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02.27.10

Novell News Summary – Part III: Pulse, Brainshare 2010, Proprietary Products, SCO, Virtualisation, and Security

Posted in Corel, Courtroom, Mail, NetWare, Novell, SCO, Security, Virtualisation, VMware, Xen at 8:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ruby mountains

Summary: As indicated in the title, this is a collection of many news items spanning many subjects

NOVELL’S biggest news this time around is its financial report, but we will cover that separately. Here are some news clippings about Novell’s proprietary (or otherwise non-SUSE) side of business.

Read the rest of this entry »

02.22.10

Another University Dumps Novell Mail, VMware’s Parent Helps Zimbra’s Direct Rival

Posted in Mail, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Red Hat, Virtualisation, VMware, Windows, Xen at 9:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EMC and Microsoft

Summary: Another loss for Novell and odd new moves in mail and virtualisation

NOVELL is increasingly being dumped for Google and several days ago we found another new example:

Students and faculty alike who have been growing frustrated with Novell Tigermail should soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief.

The university’s current e-mail client will be replaced with Google Apps for Education. The shift will not require anyone to change their e-mail addresses.

They should host their own mail. Sharing people’s private correspondence with some dissociated company is neither wise nor fair. But that’s another story.

One of the OpenSUSE folks writes about Bongo, which is a mail project that’s derived from what Novell buried [1, 2] after it had signed the deal with Microsoft (see this story about Zimbra, which is now owned by former Microsoft executives at VMware).

I’ll take Bongo as my first example. For those that have no idea what Bongo is let me explain: Bongo is an evolution of some forward thinking by some people who used to work at Novell. It started out as the Hula Project; then Novell sold the related assets off due to strategy alignments (or whatever); a few of us wanted to continue and forked the code and created the Bongo Project. OK so that’s a brief history but what is it? Bongo is a lightweight and simple e-mail & calendaring solution, it is based on proven technology – the heritage goes back to NIMS if I’m not mistaken. Whoopee do there are like a million and one e-mail solutions out there. Yes but not all in one solutions that are light on resources and contain all functions. Bongo is NOT a groupware product, it is aimed at SMBs, geeks education and pretty much anyone that just wants e-mail, calendaring and contacts. Think of it as a FOSS solution to provide the functionality of Gmail+Google Calendar. Here endeth the history lesson.

[...]

I know for a fact that there may be one or two items that I’ve listed that could be contentious, and do you know what? I sincerely hope so :-) Now don’t get me wrong, I really do appreciate and am grateful for all the work effort and money that Novell has invested in openSUSE; but it isn’t fair at all for Novell to keep carrying the Project. If anyone thinks they’re not, you are living in lala land. Sure some of it might be their own doing, but a lot isn’t and it is up to us the community help them so that we can benefit even more.

OpenSUSE has been eerily quiet since Zonker left.

Going back to VMware and Zimbra, see the following posts about EMC and Microsoft:

To cut a long story short, EMC has VMware, which has Zimbra. Now there is this new press release which shows EMC supporting a direct rival of its very own Zimbra:

EMC Helps Define Information Governance for Microsoft Exchange 2010

EMC® Corporation (NYSE: EMC), the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, today announced it is expanding its efforts to help customers accelerate their journey to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 implementations and build actionable information governance strategies. Exchange 2010-ready, EMC SourceOne™ solutions further extend the archiving, retention, and e-discovery features of Exchange 2010, allowing organizations to manage their e-mail and other data efficiently and cost effectively while ensuring that all information is protected and available.

That’s a little iffy. Doesn’t EMC support Zimbra? Let’s remember that EMC is Microsoft’s Partner of the Year for 2008 and so is Citrix, which has just partnered with Novell. From the press release:

Citrix Systems, Inc. and Novell, Inc. announced a collaboration that expands choice for customers through increased virtualization interoperability and new assessment tools to help pinpoint the economically most advantageous approach to virtualization. Through this new partnership, Novell has certified SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as a Perfect Guest running on Citrix XenServer and both companies will provide joint technical support to customers. As a result of this agreement, the more than 4,500 enterprise applications certified as Novell Ready for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server are now Citrix Ready community-verified when running in a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server guest virtual machine on XenServer.

[...]

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is the only Linux operating system that has been optimized to be the perfect guest on all major hypervisors, with outstanding performance when running on XenServer.

That last sentence is a strong and ambitious claim, but Microsoft’s support for SUSE can count for something extra (from Novell’s point of view). The above can also be found right here in Reuters and some other sources, but what’s even more interesting is Novell’s apparent attempt to catch up with Red Hat where Xen is involved. Novell already builds a Wiki about what seems like a KVM hypervisor.

