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05.23.11

SD Times: “Attachmate (a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner) buys Novell. Microsoft gives gobs of money to Attachmate. Attachmate whacks the Mono team.”

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 7:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: A so-called ‘conspiracy theory’ from the SD Times and further thoughts about Wizard Parent LLC as well as Microsoft’s small office in Nevada which helps avoid about a billion dollars in tax

FOR quite some time we have been criticising the SD Times for promoting Mono and removing criticism of it while also receiving money from Microsoft to advertise Microsoft products in the magazine. A new column from the SD Times, however, has this to say: [via Pamela Jones of Groklaw]

The bulk of the work on Mono, under the leadership of Miguel de Icaza, has been done by Novell employees. Shortly after Attachmate completed its acquisition of Novell, those employees were all laid off.

A key enabler of Attachmate’s purchase was Microsoft. We can safely assume that Microsoft doesn’t like the idea of .NET applications running on anything except Windows.

So: Open-source project goes after Microsoft’s crown jewels. Novell drives that project forward. Attachmate (a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner) buys Novell. Microsoft gives gobs of money to Attachmate. Attachmate whacks the Mono team.

As my teenage son would say, “Duh.”

Frankly, I was caught off guard by this sudden move. At the end of April, in “Novell is gone, and yes, it matters. Here’s why,” I wrote, “My prediction: Under Attachmate, SUSE will flourish, and Mono will whither. I expect Mono to suffer intentional neglect, rather than a bold stroke, until it weakens, loses relevance and fades away.”

How very, very disappointing.

In other findings from Pamela Jones, there are the following remarks about the Wizard Parent LLC revelation. She writes: “I just noticed that it says it’s not directly tied to any acquisition: “Is this offering being made in connection with a business combination transaction, such as a merger, acquisition or exchange offer?” and the answer checked is “no.”

“I also took a look at Elliott Associates, and they seem to be trying to muscle Iron Mountain, at the moment. But it is interesting to note this SEC Form D filing from a year or so ago, where $1,076,961,059 was raised, from 220 investors, and $112,942,893 represents “the amount of the gross proceeds of the offering that has been or is proposed to be used for payments to any of the persons required to be named as executive officers, directors or promoters in response to Item 3 above”, and number 3 is about Paul Singer. So there is the notation that the amount to be paid to executives “represents the amount paid to date. The Issuer allocates an annual special allocation to Mr. Singer, directly or indirectly”.”

And just to repeat what we wrote yesterday, AttachMSFT is “run by a bison slayer, who was previously arrested, [it] had to take a loan and spoke to Elliot even before Elliot made the bid for Novell and put it on sale.” It is also worth listing again our previous posts about Singer and his vulture fund:

Novell’s business is being thrown around and according to SJVN it ends up like this:

NetIQ, a previously existing Attachmate division, will be in charge of the following product lines:

* Novell Identity Manager
* Novell Access Manager
* Novell Sentinel
* Novell Operations Center
* The PlateSpin product line

In short, all of Novell’s identity and access management, security and compliance management, and data center management products have all gone to NetIQ.

Novell proper is returning to its Utah roots. The company’s headquarters will be in Provo Utah. That’s not as good as it might sound though for veteran Novell staffers. Attachmate has already fired several hundred of Novell’s Utah employees.

Novell’s programs will include:

* Novell Open Enterprise Server (OES)/NetWare
* Novell GroupWise
* Novell ZENworks
* Novell File Management Suite
* Novell Vibe

AttachMSFT will not directly deal with Free/open source software. In fact, SUSE has been isolated and OpenSUSE is mum. Well, one person is still producing some news summaries (although not much of significance). SUSE might get sold.

The question on many people’s lips is, did Microsoft ever conspire with Singer and his thugs to force a sale of Novell? And why it is that a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner was Novell’s buyer? The Microsoft veterans-run VMware almost became the buyer, too. Why did Microsoft receive Novell’s patents in the process? Will Novell’s antitrust case against Microsoft still be pursued by a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner? There is a lot to wonder about. It is not unusual for Microsoft to use other entities as proxies, e.g. to fund SCO or to avoid paying tax. We already know that this was happening (there is undeniable proof), so not much of a leap of faith is required. Speaking of tax avoidance, a former Microsoft employee continues to slam Microsoft in his blog where he also chastises the company for “Pushing for Law to Disrupt International Trade”:

The irony of this of course is that from 1997 to 2010, Microsoft avoided paying approximately $757 million of Washington State’s Royalty Tax on software licenses by booking the sales in a small office in Nevada. With interest and penalties, the amount is over $1.25 billion.

Put it more simply, the Washington State Legislature is now poised to pass a bill that would allow Microsoft to interfere in the supply chain of Washington State companies simply for legally purchasing goods from foreign companies. Yet, despite facing a $5 billion budget shortfall, the Legislature has shown no interest in collecting back taxes on Microsoft’s unpaid royalty tax bill from its Nevada alter ego subsidiary.

The question is, among Elliot, Novell, and AttachMSFT, who might be an “alter ego subsidiary” (if anyone)?

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