Summary: Remnants of Novell have moved to other companies; is it time to let the “Boycott Novell” project be declared over?
THERE IS not much left to say about Novell. The company more or less vanished, so for Boycott Novell to be an active project would be hard. Novell did not reform itself (it got worse over time), but the alternative goal was achieved. We hoped to make Novell change its ways, ideally, and withdraw from the Microsoft deal due to public pressure, otherwise to just fail and give way to ethical companies.
After spending hours researching for this post, we are left wondering if this is good use of time. Even Microsoft is an issue we mostly neglected with the exception of patent stories because a patent parasite is all we expect Microsoft to be within a few years.
Based on what we found about Novell, not much of its core is even passed to Attachmate. Instead, the new management is almost purely Attchmate’s. We’ll show and reiterate through some new evidence in a moment. Alka Agrawal departed from Novell based on this new article from the Indian press which says:
The panel comprised well known names in the Industry and included Sucharita Eashwar – Senior Director, NASSCOM; Vinita Ananth – CEO & Founder, Vangal; Alka Agrawal – former VP & Head of India Development Centre, Novell Inc and Pragjyoti Nair – Director, Program Management and Business Operations, Yahoo!.
Two more executives once employed by Novell have moved on and here we see that Novell’s Hale was in Microsoft and not just Novell. This is an interesting observation which is highlighted by Joe the VAR Guy. He says: “Hale — a veteran of Microsoft, Novell and F5 Networks — joined Sophos shortly after the Astaro acquisition was announced. In a recent interview, Hale told The VAR Guy that Astaro would remain channel-led under Sophos ownership. Bob Darabant, VP of Americas at Astaro, echoed those thoughts in a phone call with The VAR Guy earlier this week.”
There are some more examples of Novell management with Microsoft background. John Donovanhas moved from Novell to VMware, which is run by many former executives from Microsoft (high Microsoft roots density at the top management). Evidence can be seen here: “It was one of the things I wanted to do when I joined,” says John Donovan, who moved from Novell to become VMware’s ANZ channel director in November 2010. “I wanted to re-connect with a lot of our partners in a much more dynamic face-to-face fashion.”
The new VP of engineering at another company turns out to have also left Novell (it is not clear when, however):
Previously, Gacek held engineering management positions at Novell, VeriFone, Canon and VITALINK.
Here is another departure which we mentioned before and clear evidence that those who manage Novell’s residue are from Attachmate [1, 2, 3]. Some of these were mentioned before, but evidence reappears in the news. Mono got dumped, so there is just about nothing left in Attachmate which is FOSS.
Novell is sort of over. Can we leave it aside now and concentrate on other issue a little more? Dear readers, your feedback is needed. █
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Summary: Clarifications about our goals, which never really changed at all
“BOYCOTT NOVELL” is the most significant part of the Techrights Web site. It is also the genesis of the site. Now that Novell is dead we are going to follow parts of Novell that are impacted by the patent deal with Microsoft. Needless to say, since Microsoft and Novell signed their patent deal the plague of patents has spread further, largely thanks to Novell’s approach. But this means that we merely continue to track the very same problem. It just takes a different corporate identity (or several). The problem was all along software patents, since the very first day this was site was erected and then advocated. It is not enough to have good software which is free/libre if companies design the law such that this software becomes non-free or illegal. █
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Summary: A look back at the “good Novell” and the “bad Novell”
The company called Novell used to be one of the leaders against — not with — Microsoft. Not only did Novell take Microsoft to battle over antitrust abuses but it also provided alternatives to some of Microsoft’s pillars of lock-in. Back in 2005 Novell was one of my favourite companies. It advertised “Linux’, it manages the release of S.u.S.E., and it fought against SCO at a crucial time. But that was the old Novell. Sooner or later it became clear that Novell was having serious difficulties and the same COO who had complained about Microsoft’s abuses suddenly became the company’s CEO and then shook Steve Ballmer’s hand. Novell did what some professionals do to advance their career by stepping out of the crowd. Novell decided that its alliance with Microsoft would somehow be perceived as a selling point and not the opposite; but boy, were they wrong!
The signing of the Microsoft deal came at a time when Novell had a leading GNU/Linux distribution, even on desktops. There was fierce competition back then. But Novell’s impatience, particularly among the executives and their short-term goals (they work from quarter to quarter, so long hauls are unaccounted for) led a money-grabbing move. In the short term, Microsoft’s cash injections paid off (for both parties). But the damage they did was enormous. To this date, Novell is not seen as a GNU/Linux champion. It is seen as a defector, a betraying company. And that is how it dies — without respect. Ximian dies along with Novell, for the most part. █
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It’s an umbrella site of Boycott Novell
Summary: An explanation of the relationship between the names “Techrights” and “Boycott Novell”
THERE IS a common misconception spread mostly by detractors of this site and there is also a famous saying that if lies are repeated unchallenged, they will eventually stick, so Techrights should state for the record yet again that Techrights is not a rename of Boycott Novell. It is a new name, but not a rename. Essentially, one is an ‘umbrella’ to the latter, intended to make the name better suit the expanded scope of the site (including the daily links). █
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Summary: Quick roundup of where Techrights has been and where it is going
IN 2006 we were focused almost solely on Novell.
In 2007 Microsoft started using the Novell deal to issue patent threats against GNu/Linux, so we focused a great deal on the subject.
2008 was year so full of Microsoft scandals (notably OOXML), so we put great emphasis on it, in addition to the above.
In 2009 we began digging up Comes vs Microsoft exhibits again, putting out there leaks of confidential items of interest. In addition, we began looking a lot more closely at Microsoft news (since around October 2008).
“2008 was year so full of Microsoft scandals (notably OOXML), so we put great emphasis on it, in addition to the above.”2010 no longer dealt with Comes vs Microsoft exhibits but instead it focused on Novell’s sale, Microsoft’s misconduct, Microsoft’s ongoing demise, and a variety of Free software matters with the usual emphasis on software patents, which are considered by some to be the #1 issue. Microsoft is gradually losing news presence; instead, it has court presence. Rather than new products it has new patents (or patent trolls).
Towards the beginning of 2011 it becomes clear that Apple got bigger (in some sense) than Microsoft, Android inherits the mobile market (but impedes freedom in various ways), and there are patent lawsuits from the likes of Apple and Oracle, both targeting Free software. The plan is therefore to concentrate more on the patent issue (including AttachMSFT, a post-Novell incarnation). In addition, as real digital rights (privacy, neutrality, free speech, etc.) are being taken away and computer users are therefore increasingly repressed, Techrights will spend more time debating the issues. The threats to freedom never ever went away (it’s a perpetual struggle against centralisation and abuse of power), but one can adjust to them for a response to be better targeted. Our focus on Wikileaks as of late is not a distraction. It has so much to do with people’s (tech) rights on the Web and in general, even offline. “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” said George Santayana and “[v]alue your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history,” stressed Richard Stallman. A few months ago he said, “I often get tired, but I don’t stop.” Neither should any of us; the loss of one’s freedom is a lot more agonising. █
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Summary: Techrights climbs closer to the 15,000-post milestone with nearly 50,000 indexed pages
This is the 12,000th blog post in Techrights. We have come a long way in just over 4 years and the initiative known as “Boycott Novell” is now complete as Novell got sold (as expected, it’s not the end of it but only the beginning of a somewhat Microsoft-owned Novell).
Google currently says that it has 49,200 pages indexed for techrights.org*. The domain comprises single-page blog posts but also additional pages in the Wiki and other parts of the site, even years of IRC logs. We take pride in a good discussion which happens in real time rather in blog comments, which were reduced by about 90% since we required registration. Disruption to this Web site (DDOS attacks, trolling, etc.) has been reduced dramatically and we receive a lot of respect from newspaper journalists, television channels, and yesterday I had an online engagement with Sir Tim Berners-Lee (regarding software patents).
“The domain comprises single-page blog posts but also additional pages in the Wiki and other parts of the site, even years of IRC logs.”We recently started an audiocast dubbed TechBytes, which will resume shortly, hopefully to be published at the pace of a show once in a couple of days. The number of requests for the show has increased dramatically over the first 3 weeks of the show, so we will definitely carry on with it. Delivering ‘content’ (stories and discussion) more quickly is one of the merits of this medium.
