Novell Distributes Wealth of Job Cuts

Posted in Finance, Novell at 10:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell is expecting quite a large sum of money from last year’s jobs cuts.

Business software maker Novell Inc. said on Wednesday it expects charges of $35 million to $45 million for job cuts and facility closures that began in last year’s fourth quarter.


Novell has already taken some $150 million in restructuring charges over the past five years, but Chief Executive Ron Hovsepian has said restructuring efforts have failed to realize their full potential in boosting profitability.

So, Ron Hovsepian thought that ‘protection money’ from Microsoft would help, all the expense of the Free Software community. It may be too late to act naive. Novell swallowed a bug in order to give its stock a little boost. As a result, companies became Microsoft’s victims of extortion, although it happens behind the scenes.


How We Got Into This Mess and How We Shall Get Out

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents at 10:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s ‘big plans’ for Novell are nothing new and, as a matter of fact, they go back to 2006 when Bill Gates stated:

“We’re also letting Novell give something that you get in the commercial model, but you rarely get otherwise, which is the indemnification, just like we always do with every copy of Windows. So we’re pioneering some things here.”

Yes, they certainly pioneered a method of threatening Free software.

Linux.org isn’t afraid of doing some finger pointing by suggesting that Novell is part of the gig which started this whole mess.

The Novell-Microsoft pact has made us all aware that we can be clubbed over the head by a Microsoft intent on protecting what it calls its “intellectual property”

Meanwhile, the FSF suggests that the new GPLv3 draft is imminent, but the final release is still delayed. The intent is to leave Novell, which adamantly argues it can comply with the GPL, out in the cold.

The GPL 3 drafting process was thrown for a loop by the surprise pact Novell and Microsoft announced in November. The deal includes a patent covenant that critics fear will give Novell and its customers a legal immunity not shared by other developers. The GPL’s author, FSF president Richard Stallman, quickly pledged to patch loopholes in the GPL 3 draft to prevent such tactics.

Dude, Certification Isn’t Preinstallation

Posted in Dell, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Novell at 1:28 pm by Shane Coyle

"Major OEM to offer preinstalled Linux on desktops and notebooks"

2007 actually is the year of Linux on the Desktop!

Alot has been made of the prominence of preinstalled Linux as a request on the dellideastorm site, a community-driven site in which dell customers can (hopefully) influence the direction of the company’s offerings, with more than a few internet news sites proclaiming that Dell will sell Desktops and Laptops with "Linux pre-installed".

Unfortunately, it’s not what happened. Dell will be working with Novell and others to certify their hardware for Linux, including their desktops and notebooks, but they are not planning on preinstalling desktop Linux for their customers in the near future.

“Our point of view is that we are listening to our Linux customers,” said Jeremy Bolen, a Dell spokesman. He noted that the company already offers factory-installed Linux on some specific Dell Precision workstations for high-end corporate users, but is not currently installing the OS on its other laptop or desktop machines. “However, I won’t rule out the option of expanding the pre-installation program at a future date,” Bolen said.

Boston Globe Calls It “Civil War”, But Microsoft Loses the Most

Posted in Formats, FUD, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Steve Ballmer at 7:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What follows is a series articles which tell a story.

Let us start with the Boston Globe’s ambitious headline which states:

Linux camp rages over Novell pact

Microsoft accord could leave other open-source software companies more vulnerable to patent suits

Last year’s surprise partnership between software titan Microsoft Corp. and leading Linux distributor Novell Inc. was supposed to be a kind of peace treaty. Instead, it’s brought the open-source software community to the brink of civil war, over a provision that could help Microsoft sue other open-source software companies for patent violations

While this may sound worrisome (and as a matter of fact is it the raison d’être of this Web site), this doesn’t tell the whole story. Adding some context, such as recent lawsuits over use of the MP3 format, the biggest loser here is neither Linux nor Novell. In fact, Wired magazine says the biggest gainer is Open Source. And the following two articles also explain why Microsoft suffers from its assault on Linux.

Survey says: Microsoft to lose more than gain from Linux IP assaults

Based on a survey in my recent blog on Microsoft’s MP3 IP travails, the community thinks Microsoft has more to lose than to gain. I think they are right. Microsoft may win a battle or two but at the cost of a war. Microsoft must know what violations may exist. By not taking action, it wants the best of both: no legal action, all PR benefit. Not a good bet. It didn’t work out for SCO from the Unix angle.

There’s also this one:

Patents cut both ways for Microsoft

If I held Microsoft stock (which I don’t) I would be furious.

Here is Steve Balmer (sic) focusing on Linux, making the tired claim that there is so-called Intellectual Property in Linux that violates patents held by Microsoft. Meanwhile Microsoft gets hit with a hefty patent violation of its own; 1.5 billion (yes, that is a “B”) for the use of the mp3 patent without payment of royalties.

Finally, let us put an end to all the FUD by blasting away any dark cloud which loom over. We may need the assistance of very influential figures.

They are also calling upon leaders in the tech community, like Linus Torvalds, Mark Shuttleworth, and Google’s leading triumvirate of Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt to call Microsoft’s bluff.


Video: Microsoft’s Proxy (SCO) on the Non-existent Stolen Code in Linux

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Novell, SCO, UNIX, Videos at 7:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We happen to have discovered an old video which features Darl McBride. In this video he explains how Linux allegedly stole UNIX code. In retrospect, the video demonstrates and exposes nothing but strategy-motivated lying.

Needless to mention, SCO’s financial ties with Microsoft are no longer secret. And given Microsoft’s recent saber rattling, which is fuelled by Novell’s mistake and overlaps that of SCO’s baseless accusations, this video might be worth watching.

Novell is to Linux what Darl McBride was to SCO. It mat be a case where an entity or an individual is lured to become a ‘puppet authority’ which misrepresents many developers and customers. Perhaps Microvell is also to the Linux community what MicroSCOft was to IBM-vell at the time — a paracite who is seeking money through proxies and secret negotiations.


Microsoft Scares (and Drives Away) Its Own Customers, But Not Linux Users

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Steve Ballmer at 11:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There are two recommended readings on the subject. One of them comes from the Inquirer and another comes from a blog. It is aptly titled
“Steve ‘I am SCO’ Ballmer”

The ‘cold-war’ between Ballmer and the Open Source movement that has raged on and on and on, continues to escalate as the “Ballmer rhetoric engine” version 2.0 picks up speed.


With Ballmer’s increasing aggressive tirades against anyone whom he believes is ‘evil’, it is becoming apparent, at least to this author, that Steve is at risk of simply becoming irrelevant, as the entire world marches towards a more open application framework, which is increasingly focused towards inter-operable web based technologies – with code and ideas flowing in many different directions.

System administrators who operate in a so-called ‘mixed environment’ can attest to the same feeling. They take great offence. And although the context is different, you may also enjoy the following recent quotes, brought to you by an anonymous Microsoft employee (the notorious mini microsoft).

Ballmer: “That didn’t go over so well.”

Flunky: “The reaction seemed about 50-50.”

Ballmer: “At best.”


Around Vista ship expectations and what Mr. Ballmer has said, Charles shares the following: “Seriously, Ballmer himself is responsible for setting unrealistic expectations in the first place…”

It is evident that the man has lost plenty of credibility. The company which he runs sometimes acknowledges the fact that he only increases the damage. So, the bottom line is:

Let him talk.

New Campaign: Show Us The Infringements, Microsoft

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Site News, Steve Ballmer at 12:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Allow us to start with this timely prelude:

…Darl McBride, CEO of SCO, in 2003:

“The intellectual property roots of Linux are obviously flawed at a systemic level under the current model. To date, we claim that more than one million lines of UNIX System V protected code have been contributed to Linux through this model. The flaws inherent in the Linux process must be openly addressed and fixed.”

SCO has become a laughing stock since then. To make matters worse, its secret connections with Microsoft got exposed and now it’s facing bankruptcy.

Steve Ballmer, on behalf on Microsoft, intends to repeat this routine by making shallow accusations while refusing to disclose specifics. As a result, a new Web site/campaign has just been launched. The domain name is showusthecode.com. To quote the Open Letter:

It’s come to many in the Linux community’s attention you have claimed again and again, that Linux violates Microsoft’s intellectual property. Not only that, but it’s been reported Microsoft has convinced businesses to pay for a Linux patent that you can’t provide.


How many corporations, how many organizations, how many community members will it take to call your bluff, Steven?

A recent rebuttal argued that Microsoft may be the biggest IP thief of all times. To back this argument, we have collected some bit and pieces which readers may find handy.


Novell Repeats GPL Claims; Ballmer’s Accusations Debunked

Posted in Africa, Asia, FSF, FUD, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Novell, Samba, Steve Ballmer at 8:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

While the Free Software Foundation takes its time to ensure exclusion of Novell, its managers seem apathetic. The company has said this before (in South Africa) and it now repeats the same argument. It insists that the next version of the GPL will not leave it out in the cold. This latest statement comes from an executive in Asia.

Open source vendor Novell has asserted that there is no truth in speculations of it losing out on the General Public License (GPL) to sell Linux operating system software.

Also in the news watch, you might find this snippet from an InformationWeek article informative.

Samba project leader Jeremy Allison, who left Novell in protest over the Novell-Microsoft deal, insists no reverse engineering of Microsoft file formats or other infringements have occurred in his project. The file exchange is engineered at the network protocol level, he says, based on published Microsoft documents. “We haven’t used anybody else’s IP to develop Samba,” Allison asserts over lunch at his new employer, Google.

Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation (the merged Open Source Development Labs and Free Standards Group), calls Ballmer’s repeated allusions to intellectual property rights “scare tactics.”

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