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Novell's Marketing Team is Promoting Vista 7 (Again) and Speaks About Viral Marketing

No Value : Novell



Summary: Novell markets Microsoft software along with its own and Novell's CMO talks about experimentation with viral marketing

Grant Ho, Novell's Director of Solutions and Product Marketing, was seen promoting Vista 7 in Novell's PR blog some months ago. We have some other examples of Novell's promotion of Vista 7 in semi-official channels like corporate blogs [1, 2].



Here is the latest example from Ho:

Last fall, Microsoft unveiled Windows 7 and caused a gasp across the IT departments in many an enterprise. It wasn’t that the new product had issues. On the contrary, the release was one of the most well thought out and developed software in years.


Really? Based on evidence that we gathered, Vista 7 is the most well thought out AstroTurf/marketing campaign in years because it's another Vista and it still has many of the same problems. Windows XP SP2 support is expiring, so Novell's endorsement couldn't come at a better time (for Microsoft).

“Here we have Novell sponsoring help migrating TO Windows 7.”
      --Jason, The Source
Later on (after already spotting the above) we found the same observation in The Source. In Jason's words, "Here we have Novell sponsoring help migrating TO Windows 7. Don’t worry, though, because it’s business and not cheerleading" (there are some other good picks over there in The Source, which is a site we recommend).

At the bottom, says Jason, "Novell: Will Eat Bugs For Money." (obviously a reference to what Jeremy Allison said about Microsoft's deal with Novell after he had quit the company. By the way, check out the Web site overhaul in Samba)

"Microsoft will never stop trying to tax Linux," writes Jason in reference to the news about Office Web Apps (also covered here and in The Register).

Novell's marketing tricks can be rather distasteful sometimes. For instance, Novell turned the SCO case into a PR case for itself. Novell's fight to defend its UNIX asset is valuable to Linux too, so Novell's selfish case against SCO (good for Novell shareholders) is seen by many as Novell acting in good faith only to defend GNU/Linux.

Novell responds to SCO's motion for judgment in SCO's favor as a matter of law or for a new trial.


Yes, Novell wants UNIX. When Novell gets sold (which it will), who is going to end up possessing UNIX?

Here in Techrights we distrust Novell not just because of reasonable skepticism; it's because of Novell's history of telling lies to the public. Just watch John Dragoon’s blog this week. He is Novell's Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and here he is talking about the controversial subject of viral marketing, which is notorious for reasons we explained many times before.

3. You Can’t Manufacture “Viral,” but You Can Experiment Endlessly

When marketers first turned their attention to social media, we were all looking for that big viral hit where you spend next to nothing but get a ton of exposure. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way.

You can have good intentions, you can try to create something that will go viral, but at the end of the day, it’s not going to be you who determines whether it’s going to succeed or not. You just can’t make it so or wish it so.


Novell's use of YouTube for viral marketing is a subject that we've already covered with many examples [1, 2, 3, 4].

Not so long ago, Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier was hired by Novell to become a PR appendage (he resigned the following year and got back to journalism). Now he explains parts of his duties for Novell.

The first year I worked for Novell, the effect of having an openSUSE booth at events was noticeable, because the project had been entirely absent at most of the events.

Having a presence at events is sort of de rigueur for major projects. If nobody turns up, people often wonder why project X decided to skip the event. And you'll find a handful of folks who turn up just to ask question about a project ("how the hell do I get my wireless to work on 11.0?") and look for swag. But having spent quite a few hours doing booth duty, I wonder if it's absolutely necessary or effective compared to what volunteers could be doing.


Brockmeier left Novell shortly after Novell's PR people sent him to tell some lies to journalists (maybe he sincerely believed in those lies, but Professor Eben Moglen set the record straight).

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