Believe it or not, it looks as though Novell is now researching the creation of yet another virtualization platform. No, this one isn’t based on Xen. Instead, the software company appears to be jumping on the KVM bandwagon and is looking to build a new open source project based on KVM.

Well, KVM is Red Hat’s, which makes it just slightly awkward.

02.13.10

Novell News Summary – Part III: SCO Updates, Financial Results Are Near

Posted in Finance, Google, Interview, Marketing, Microsoft, NetWare, Novell, Ron Hovsepian, SCO, Security, Servers, UNIX, Virtualisation, Xen at 3:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Davis Canyon moonrise

Summary: News touching on Novell’s non-Free/libre component of the business

THIS is the third part which covers Novell news from the first two weeks of February. This part covers Novell’s proprietary side, of which there is a lot (Novell is predominantly a closed-source company). What we happen to have found along the way this week is that Novell is not just a company that makes jewelry; there is yet another company called Novell Pharmaceutical Laboratories. Here is what we gather from the press release:

Read the rest of this entry »

12.19.09

Moonlight and Hyper-V Still Novell-Only and SUSE-Only in Some Ways

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, SLES/SLED, Virtualisation, VMware, Xen at 5:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Peace of mind

Summary: Microsoft projects are still upselling a distribution from which Microsoft extracts money for imaginary software patents

THE LATEST bit of news about Moonlight was expected to have untold information which is crucial. This very self-explanatory picture reminds us that Moonlight is essentially a Microsoft project and Microsoft is not allowed to help its #1 competitor, by definition (unless it somehow helps Microsoft in another way).

After a little bit of research it turned out that Novell customers are still in a privileged position when it comes to Moonlight. Sam Varghese writes:

There is one simple reason – the version of Moonlight that other distributions can offer will be able to play only media which are in free or open source formats.

To play any other format means one has to buy licences for proprietary media codecs from the owners.

Users who obtain Moonlight from Novell will have access to these codecs.

But you wouldn’t know about this if you read the Novell press release. (Microsoft hasn’t deemed this announcement, which apparently is another earth-shaking one for the Moonlight project head, Miguel de Icaza, important enough to issue a media release).

Here’s how Novell puts it: “The covenant is no longer limited to users that obtain Moonlight from Novell or its channel, but now covers users who obtain Moonlight from any third party, including other Linux distributors. Media Codecs for MP3 and VC1, and in the future H.264 and AAC, are supported through the Microsoft Media Pack, a Microsoft-delivered set of media codes that offer optimized and licensed decodecs to every Linux user who obtains Moonlight from Novell.”

For completeness, here is Novell’s announcement and a variety of articles about it:

Varghese has also attempted to find out what led to hostility towards GNU recently, after complaints about posts in Planet GNOME [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. He writes:

A member of the GNOME Foundation board has denied that a post by GNOME co-founder Miguel de Icaza led to a discussion on the Foundation mailing list which resulted in a call for the project to cut its ties with the GNU Project.

Behdad Esfahbod made reference to a story in these columns, wherein it was claimed that a Planet GNOME post by De Icaza, about Microsoft’s Silverlight technology, served as the catalyst for another Foundation member, Lucas Rocha, to start a discussion on members’ complaints about the type of content appearing on the Planet.

It is commonly argued that posts endorsing VMware were the cause for this whole incident. VMware is not much of a friend and we wrote about it in:

Speaking of which, watch how Microsoft still discriminates against GNU/Linux distributions that don’t pay Microsoft.

9 Reasons Enterprises Shouldn’t Switch To Hyper-V

[...]

1. Breadth of OS support
Before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s start with the most basic of features and simplest of tasks. Say you are an IT shop that supports more than just Windows servers; you have a mixed environment with different flavors of Linux and Unix. Hyper-V, however, supports only Windows and SuSE Linux. That’s it. If I am to recommend an enterprise virtualization infrastructure, it would need to support a bit more than one flavor of Linux.

After Xen was brought closer to Microsoft, its partner of the year Citrix is helping Hyper-V using Xen, as expected. From The Register:

You heard that right. Citrix is getting its virtual machine failover technology to Microsoft’s Hyper-V and integrating it with Systems Center management tools ahead of its own XenServer/Essentials combo.

Microsoft is just trying to distort this entire market. Almost all the large virtualisation companies (except Qumranet/KVM, which Red Hat bought, as well as Virtual Iron, which oracle bought to bury) are there to serve Microsoft/Windows in some way. Novell is the same and it is going downhill. Tom Harvey has just written about the two executives who flee Novell and he adds this factoid:

Williams is trimming his estimates of Novell revenues for the first quarter of the new fiscal year by 3 percent and for next year by 1 percent compared to this year, with earnings per share for the year at 31 cents, down 9.6 percent over the current year.

“The biggest risk that we see for Novell in the year ahead is that management will lose credibility with the Street and the stock will be dead money until proof of concept becomes visible to investors,” the report said.

As we wrote earlier in the week, the ridiculously high bonuses that Ron Hovsepian receives may indicate that he would otherwise leave the company, leading to a huge loss of credibility.

10.17.09

Novell News Summary – Part III: SCO, SAP, GroupWise Abandonment in LA

Posted in Google, Identity Management, Mail, Microsoft, NetWare, Novell, SCO, UNIX, Virtualisation, Xen at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Arches at National Park

Summary: A mixture of Novell news from the past week

MORE articles than usual have mentioned Novell in the past week, so here is a quick rundown.

Read the rest of this entry »

10.07.09

No Point to Microsoft’s New Datacentres, Microsoft-dominated VMware Comes to Redmond’s Back Garden

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Search, Servers, Virtualisation, VMware, Windows, Xen at 8:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Find and Lean on your insider friend, ‘the fox’. Having a trusted MSfriend in the account is critical. Some people (unix Bigots) can think of lots of reasons to not have a MS solution. MS folks may not be the strongest voice but they are true believers (Protect them, make them look good).”

Steve Winfield, Microsoft

English fox, a cub

Summary: Microsoft’s on-line business declines and VMware comes over to Washington, Microsoft’s home state

Microsoft’s latest efforts in search have gone nowhere — and fast! For the second time in one week [1, 2], a Microsoft-independent survey suggests (essentially corroborates) that Microsoft’s search is on the decline in the US. Even the Bing-sponsored blog has covered these findings:

The report found that Bing’s percentage of searches actually dropped by five percent during the month of September to 8.96 percent of all searches. Google, by comparison, gained one percent to 71.08 percent of all searches. (Chart below).

Once again they ignore the world. They treat the United States as though it’s representative of world trends at large. If Microsoft is going downwards, need it build any additional datacentres to cope with decreased demand?

While Microsoft builds search/SaaS datacentres at strategic locations [1, 2], so does VMware (the company which comes from Palo Alto, California) after getting more or less hijacked by Microsoft employees [1, 2, 3]. The same site (as above) covers this:

Given all of the former Microsoft executives now working at VMware, we’ve joked in the past that the Silicon Valley virtualization powerhouse might just want to consider setting up a new headquarters in the Seattle area. Well, it’s not quite the headquarters. And it is not quite Seattle. But VMware has chosen Washington — specifically East Wenatchee — for its latest and greatest data center.

VMware — led by former Microsoft executive Paul Maritz…

Another virtualisation company that Microsoft had captured from the inside followed the same trajectory. XenSource opened a facility next to Microsoft just before it was acquired by Microsoft’s partner of the year, Citrix, and after it had received funds from former Microsoft employees. It had also made a Microsoft employee its general manager.

Microsoft and its former employees are seemingly trying to buy and assimilate the entire market, including Microsoft’s competitors. It’s not necessarily deliberate, i.e. it is not intended to happen by design. But friends help friends and former colleagues. That’s just human nature; people — unlike robots — have no magic switch in their brain that flips over loyalties overnight. For instance, also see what Microsoft did to Yahoo!, Corel, Novell, and Borland. People must never forget that Novell’s management now has former Microsoft executives in it (recent examples include the board level). Novell is likely to get acquired.

“Ask the partner to give you heads up on customer situations – bribe them!”

Steve Winfield, Microsoft

08.25.09

VMware Turns Sour After Microsoft Intervention

Posted in Deals, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Virtualisation, VMware, Windows, Xen at 8:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

E-love

Summary: VMware shows signs of Linux neglect, just like Xen after receiving funding, staff and acquisition from Microsoft-tied entities

VMware is run by Microsoft veterans after aggressive intervention and this causes real trouble. Joining the Linux Foundation was a cheap (as in relatively inexpensive) public relations move for VMware; judging by its actions, it’s not serious about the platform anymore. From the news:

VMware drags its feet on Linux-based vCenter appliance, annoys Linux users

The vCenter virtual appliance server 2.5 has been available as a free technology preview since late February. The cross-platform client interface is still in development but some components have been available in technology preview since May, with no word on how long users will have to wait for a full production release of either product. All of that doesn’t sit well with some people.

Eric Siebert, a TechTarget blogger and IT veteran, said he thinks VMware may have been dragging its feet a bit on this project because its customer base is predominately Windows. But VMware needs to step up its Linux efforts if it wants to compete with Xen and Hyper-V for Linux users, he said.

Why is this happening? Is Microsoft using Maritz and his other Microsoft colleagues as what it calls “insider friend, ‘the Fox’” or is this neglect simply part of the company’s overall weakness?

VMware — being part of EMC — is Microsoft Partner of the Year 2008 and so is Citrix/Xen, whose role has become Microsoft centered.

Another one of Microsoft’s suspicious ‘puppets’ is Yahoo!

It truly shows now that Yahoo! joins Microsoft's action against Google in books and now that Yahoo acquires Maktoob. Guess who it may be piggybacking?

Yahoo Acquires Arab Portal, Bing Gets Backdoor Into Deal

[...]

This morning Yahoo announced that it was acquiring Maktoob.com, “the leading online community in the Arab world.” According to Yahoo the site has an audience of 16.5 million people. The purchase price has been estimated at between $75 and $100 million and was apparently in the works before the search deal with Microsoft was announced last month. Yahoo said the acquisition is part of a larger strategy to grow its audience in emerging markets and become the “destination of choice” in those locations.

It is reasonable to treat Yahoo! almost like a subsidiary of Microsoft in particular areas. As we have seen before, Microsoft may also use its partners to acquire other companies for competitive reasons. This is sad.

08.19.09

Moonlight and Mono Lack Demand

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Virtualisation, Windows, Xen at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Strike

Summary: Novell does not eat its own dog food and Mono is still negligible

Moonlight has made some headlines recently [1, 2] because of a new beta which is hardly worthy of news coverage. As ITWire points out, even Novell continues to show a lack of demand for it. It goes further than this:

If Moonlight is so hot, why isn’t Novell using it?

[...]

Novell’s lack of trust in its own products seems to extend to its Netware and Linux products to some extent as well.

According to Netcraft, the Novell websites run a mix of Windows Server 2003, CentOS, Debian GNU/Linux, Netware, SUSE and Solaris.

It is not exactly news that several of Novell’s Web sites did not use SUSE; some used the products of a direct competitor. We wrote about it years ago.

Speaking of scarcity in terms of demand for Moonlight, watch how little developer interest there is in C# or Mono, at least in the Free software world. Mono proponents love to pretend that Mono is vital owing to developers’ preferences, but the facts just don’t add up or stack up. Like its ally Microsoft, Novell exaggerates using perceived demand that they hope will be self-fulfilling.

C# Open Source popularity not what one might think.

How does one measure success?

The success – roughly defined as “popularity” – of C#/Mono/.NET is something we’ve kicked around in comments here. Now, there are numbers from Black Duck that have got some blogs picking up on some “harder” numbers.

C# squeaks into 10th place, with a 1.24% share – virtually equal to assembly language (1.23%)!

It ought to be emphasised that these numbers from Black Duck are skewed because it recently started funneling in heaps of Microsoft-oreinted projects, which then gave the impression of (relatively) less GPL acceptance and probably increased acceptance of C#. If only GPL-licensed projects are accounted for, it is likely that C# will have closer to 0%. This cannot be checked, however, because Black Duck insists on black-box surveys and proprietary scanning/cataloging software. As one reader often reminds us, Mono/C# programmers are only dozens of people, many of whom are Novell employees.

Over at The Register, Timothy Prickett Morgan seemingly advises Novell to join forces with Microsoft’s Partner of the Year (2008), namely Citrix.

What is commercial Linux distributor Novell going to do about server and desktop virtualization?

It’s a good question, and one that the company’s top brass has not really addressed.

In July 2006, with the launch of SUSE Linux 10, Novell was the first commercial Linux vendor to ship a Xen hypervisor tuned for Linux. And it is arguable that Novell probably jumped the gun, given the state of Xen, its management tools, and Novell’s support of other operating systems beside SLES 10 at the time with its embedded Xen product.

[...]

Circling high above the server virtualization space here at El Reg, it sure looks like Novell and Citrix need each other. They need each other as much as Citrix needed to closely ally itself with Microsoft to put out its Essentials tools for managing both XenServer and Hyper-V hypervisors, and as much as Novell needed to make a pact with Microsoft to distribute $340m worth of SUSE Linux support contracts into Windows shops.

If Novell and Citrix grew even closer, it would most likely lead to even greater entanglements with Microsoft. Citrix is no friend of GNU/Linux, to say the very, very least.

Citrix logo

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