Thanks for the continued support and to our many readers from the United States — please enjoy the rest of thanksgiving weekend. █
* It’s no secret that I’ve always put quantity before quality because without quantity it’s simply hard to keep track of everything. A typo here and there is rarely a crucial problem and it has worked well for me as an overachiever at school and university. If you spot an error, please point it out so that it can be corrected and never repeated.
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Summary: Lack of news about Microsoft not an indication of nothing worth saying about its current affairs/actions
WE ARE WELL behind when it comes to Microsoft news (vacations take their toll). Truth be told, we have not kept track of Microsoft for almost 3 weeks now and we ought to make up for it by catching up at these important times. We still have a pile of news about Microsoft (including financial news), but this task takes a really long time as it involves a lot of reading, with up to 2,000 headlines at the moment. It will maybe take another week to go through it all and properly research the material.
“Wall Street has already spoken and Microsoft’s stock declined right after the latest financial results.”One urgent matter is Microsoft’s financial report. Wall Street has already spoken and Microsoft’s stock declined right after the latest financial results. Days ago we explained very quickly why the press misreports the results, just as Microsoft’s PR intended. Remember that Microsoft announced more layoffs just weeks beforehand [1, 2]. It wasn’t because Microsoft performed “too well to keep its staff”; the reality of the matter is that Microsoft has serious issues, especially with foresight. Some terrible early reviews of Vista Phone 7 [sic] indicate that Microsoft is dying in the mobile space, still [1, 2]. Mozilla won’t even bother with the damn thing, which tossed away all older applications (loss of backward compatibility). From the news:
Mozilla on Windows Phone 7 – “We’re not going to bother.“
Christopher Blizzard, Director of Developer Relations and Open Source Evangelist at Mozilla spoke to Gizmodo about the future of their browser in the new order, where they are facing competition from Google on the desktop and mobile, and are also seemingly excluded from many mobile platforms, such as the iPhone and Windows Phone 7.
Readers can help us keep up with Microsoft news by submitting articles which we will happily publish, as usual. Positive GNU/Linux news is still a higher priority and our most popular posts are the daily links that we now post more often than before. We also try to catch up with older news that was missed — positive news for a change. █
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Summary: How Microsoft continues to pursue elevation of the cost of GNU/Linux (preferably with the added expense going to Microsoft’s coffers) and why it’s time for OpenSUSE to escape this mistreatment
THE WEB SITE “BOYCOTT NOVELL” was created almost four years ago in order to protest and to stop Microsoft’s long attempt to impose “IP” royalties on Linux. It was mainly a campaign of sorts.
Techrights still covers the Novell deal, which is a two-company deal. One of those companies is Microsoft, which signed Novell-like deals with other companies such as Samsung. According to this article, from Samsung’s Wave alone Microsoft has already earned money (royalties) extracted from over one million Linux phones. Yes, Microsoft makes money when people buy specific Linux phones. To repeat an old argument, there are two problems here: (1) Microsoft gets stronger when people buy Linux (Ballnux) and (2) Linux is becoming more expensive (relative to Windows). Suffice to say, no patents were ever named, so Microsoft is just ‘pulling a SCO’ here.
“OpenSUSE has an opportunity to escape the Microsoft deal by simply rebranding and disengaging from Novell.”Prior to Novell’s approach towards Microsoft, the monopolist from Microsoft had invested a lot of money in the SCO lawsuit, which sought to collect Linux “IP” royalties based on copyrights, not patents.
Groklaw concludes the most recent part of the SCO trial [1, 2] and finally has this complete overview/roundup.
To repeat the names of Ballnux offerings that are still alive, there’s Xandros, Novell, Samsung, LG, HTC, Amazon (server or Kindle), Kyocera Mita, Brother, I-O Data, Melco/Buffalo, and few more (which still seem to have Linux-based products in the market). In addition, The Novell deal left OpenSUSE in a position where its users are sensitive to lawsuits once they make some profitable business with it. Now that OpenSUSE 11.3 is out (covered in [1, 2, 3]) and Novell more or less neglects it (volunteers carry on and mostly remain big fans), it is time for OpenSUSE to dissociate itself from the “Ballnux” bunch. OpenSUSE has an opportunity to escape the Microsoft deal by simply rebranding and disengaging from Novell. Other people too suggest that this should be done. █
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