Bonum Certa Men Certa

Novell's Linux Business Does NOT Climb Since its Deal with Microsoft (Updated)

Don't judge the health of a 25-year marriage based on the honeymoon

The press if going ga-ga after Justin Steinman's claim that Novell is doing well despite and because of the deal with Microsoft. But Justin is a PR agent, and the reporters do not bother to perform a quick and independent sanity check.

I was going to write more about this tomorrow because I'm submitting my thesis today (didn't have any free time), but while the press is blindly spreading such disinformation, I can't help it anymore. To keep this short, watch what we said just days ago and follow the links therein. It's clear that while Steinman says:

"The affect on sales year over year, for Novell's first three quarters of our fiscal year, which ends Oct. 31 -- our Linux business was up 243%"


Ron Hovsepian confusedThe reality is (from last week's news): "As Linux sales slowed in subsequent quarters -- from year-over-year growth of 659 percent to 114 percent to 95 percent -- executives have backed away from espousing the importance of Linux orders to Novell's overall business strategy."

This comes from the article, "One year after Microsoft deal, Novell’s Linux sales growth slows," which shows that Novell/Microsoft's quota of SUSE coupons has almost been exceeded and the 'gift' (as in "Greek bearing gift") runs out. We have covered many such articles and this one just happens to be the most recent. The articles are consistent, and it's a damn shame that ComputerWorld decided to blindly project (or echo) Novell's PR pitch.

Quick temporary boosts cannot be described as a climb, especially when they involve an ill reliance on a fierce rival, which has already backstabbed Novell.

There is some similar misinterpretation about the GPLv3 at the moment, with figures that come from Evans Data. Keep on eye only on Palamida, which shows that GPLv3 adoption keeps climbing.

Update: another source agrees. Hours after we had posted this item. the following was posted elsewhere.

Details Needed On Novell's Allegedly Soaring Linux Sales

Slashdot is linking to a story supposedly showing that Novell's Linux business has seen amazing growth in the nine months since they signed a controversial patent deal with Microsoft. "The affect on sales year over year, for Novell's first three quarters of our fiscal year, which ends Oct. 31 -- our Linux business was up 243 percent year over year," said Novell exec Justin Steinman. But so far, at least, this growth doesn't appear to be reflected in Novell's financial results. If my math is right, Novell's revenue for "Linux platform products" totaled $32 million in the first three quarters of 2006, while the total for the first three quarters of 2007 is $53 million.


Once again, Novell's PR spins like a ballerina. I've left a comment in Slashdot.

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