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Attachmate’s First Milestone: Sign Another Patent Deal With Microsoft, Pay Microsoft a ‘Linux Tax’ on SUSE

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenSUSE, Scalix, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 3:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Buying Novell to shake Microsoft’s hands on patents in GNU/Linux (and validate malicious allegations)


Summary: Reiteration of the foolishness seen in the latest Microsoft deal (sellout) of Attachmate, which put its men in charge of SUSE

Nearly 5 years after signing a patent deal with Microsoft, Novell is no more. Attachmate took over the company, whose Web domain is mostly inactive except when new faces appear as in this case:

It’s been about 2.5 months that I have been in the role of President and General Manager of Novell, and since joining The Attachmate Group, Novell has taken many steps towards defining the next great chapter in its evolution and history.

What has Attachmate actually accomplished so far? It recently renewed the patent deal with Microsoft, which only leaves OpenSUSE in more of a scandalous scenario. The project is mostly idle, much like some Tumbleweed in the wind (there is a new article about it).

Christine Hall further solidifies the stance that we should keep the same attitude towards SUSE. She writes:

Indeed, it did seem that Boycott Novell had outlived it’s usefulness, until Monday’s announcement that Microsoft had renewed their deal with SUSE and would be putting $100 million into the Linux distro’s coffers. Although the announcement on the SUSE web site made no mention of patents, tech news sites like InformationWeek have indicated that it’ll be business as usual, with MS’s patent FUD being given the perception of legitimacy through SUSE..


Techrights is probably right, even after this development. Really, nothing has changed, it’s just the same old deal extended for another four years. There may be nothing about this deal that doesn’t stink, and stink badly, but there’s nothing new here. Sadly, the Microsoft/SUSE connection would seem to have become a legacy with which we are doomed to live for as long as both companies are viable.

This is a real shame. There was a time when SUSE was considered by many to be the Rolls Royce of distros. Now it’s basically “Windows for Linux.” All they need to do now is add a “Start” button, a registry, and put it on a file system that’s prone to rapid fragmentation.

Like we said before, people should strongly urge other people to boycott SUSE and choose other distributions instead. It’s very feasible and the boycott does work. The only use left for Novell is its case against SCO (which Pamela Jones continues to cover), but just like any company that falls into Microsoft’s hand, there is no future left. Former Novell employee Dr. Bill gets it wrong about how Novell got SUSE and how Attachmate gets SUSE in the following new video. Basically, he wrongly asserts that Novell bought SUSE from SUSE and that Attachmate bought SUSE from Novell rather than just buy the whole of Novell.

Novell was bad news for SUSE all along, especially after the Microsoft deal. Now that SUSE is in Microsoft-friendly hands, there is no reason to feel loyal to SUSE based on its old self. The move back to Germany is not a sign of independence or self-liberation, it is the increased dependence on Microsoft under leadership from Attachmate (previous SUSE leaders left or got nudged out). Let this entire affair teach us that Microsoft deals are suicide. Another sign of this is that, as we covered before, Xandros recently sold Scalix — a piece of news that even the Canadian press has covered a while later:

Fresco Microchip, a Toronto company with Ottawa operations that develop television imaging technology, has raised $9 million in new financing. Celtic House Venture Partners, Ventures West and others put the money into Fresco which previously raised $39.3 million Xandros, a New York company which develops Linux business software in Ottawa, has sold a Scalix Linus email product line for $12 million in cash and stock to Sebring Software of Sarasota, Florida.

They too break the company into pieces as though it gets liquidated (Attachmate’s deal was hinged upon given Novell’s patents to Microsoft). It wasn’t long ago that Xandros actually bought Scalix.


Sale of Linspire to Xandros Gets the Unofficial OK After Years in Court, Xandros Sells Scalix

Posted in Linspire, Microsoft, Patents, Scalix, Xandros at 3:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Imitating Microsoft Windows and paying Microsoft for GNU/Linux a poor strategy

Green hill

Summary: The companies that want to be like Windows die together, along with the lawsuit surrounding their merger/acquisition (as well as the sale of Scalix!)

IT HAS BEEN almost years since we regularly mentioned the second and third GNU/Linux vendors that agreed to pay Microsoft for patents. One bought the other, but this was followed by a long and ugly dispute between employees/managers of Linspire. Ever since then the court proceedings received little attention and the companies got mentioned as an historical reference in articles such as this one which mentions Linspire. Xandros vanished after Presto, although it got mentioned a lot in relation to ASUS returning to Linux, e.g. here and dozens of other publications in many languages. For the curious, we still have our Linspire/Xandros pages, which go all the way back to the time Kevin Carmony sold out to Ballmer, right after he had insulted GNU/Linux and used the “piracy” word. Anyway, the good news is that Carmony lost the legal case (plus legal expenses) in his attempt to defeat his former boss. According to a new report:

San Diego entrepreneur Michael Robertson claims he has scored a win in a lawsuit against the former CEO and CFO of Linspire. According to legal documents released by Robertson, former CEO Kevin Carmony and former CFO Chad Olson are liable for fraud, conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, and other counts in a spat over disagreements after Linspire was sold to Xandros.

And in other news, Scalix gets out of Xandros just years after Xandros bought it. Not a good sign for Xandros, eh?

Sebring Software Inc. (symbol: SMXI) acquired the Scalix Email and Calendaring Platform from Xandros Inc., a New York-based firm, for $12 million.

To complete the acquisition, Sebring will pay Xandros $5.75 million in cash over six months, plus 6.25 million shares of Sebring’s common stock, being valued at $1 per share, a release says.

There is more information about it in [1, 2].


The Crumbling of SUSE in Novell’s Hands

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Red Hat, Scalix, Servers, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 5:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Heart in my hands

Summary: Another Novell employee moves to Red Hat and Novell continues to focus on initiatives that make Microsoft stronger

Novell has not been particularly healthy to SUSE’s reputation, especially after it signed that patent/collaboration deal with Microsoft. Jakub Steiner left Novell last month and he is joining Red Hat, which also scooped up Novell’s director of ISV ecosystems last month.

Today was my first day at Red Hat.

As SUSE people move to Red Hat, Novell is left with Mono and Moonlight. Its developers keep developing such Microsoft enablers and there is little news apart from that. To Novell, OpenSUSE is just a volunteers magnet from which to produce SLES/SLED, which Microsoft makes money from. Novell helps Microsoft in HPC using SUSE as a ramp (Microsoft finds other routes) and Microsoft also profits from Xandros, by imposing its patent tax on Scalix which was last mentioned in this press release.

Scalix, the award-winning Linux email, group calendaring, and messaging subsidiary of Xandros, Inc., today announced that Ecommerce, Inc., a world leader in web hosting solutions (IX Web Hosting), has chosen Scalix as the premium groupware of choice for their customer base.

There is nothing else in the news about Xandros and very little about Novell, except the OpenSUSE 11.3 release which Stephan Kulow writes about ahead of parties in places like Nürnberg (not much anywhere else). The RC of OpenSUSE 11.3 is now out:

Two weeks after the first release candidate arrived, the openSUSE development team have issued the second and final release candidate (RC) for version 11.3 of the openSUSE operating system. According to the developers, the latest development preview is a “final check” aimed at making sure that “11.3 is polished and in good condition”.

To OpenSUSE’s credit, it gives a fair deal to KDE [1, 2]. With Mandriva having difficulties (Red Hat hired some of its developers), OpenSUSE remains essential to cutting-edge KDE.

wstephenson announced on the opensuse-kde@ mailinglist that openSUSE 11.3 will ship KDE SC 4.4.4, so you want might to test those packages.

OpenSUSE ought to distance itself from Novell/Microsoft, but this requires a name change because the “OpenSUSE” trademark is owned by Novell.


Xandros Shows Death by Microsoft

Posted in Corel, Deals, Debian, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Scalix, Xandros at 4:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Agent of death

Summary: “It should be widely known by now. No matter why, when and where, join MS and you will be dead.” –Abe

Richard Hillesley has just published “The lost world of the Xandros desktop,” which is an article that looks at Xandros’ past and present. To quote some bits from this long article:

The latest release of the Xandros Linux desktop edition was in June 2006, which is several lifetimes in the history of Linux. Is this the end of the line for the Xandros desktop?


The ‘patent covenant’ with Microsoft has had a detrimental effect on Xandros’ ongoing relationships with the Linux user and developer communities. Ostensibly the purpose of the deal with Microsoft was to license protocols to enable Xandros’ BridgeWays and Scalix products to work with Microsoft networks.

Actually, Scalix came later. Xandros bought Scalix in July 2007 (July 9th to be precise), whereas Xandros sold out to Microsoft on June 4th.

We have found some new comments on the subject, including one in Tux Machines:

Xandros propaganda for smartphones ? giving up on netbooks ?

Netbooks were born for children. But had a future for enterprise applications because of HDTV(broadcasting news or training film) 16:9 video format(DVD player format). So, Asus sold more XP(sp3). But for individuals, dual boot with Ubuntu maybe a choice, until Firefox shot itself in the foot(not flash9 compatible).

In the comment titled “Join MS”, Abe from Linux Today writes:

Those who forget history are bound to repeat it.

It should be widely known by now. No matter why, when and where, join MS and you will be dead.

Those who ignore the warnings can’t blame but themselves.

We have a detailed list of companies that lost their GNU/Linux focus after signing Microsoft deals. Xandros of one of those companies. It’s "Microsoft's touch of death".

“I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.”

Be’s CEO Jean-Louis Gassée


Novell News Summary – Part II: SUSE Case Studies, Xandros and Bada

Posted in GNU/Linux, Samsung, Scalix, Servers, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 10:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Big lizard

Summary: News about SUSE, about Xandros and about Samsung, all of which pay Microsoft for Linux

THIS week was all about OpenSUSE and there was little to see elsewhere at Novell. Nonetheless, it turns out that Paul Cutler from GNOME received some financial help from Novell.

Thanks to Novell and Google’s sponsorship, nine of us are converging in Google’s Chicago office for two days.

SUSE Studio was mentioned again by Tux Radar, which generally likes (and has always liked, even under the “Linux Format” banner) the OpenSUSE/SuSE distribution.

Novell recently launched SUSE Studio, a service that enables you to create OpenSUSE respins from any browser. At the time we went to press this service was so exclusive it was strictly invite-only, though you could request an invitation via www.susestudio.com.

Ross Chevalier wrote about the SUSE-based OES 2 and more use of SLES can be seen in this new article.

Boardsports, be it snow, skate, or surf, is a multi-million dollar industry, populated with large manufacturers and cottage shops, all trying to get a piece of these sports’ action. With such competition in place, particularly when the current economic climate is discouraging discretionary spending on boarding equipment, it’s no small feat to reduce part of an IT budget by 80 percent.

That’s exactly what happened when The Burton Corporation shifted its SAP-related infrastructure from HP-UX on proprietary big iron to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) on commodity boxes last year.

The Indian press — and one publication in particular — did something interesting. It is suspicious that they just publish three Novell case studies out of the blue (without any for other companies to be covered), namely:

i. Clustering on SUSE Linux

HRI employs SUSE Linux Enterprise Server to power its supercomputing clusters, enabling globally recognized research projects in cosmology, high-energy physics and condensed matter physics, writes Nivedan Prakash

ii. Managing data center migration

Gupta added that PlateSpin Migrate enabled them to take snapshots of their systems and move them across a 155 Mbps line to new hardware in the new facility, “We moved each server during weekends on a four-week cycle, preparing the target platform and then using PlateSpin Migrate to migrate the data. The whole migration was completed within six months, with no significant disruption to users.”

iii. Moving towards an improved desktop environment

The migration from Microsoft Windows to SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop at ING Life, India has generated considerable cost savings for the company. The company has also gained a faster and more stable working environment.

It’s like 3 Novell adverts that are labeled “casestudy”. Here is another new case of Novell:

The demand for such tools has attracted the attention of a variety of vendors, including BeyondTrust, which last month unveiled what it termed the first first privileged account management product for heterogeneous IT environments, along with CA, Quest Software and Novell.


Xandros, which consumed Linspire and Scalix, is generally very quiet these days, but some press releases are still floating about without getting attention from reporters. Corel is said to be close to being bought.

[Xandros] BridgeWays Partner Inframon Brings Cross – Platform System Center Services to the United Kingdom

ASUS and Xandros appear in conjunction again:

If the machine does have an ARM processor, it also won’t be able to run Windows XP or Windows 7, although it’s not clear if it will run Google Android, Google Chrome or a Linux distribution such as Xandros, Ubuntu, or Moblin.


Another Microsoft-encumbered distribution which we wrote about this week would be Bada, and it’s still appearing in some places.

Samsung’s first Bada-powered device has been leaked in photo form – it would appear to be a style-conscious touchscreen device


Following on from the widespread adoption of the Android operating system, several smartphone players are branching out into alternate, open source interfaces, as we saw with the Vodafone 360 H1 – a phone also made by Samsung.

Samsung pays Microsoft for Linux. All too troublesome to be accepted.


Xandros to Visit Microsoft Show, Samsung’s Ballnux Phones Fail

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung, Scalix, Xandros at 4:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Xandros logo

Summary: Two companies that pay Microsoft for Linux remain close to Microsoft and fail to attract positive attention

EARLIER this week we wrote about Xandros and Samsung growing even closer to Microsoft. We now find that Xandros will attend Microsoft’s TechEd Show, as further explained here:

BridgeWays, a division of Xandros, today announced a major expansion of its line of cross-platform System Center monitoring to Apache Tomcat, Oracle Enterprise, IBM DB2 and BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The new management packs come in response to customer demands to extend the BridgeWays single-console monitoring for the Microsoft System Center Operations Manager to these popular enterprise applications on Windows, Linux, and Unix. These new BridgeWays arrivals join previously released management packs for Oracle Database, MySQL Database, Apache HTTP Server, JBoss Application Server, and VMware ESX/ESXi. The new BridgeWays management packs will be on display at the Microsoft TechEd show, Berlin, November 9-13.

Scalix (Xandros) markets itself as a GNU/Linux-based substitute for Exchange, but it says almost nothing about being a cash cow to Microsoft, via the signing of software patent deals. BridgeWays is an even more serious case of serving Microsoft.

We previously wrote about what Samsung’s patent deal with Microsoft may mean to Android [1, 2]. This might not be much of an issue given that Samsung’s phone appears like a failure, at least based on The Register which shows that it’s a problem with Samsung’s phone, not Android itself. From a new review of the Samsung Galaxy i7500:

Samsung’s first Android phone is something of a disappointment. It’s not outrageously bad, but there just seem to be too many missed opportunities and decision fumbles for it to really win us over. While other manufacturers are using Android’s flexibility to give their devices a unique stamp, Samsung appears to have simply rushed out a me-too handset without taking the time to put much effort into it.

We’ll be interested to see the next Android device that comes off the Samsung production line, but this one doesn’t really deliver the goods just yet.

This is good news. Android in its own right is good, but it will not sell well when implemented by Samsung, which pays Microsoft for the use of Linux anyway.


Microsoft’s Software Patents Racket Against GNU/Linux Tightens Further

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Kernel, Microsoft, Samsung, Scalix, Steve Ballmer, Xandros at 8:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Companies that screw Free software by paying Microsoft for unnamed software patents grow even closer to Microsoft

Samsung Electronics, one of the companies that help Microsoft put a patent tax (and price tag) on Linux [1, 2, 3], is growing closer to Microsoft. From The Inquirer:

Microsoft and Samsung agree to help each other


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Samsung Electronics CEO Yoon-Woo Lee met and decided to work together to encourage users to buy more environmentally friendly PCs.

It is difficult to boycott Samsung because many computer components are made by it (even if there is no visible sign of branding). This company is probably larger in terms of staff size than all the software giants in the United States combined.

There are some Samsung products that are easy to boycott nonetheless. We recently gave Samsung's LiMo phones as an example. It turns out that some of these will be “rebadged” as Vodafone, according to the following:

Made by Samsung but rebadged as a Vodafone 360 mobile, the H1 has a 3.5-inch OLED screen, 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi, and a 5.0-megapixel camera.

The Vodafone 360 is a phone to boycott because the Linux inside it provides means by which Microsoft applies software patents to Linux. Samsung is said to have shipped 60.2 million handsets this quarter, so such patent tax does add up and it is dangerous as a precedence. There is newer information here and here, but no publication bothers to mention Samsung’s strong relationship with Microsoft and their patent deal. The following article describes it all just as “Linux”, we call it “Ballnux”

Linux is Here, the Vodafone 360 H1

Linux Mobile is one of the underdogs of mobile operating systems. Playing practically the same role they have with desktop computers, Linux systems tend to play more towards function and practicality over style and form. This is usually compensated by skinning and other customization options. With mobile phones, their position is a little more accepted than with computers. Since mobile applications are easily ported to other platforms, the Linux mobile operating system does not share the same problem as Linux based computers; direct compatibility with a lot of programs.

We happen to find a lot of the same coming from Xandros. For the uninitiated, Xandros signed a Novell-like patent deal with Microsoft back in 2007 and it also bought Scalix, which pays Microsoft for ActiveSync software patents. Scalix claims to be expanding this dangerous patent tax under the guise/flag of “Linux” and the Xandros relationship with ASUS is not over yet.

Xandros today announced that key staff will host a session on “Enhanced Moblin for the Asus Eee PC: Custom Dual-Mode Netbook Experience” at the Moblin Roadshow, The Westin Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan, October 29, 2009.

Based on the following press release (also here), Xandros is overlapping Microsoft and its ecosystem.

Microsoft Gold Partner Infront Delivers BridgeWays Cross-Platform System Center Solutions in North America

BridgeWays, a division of Xandros Inc., today announced an agreement with Infront Consulting Group to deliver cross-platform management packs, training, and consulting services to Microsoft Systems Center customers in North America with mixed software and hardware environments.

It is not a coincidence that near allies of Microsoft were the ones to sell Linux out. It is not something that came after the patent deals had been signed. In other words, fortunately enough, companies that were never truly loyal to Free software have already shown where they stand. Now is the time to avoid these companies and explain to them why they are rejected. By participating in GNU/Linux they actually did more harm than good — probably more harm than if they had never come to GNU/Linux in the first place.


Why India Should Embargo Microsoft Now That It Brings More of the Live@Edu Ploy and Bribes

Posted in Antitrust, Asia, Google, Mail, Microsoft, Scalix, Servers, Xandros at 7:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

India's national flag

Summary: Microsoft’s monopoly abuse with ActiveSync and Live@Edu is revisited; troubling sights in India encourage preventive action — urgently

ON THE FACE of it, Microsoft still (ab)uses its monopoly in order to charge competitors for mail and collaboration APIs, the latest example being Apple customers, not just Google, Scalix/Xandros, and others to whom software patents are seen as acceptable.

The Live@Edu scam is another case of Microsoft abuse in mail and collaboration. This one relies on bribes (or “incentives”) and ignorance (or selfishness). Recently we gave some examples in [1, 2, 3, 4]. Microsoft actually competes very viciously with Google in this area, but we lack evidence to suggest that Google offers bribes like Microsoft does. Watch the hypocrisy of Microsoft, which is now accusing Google of being monopolistic. We should really all just lean on Microsoft to save us from all those evil monopolists. Really. Microsoft to the rescue!

Here is a new account of what Microsoft achieves with Live@Edu:

It’s an interesting approach, and both companies are providing their products free for a reason. Perhaps now this will shed some light on the internal processes both Microsoft and Google take into account when offering free services or products.

What do you think? Ethical? Unethical? Good business practice or doomed to bite them in the arse?

Microsoft — unlike Google — has another methodology for spreading Live@Edu through a separate type of bribes. Microsoft is recruiting young people whom it calls MSPs (Microsoft Student Partners). They are hired ‘shills’ for Microsoft, whom Microsoft feeds with gifts, as we showed before. Microsoft is doing a lot of this in India these days. It is a modern, digital form of colonisation with the help of people who betray their country(‘s autonomy).

The Times of India had this coverage some days ago. It is very superficial and promotional, but it serves to show that Microsoft has not changed its ways.

To acquaint information and technology students with latest tools and software technology, Microsoft Student Partners (MSP) has launched a state-wide educative programme. The programme’s first phase kick-started with a workshop at Navrachana University (NU) here on Sunday.

“This is our first programme of the state-wide plan wherein we will cover 10 universities in Gujarat, including MS University. We are also looking to promote collaboration between universities and Microsoft through two major programmes – MSDN Academic Alliance and Live@Edu,” said Prakhar Agarwal, MSP programme head in Gujarat.

This is ridiculous. Universities can trivially host their own mail using Free software, not Fog Computing. Whether knowingly or not, those promoting such programmes are not just promoting multi-nationals but they also help turn their peers into slaves of a single foreign company that probably has the most appalling track record in its field. Witness who else is helping Microsoft in India at the moment. It’s Microsoft's old shill, TCS. Along with (potentially) tens of thousands of ‘charities’ that were seemingly offered gentle bribes from Microsoft, TCS lobbied for OOXML. And now:

IT outsourcing firm Tata Consultancy Services has entered into an alliance with Microsoft India to launch a virtualisation Center of Excellence (CoE) in Chennai.

That, together with EDGI, should be sufficient reason to kick Microsoft out of India, just as the British were once forced out. Microsoft exploits India, but it pays/bribes enough Indian people to carry on serving Microsoft’s agenda in the country. As the highly-regarded Professor Deepak Phatak put it last year, “This hypothetical counter complaint shows Microsoft as working at national and International forums to maintain and enhance its monopoly in global markets, and as attempting to ensure its monopoly strangle-hold on Indian desktop Market. It also paints INFOSYS, TCS, WIPRO and NASSCOM as willfully helping Microsoft in this evil design, and thus acting grossly against Indian National interests.”

“The alliance uses Microsoft technologies instead of challenging Gates in his own game. Wipro is just a servant of Microsoft facilitating Indian cyber slavery under the American corporate banners.”

India Daily

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