about software patents in the United States, 2 years into the post-Alice era (the US Supreme Court deeming patents on software too abstract to have merit)



  3. More Lies From President Benoît Battistelli and the EPO Crisis Which Continues to Deepen

    The European Patent Office (EPO), collectively speaking, is still wrestling with a Battistelli infiltration (a circle of high-level managers) which habitually lies and viciously attacks those who dare counter these lies



  4. Links 27/8/2016: Torvalds and GPL, “DOD Must Embrace Open-Source Software”

    Links for the day



  5. Links 26/8/2016: Maru OS Resurfaces, Android More Reliable Than 'i' Things, PC-BSD Becomes TrueOS

    Links for the day



  6. Good Job, David Kappos, Says the 'Boss' (IBM)

    Responses to the latest call against Alice (eliminator of many software patents), courtesy of the man from IBM (still paid by IBM) who was responsible for the policy that blindly approved a lot of software patents in the US



  7. Being for Patent Quality or Against Patenting Excess Does Not Make You Anti-Patents

    Like IAM, which tries to portray sceptics and critics of software patents as "anti-patents", IP Watchdog (or Watchtroll as we call it) is 'trolling' the Electronic Frontier Foundation, simply because it expressed an opinion that patent maximalists cannot tolerate



  8. Erosion of Patent Quality Enables Patent Extortion With Large Portfolios of Low Validity Rate

    Revisiting the EPO's vision of poor patent examination and the effect of discriminatory granting practices, favouring patent bullies such as Microsoft (which actively attacks Linux using low-quality and usually pure software patents)



  9. The EPO's Francesco Zaccà Presenting in Turin Alongside Patent Trolls (Like the Patent Mafia Sisvel) and Lobbyists/Front Groups for Software Patents, UPC

    Benjamin Henrion (FFII) on seeing the EPO alongside patent trolls and other nefarious actors, doing what they do best, which is undermining public interests and harming patent quality



  10. The EPO, USPTO, and Patent Microcosm Peddle Myths About Patents in Public Universities and Research

    Tackling some of the commonly-spread myths about patents as "saving lives" and "promoting research" (in practice leading to the death of poor people and promoting trolls)



  11. Large Corporations' Lobbyist David Kappos Disgraces Former Employer USPTO by Meddling in Their Affairs on Software Patents, Downplaying the Supreme Court

    The latest lobbying from David Kappos, who blatantly exploits his connections in patent circles to promote software patents and work towards their resurgence after Alice v CLS Bank



  12. Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice Calls the European Patent Office “Rotten”, Other Sources Scrutinise Recent Moves

    The patent office which was once known for being the best bar none is rotting under the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli, who made himself and his friends the main clients of the Office



  13. PTAB Emerges as Hero of USPTO Because Quality of Patents Improves, Software Patents Are Effectively Dead (or Dying Once Reassessed)

    With help from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) -- not just patent courts -- software patents drop like flies by the thousands



  14. Creative Technology, Now Operating in 'Patent Troll' Mode, Shot Down by the ITC; Jawbone Too Shot Down

    Some good news from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which may have put an end to Creative's new war on Android (using old patents)



  15. Corporate Media in India Misrepresents Startups to Push for Software Patents

    A parade of misinformation as seen in Indian (but English-speaking) press this week as questions about patentability of software resurface



  16. Links 25/8/2016: Linux Turns 25, NetworkManager Turns 1.4

    Links for the day



  17. Links 24/8/2016: More From LinuxCon, Uganda Wants FOSS

    Links for the day



  18. Links 23/8/2016: GNOME 3.22 Beta, Android 7.0 Nougat

    Links for the day



  19. The Linux Foundation Gives Microsoft (Paid-for) Keynote Position While Microsoft Extorts (With Patents) Lenovo and Motorola Over Linux Use

    This morning's reminder that Nadella is just another Ballmer (with a different face); Motorola and Lenovo surrender to Microsoft's patent demands and will soon put Microsoft spyware/malware on their Linux-powered products to avert costly legal battles



  20. Not Just President Battistelli: EPO Vice-Presidents Are Still Intentionally Misrepresenting EPO Staff

    Evidence serving to show that EPO Vice-Presidents are still intentionally misrepresenting EPO staff representatives and misleading everyone in order to defend Battistelli



  21. Battistelli the Liar Causes a Climate of Confrontation in French Politics, Lies About Patent Quality (Among Many Other Things)

    Battistelli's lies are coming under increased scrutiny inside and outside the European Patent Office (EPO), where patent quality has been abandoned in order to artificially elevate figures



  22. The Collapse of Software Patents and Patent Law Firms Trying to “Overcome” Alice

    The United States continues its gradual crackdown on software patents (which are viewed as abstract and thus unpatentable), whereas in Europe things are murkier than ever



  23. Apple's Patent Wars Against Android/Linux Make Patent Trolls Stronger

    Apple's insistence that designs should be patentable could prove to be collectively expensive, as patent trolls would then use a possible SCOTUS nod to launch litigation campaigns



  24. Links 22/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC3, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Beta

    Links for the day



  25. Links 21/8/2016: Apple and Microsoft Down, Systemd Spreading to Mount

    Links for the day



  26. Links 20/8/2016: Android Domination, FSFE summit 2016

    Links for the day



  27. Patents Roundup: Trolls Dominate Litigation, PTAB Crushes Patents, Patent Box Regime Persists, and OIN Explains Itself

    Another roundup of patent news from around the Web with special focus on software patenting



  28. The Cost/Toll of the 'New' EPO and Where All That Money Goes or Comes From

    The European Patent Office has become a servant of the rich and powerful (including large foreign corporations) and even its own employees now pay the price associated with misguided new policies (or 'reforms' as Battistelli habitually refers to these)



  29. Links 19/8/2016: Linux Mint With KDE, Linux Foundation's PNDA

    Links for the day



  30. The End of an Era at the USPTO as Battistelli-Like (EPO) Granting Policies Are Over

    The United States is seeing the potency of patents -- especially software patents (which make up much of the country's troll cases) -- challenged by courts and by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts