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07.13.11

Ken Muir (Vice President) Leaves Novell

Posted in Mail, Novell at 1:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Leaving Novell in droves

Busy people

Summary: Ken Muir moves from Novell to GWAVA where he will serve as CEO And CTO

THE OTHER day we asked readers whether we should leave Boycott Novell aside while dealing with more important and pressing issues (mostly software patents). Well, although Linux Today chose this article for its front page, we have not received sufficient feedback on it, except from Steve Stites who wrote:

We are nearly finished

Roy Schestowitz has put the most time and effort of anybody into the effort to break the Microsoft-Novell agreement so he is the most likely voice to declare the boycott Novell movement finished. My thoughts on the status of the boycott are:

When Attachmate killed the Mono project that removed one of our two principle problems with Novell. Mono is a dead issue.

Our other principle problem with Novell is the Microsoft-Novell agreement, especially as it dealt with software patents. Attachmate has issued a general statement that they would honor all of the Novell commitments so that agreement is still in force and still applies to software distributed by SuSE. I think that we should continue the boycott until SuSE issues an acceptable statement that they are no longer bound by the terms of the Microsoft-Novell agreement, especially the terms relating to software patents.

All of the bad things that have happened to Novell, Ron Hovsepian, and the others are merely collateral damage to the boycott (and in all honesty the boycott was only one of several factors that brought Novell down). We would have been quite satisfied with killing Mono and destroying the Microsoft-Novell agreement without any personnel changes at Novell or monetary punishment for Novell.

I think that we should continue the boycott, marking time so to speak, until SuSE issues an acceptable statement that they are no longer bound by the terms of the Microsoft-Novell agreement, especially the terms relating to software patents. But yes, we have won and we are only marking time until SuSE figures out a way to get rid of the Microsoft-Novell agreement.

While Novell is still around and amid transformation (there is still emission of new adverts in YouTube) we will keep track of its staff, for example Ken Muir who has just become CEO And CTO of GWAVA. Any future for Groupwise at all? Not based on Attachmate’s actions thus far. The press release says that “Muir, 41, a former Novell executive, most recently served as CTO and Vice President of Novell’s Collaboration business where he was instrumental in building Novell’s collaboration strategy and products. Prior positions include Chief of Staff to the CEO and various engineering and product management leadership positions. Muir has over 15 years experience in the software industry ranging from engineering and development to product strategy and technology management. He brings to GWAVA strong executive leadership and extensive knowledge of enterprise messaging systems, security and compliance.”

It sure seems like The Register got its news 2 months late regarding layoffs at Novell. For those who wonder about SUSE, the OpenSUSE Conference is being handled almost single-handedly by Jos Poortvliet, based on whoever almost always blogs. The other bits of news arrive from the very few volunteers who are left. Quoting Poortvliet:

Over the last month the conference team has received a large number of proposed sessions for the openSUSE conference. However, we also realize we have not entirely capitalized on the potential for especially the ‘interactive’ sessions we wanted. So we extend the deadline with two weeks to allow more BoF, Workshop and Hack sessions to be submitted. And we’ll release some more articles to explain what we want!

OpenSUSE sought funding for this event from some unexpected sources. Will it work out?

06.28.11

Without GNU/Linux or BSD as a Platform, There Can be No Freedom

Posted in America, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Mail, Microsoft at 2:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Inca skull from Peru

Summary: Microsoft FUD in Peru (against GNU/Linux, as usual) and a move towards Free software on Windows hits an impasse

“Some FUD from some Peruvian MS minions” called it Eduardo Landaveri, a key member of this site, who shows that FUD is up to its older ‘mode’ again, which no good (we wrote about Peru before). We really ought to make a video roundup of the evolution of Microsoft FUD. “It’s an interview [with] Alejandro Raffaele,” explains the source, “director de marketing de Red Hat in that country. Of course he’s supporting his company’s views but you could see that some people especially on third world countries still believe old FUD, like GNU/Linux has higher TCO, less secure, and the like… It seems that the awareness is getting a foothold in those countries but still we have to engage in counter[ing] it and setting the facts straight.” Here is the Google translation of this article.

According to a pointer sent to us from India, Geneva too, having decide to put Free software only on top of Windows (a strategic mistake Bristol had made too), decided to withdraw from it:

The IT department of the city of Geneva in Switzerland is about to stop its four-year use of open source email clients and OpenOffice, an open source suite of office productivity tools, and revert to the previous, vendor dependent solutions, reports osor.eu.

Mathias Buschbeck, member of the the city council for the Greens, is submitting written questions to the mayor, arguing in favour of the current, vendor independent IT strategy and against the switch to proprietary solutions

To quote OSOR’s article about it, “Geneva [is] abandoning its open source email and office strategy” (on a proprietary platform). The yardsticks are already biased unless the software runs on its intended platform which Microsoft does not control and discriminate on, e.g. performance-wise.

I am currently working on IMAP patches (in C) that would add functionality public services may need. The problem is that they want to emulate what Microsoft is doing rather than adhere to standard Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), for example.

06.07.11

Novell GroupWise Dumped, What About WordPerfect?

Posted in Antitrust, Courtroom, Mail, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites at 3:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Business team

Summary: Customers continue to replace GroupWise and Techrights wonders what Attachmate will do about the WordPerfect case

Attachmate, a Microsoft partner, has bought Novell while leaving Mono out in the cold and letting Microsoft take the patents. The thing is, Attachmate has hardly said anything about GroupWise. A tricky situation for sure as the product keeps bleeding. EAT is the latest large user to dump it. From the news: “The chain rolled out the cloud-based Apps productivity suite seven months ago to help meet its goal of doubling the size of its business. It replaced a 10-year-old Novell GroupWise system.”

There is more about it here and here:

The migration involved a move away from Novell Groupwise.

Cesar Ramanauskas, systems engineer at EAT, says in a blog post, “In preparation for our goal of doubling in size, EAT migrated to Google Apps for Business, after more than a decade of using Novell GroupWise.”

Inaction from Attachmate cannot help much, can it? But the elephants in the room are actually SUSE, the SCO case, and the Microsoft case. Will Attachmate dump the case against its partner, Microsoft? We are not sure what might happen with the antitrust case because Attachmate never mentions it and the Microsoft booster portrays it as just a “headache” when he argues:

But Microsoft’s antitrust problems aren’t ending just yet. Another old case involving WordPerfect, the once widely used word prcoessor, has been resurrected by a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling overturning a previous judgment in favor of Microsoft and allowing the case being pursued by Novell to proceed. Novell, now owned by Attachmate, owned WordPerfect for a couple of years in the mid-1990s before selling it to current owner Corel.

Some of us think that Microsoft toys around with Skype and Nvidia simply because of loose/lenient oversight.

04.13.11

The Epsilon Example: When Microsoft Shops and SPAM Intersect

Posted in Mail, Microsoft, Windows at 4:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SPAM

Summary: Assorted security news about the “biggest name and email address heist in US history” and beyond

A few days ago we wrote about the Epsilon fiasco, which is said to have affected Marks and Spencer customers, probably owing to the Windows machines getting cracked (as they so often do). What we didn’t know at the time is that this was the “biggest name and email address heist in US history”. To quote The Inquirer:

BIG US BANKS JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and US Bank are just three of the companies affected by a massive data breach at online marketing firm Epsilon.

These are just a few of the companies that do business with Epsilon, which said in a statement that its clients “were exposed by an unauthorised entry into Epsilon’s email system”.

Epsilon is a firm that sends billions of emails ads each year to people who register their interest at its customers’ websites or give their email addresses when shopping. At the moment it is unclear how many people have been affected, but Reuters claimed “it could be one of the biggest such data breaches in US history”.

According to another article:

What’s being described as a “massive” security breach at email marketing firm Epsilon has compromised the customer names and emails of some of the largest companies in the US, including seven of Fortune’s top 10 institutions, reports SecurityWeek.

Epsilon reportedly sends out 40 billion emails each year for more than 2,500 clients. SecurityWeek reports that clients of Epsilon affected by the infiltration include: TiVo, US Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Verizon, Capital One, Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Citi, Brookstone, McKinsey & Co., New York & Co, Kroger and Walgreens.

It says that “Epsilon reportedly sends out 40 billion emails each year for more than 2,500 clients.” Well, earlier today a marketing (spamming) agency called 2ndimpression sent on behalf of Thornley Groves a bunch of marketing junk to clients, myself included. It did this (sent unwanted mail) without permission from the recipients, requiring non-existent usernames to unsubscribe from this endless mess. These firms deserve no sympathy. Some of them are borderline criminal, but they probably know the law well enough to manoeuvre around prosecution. To them, it’s risk analysis and reward. Microsoft Florian uses similar tactics to shower journalists with quotes to embed in articles.

In other news, universities keep getting cracked and Windows users receive malware from cracked sites. “The fake software is called the Windows Stability Center,” says the MSBBC, but they do not say that it’s only a problem for Windows users, they just say “PC” or “computer”.

02.21.11

GWAVACon 2011 and BrainShare 2011 Not Dead (Yet)

Posted in Mail, Novell, Ron Hovsepian at 8:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Two ducks

Summary: Ron Hovsepian says there is a plan for BrainShare 2011, but judging by previous years, it could still be a dead duck (called off)

THE ANNUAL event that is all about GroupWise is not being advertised this year (at least not yet), despite the fact that GroupWise is mentioned in some new pages [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15] (although as a very secondary item, as even in news about Novell mail the impression is given that GroupWise no longer has any impact). Even if the GWAVA event vanishes with Novell’s sale (it is currently planned to take place in Torrance), the man who ruined Novell wants to assure clients that BrainShare is not dead yet and there is also a press release about it (BrainShare 2011 was mentioned here recently). A couple of years ago BrainShare was called off after it had been announced and bookings were made; so there is no guarantees that BrainShare 2011 will ever materialise. Besides, why should anyone attend given that AttachMSFT is likely to trash some of Novell’s products? BrainShare 2010 is likely to have been the last ever, but we shall see…

Update: Richard Bliss sent us the following information by mail:

I attempted to leave a comment on your latest blog concerning Novell and GWAVACon but the site didn’t accept comments.

You state that there isn’t any information about GWAVACon 2011 and suggest that it will be cancelled. GWAVACon 2011 was held January 22-26 in Torrance California with a near record attendance.

GWAVACon Europe is already receiving registration for the first week in October during Oktoberfest. You should join us.

GWAVACon 2012 has already been announced for January in Torrance again.

The one is doubt is Novell’s.

02.06.11

Mass Exodus From Novell Products

Posted in Google, Mail, Microsoft, Novell at 4:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: As the company prepares for the official passage of assets to AttachMSFT [sic], its customers go elsewhere on the face of it

NOVELL is all about proprietary software, except for few areas like SUSE. So the demise of those non-free/libre products (proprietary software) is never bad news, no matter who gains at Novell’s expense. The company called GroupLink was recently mentioned in relation to GroupWise and some other new press releases/articles that mentioned GroupWise were appearing in places (e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]), still offering no signs at all that anybody new is embracing GroupWise. It makes no sense given Novell’s situation as a company. In fact, quite a few companies seem to be escaping GroupWise based on the news. Here is one new story about GroupWise being replaced by Microsoft:

Excel spreadsheets for customer relationship management were replaced by Salesforce.com Inc.’s hosted CRM product in less than a year. Novell Inc.’s GroupWise collaboration software was replaced by Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), which was integrated with SharePoint collaboration software within a year.

Lakewood City government is also pulling the plug on Novell:

For example, the city recently switched over from a Novell computer network server to a Microsoft one.

And another example from the news:

A t the retreat, board members were briefed on an anti-bullying program and plans to switch the division’s computers from a Novell operating system to one produced by Microsoft. The transition will be finished this summer and cost about $2 million, officials said.

Novell’s loss is not always Microsoft’s gain. Sometimes it is Google’s gain as this article from a few days ago helps show:

Novell will probably be shut off for a few days after the switch, and Bonvillain said students will not be able to send e-mails from the account after this point. It may show that an e-mail has been sent, but it will likely never be received.

Novell is being stripped off in all sorts of places. As for the NOVL stock, which has little lifetime left, it is staying stable based on the most recent financial news [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. The deterioration of Novell’s market may simply be in line with expectations, which are tellingly not high.

02.02.11

KIN Dies Again and Vista Phony 7 — Not Yahoo! — is Blamed for ‘Phantom Data’ Mess

Posted in Mail, Microsoft, VMware at 1:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It was so much easier when Microsoft PR just blamed an unnamed third party…

Agreement signing

Summary: KIN Data Service is dead; Now that Microsoft blames not an unnamed party but actually accuses — along with its boosters — the ‘client state’ Yahoo!, there is rejection of accountability

Vista Phony 7 [sic] is supposed to cancel, erase, or annul all memories of the disastrous KIN, which has got to be one of the least successful products to ever come out of Microsoft. “Microsoft Kills Disastrous KIN Phone’s Data Service” based on this article which Girts has just mailed us. It says:

…the ill-fated KIN project was neither well received nor hot selling.

Microsoft’s major booster Rafael Rivera was spinning another mobile disaster for Microsoft. It’s that “phantom data” glitch which Microsoft tried to blame Yahoo! for. Well, guess what? As usual, Microsoft’s blame games are far from trivial:

Later on Tuesday, Yahoo issued another statement, this time shifting some of the blame to Microsoft. “Yahoo! Mail is widely available on tens of millions of mobile phones, including those running on Apple iOS, Android, Nokia Symbian, and RIM,” Yahoo said in a statement to CNET. “The issue on the Windows Phones is specific to how Microsoft chose to implement IMAP for Yahoo! Mail and does not impact Yahoo! Mail on these other mobile devices.”

Let us remember that Yahoo! is partly run by former Microsoft executives and VMware is the same although now there are changes at the top (which is already occupied by several Microsoft veterans):

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, VMware said that Maritz is no longer president of the company, but rather just the chief executive officer. And now he has four co-presidents reporting to him. Carl Eschenbach, who was previously VMware’s executive vice president of worldwide field operations, is now co-president of customer operations. Richard McAniff, who used to be executive vice president of products and chief development officer, is co-president of products and chief development officer. Tod Nielsen, who came to VMware after a long stint at Microsoft like Maritz, was VMware’s chief operating officer, and he’s now co-resident of applications platform. Mark Peek, who was chief financial officer, is co-president of business operations and chief financial officer.

There are some other Microsoft executives in VMware’s management. What’s interesting is that Yahoo! does not just sit back while Microsoft passes blame. Things just don’t go Microsoft’s way nowadays.

01.31.11

Marketing Spin and Fake News: All That Novell Has Left

Posted in Deception, Mail, Marketing, Novell at 3:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Coverage about Novell rooted in Novell

Roots

Summary: Poor material from Google News and Novell’s role in generating it

Lies about Red Hat and others were spread recently by the Novell-funded Lighthouse Research. Even though this was mentioned and perhaps debunked before, some sites carry on publishing the press release [1, 2]. How much is Novell paying for this? One item that was also mentioned before is this press release about Asian games (this press release is masquerading as an ‘article’, so compare to the original press release). How pathetic of Novell and the so-called ‘press’…

Here is a new article (not redressed press release which says: “We first saw this with Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) several years ago. When Windows came along, developers stopped writing for Novell.”

Novell does not quite know what to do now. It works in many different areas but masters none of those.

Dipto Chakravarty, VP of Engineering at Novell, talks about “Log Management in the Cloud” which is just a Fog Computing buzzwords-filled term for monitoring. Novell is also trying IDM, but apart from this recent partnership with Verizon, there is no evidence that Novell has made a dent. To quote: “It seems Verizon is one of the leaders in thinking about ID management as a differentiator, already partnering with Novell, for instance, to offer Novell’s identity management and application access controls for use as an on-demand service supplied from the Verizon cloud.”

Novell’s IDM is advertised here in an article that says:

Cooley’s identity and e-mail infrastructure, based on Novell GroupWise and supported by Novell’s eDirectory service, had worked well for internally-hosted services, supporting 3,500 students and 500 faculty and staff, said Greg Colegrove, director of IT operations at the law school. The problem, he explained, was that “we just could not respond quickly enough to the things we were asked for” in areas such as smartphone integration and other items touching on collaboration and mobility.

[...]

The solution was Novell Identity Manager, an IDM (identity-management) tool formerly known as DirXML.

The whole article seems more like an advertisement, not a case of reporting. IDC, which is paid by Novell, has its “analyst” Brett Waldman write for Novell PR. How improper. Other PR people advertise Pulse/Vibe, which they put out there with a press release that’s conveniently parroted by shoddy Web sites that don’t do investigative work, they just repeat Novell’s own claims:

Novell cited that more than 9,500 customers have purchased or renewed its lean and cost effective collaboration solutions in 2010, thereby generating increased return on investment.

There is a lot of very shallow repetition of the press release without any doubts expressed or an investigation taking place [1, 2, 3]. This is the type of ‘journalism’ people are exposed to these days. A word-to-word comparison helps reveal that the news is written by the companies covered (or their PR agents).

Here is a bunch of coverage about GroupWise. Almost all of it is just press releases, sometimes with slight tweaks on those, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. CompanionLink is still flooding the news feeds with such press releases that mention GroupWise, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Here is the rewritten press release from tmcnet.com, which is a site mostly composed from such press releases that it pretends to be news articles. If Internet news has real reporting outnumbered by press releases (by a factor of about 1:3), what does it say about new/digital media? Here is an example of a real article which mentions GroupWise by stating: “Students and faculty at the school automatically have an email address made for them through Novell’s GroupWise system upon registration.”

ZenWorks was covered by IDG [1, 2], but it was hardly covered at all this January. Microsoft/SCO booster Rob Enderle says that Novell will “broken up and sold in part.” Well, this time for a change he got something right. Novell is extremely vulnerable right not and it’s not just due to vulnerabilities in its products. All Novell has got left is marketing spin.

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