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Dell/Novell Approach Ignites Skpeticism and Backlash

Posted in Deals, Dell, Intellectual Monopoly, Novell, Patents, Servers at 9:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This outcome was probably inevitable, if not outright predictable as well. We would like to present a couple of stories which represent a common sentiment. Some people are unhappy with Dell’s implicit endorsement of the Novell/Microsoft deal, wherein it is acknowledged that Linux embodies Microsoft IP.

The first article comes from Computer Business Review Online. These chaps have consistently bothered to ask customers about IP concerns. This one piece is no exception. More interesting, however, is a side story from the article:

Shortly after yesterday’s announcement from Dell, a posting appeared on its IdeaStorm suggestion box web site, entitled “Don’t imply Microsoft IP in Linux”.

“I would like Dell to make an official statement that they do not believe there is any Microsoft intellectual property in any of the distributions of Linux they offer,” the poster, mhall119, wrote.

It was receiving about 100 votes per hour during the day yesterday. Dell’s Lord said he had not read the suggestion and declined to comment on it.

The second little tidbit come from a column which is aptly titled “The empire strikes back”.

Notice that Dell wasn’t exactly prominent in the announcement of the deal – most of the talking was done by Microsoft, in itself a reminder that whether you are a big player or not in the tech industry, you had better do as the boys in Redmond say. No getting too much out of line.

Just a couple of months back, Dell was involved in what many saw as some kind of lovefest with the Linux community, claiming it was trying to gauge what the public really wants. It’s one of those touchy-feely marketing BS exercises.

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  1. tpg said,

    May 8, 2007 at 1:28 pm


    Where’s this post on IdeaStorm? I’ve searched for it but can’t find it.

  2. gpl1 said,

    May 8, 2007 at 3:36 pm


    Here’s a great blog post with takes from three people at Computer World: http://www.computerworld.com/blogs/node/5479

    They brought up the “IP” deal, too. It’s nice to see that making headlines again instead of that other smokeshield.

  3. twocents said,

    May 8, 2007 at 6:26 pm



    I haven’t seen this addressed anywhere but I believe that this will be the next big issue confronting minor players in the software and patent game.

    Somewhat related to the above is the recent Amazon/IBM deal:
    From the link above… “Online retailer Amazon.com and IBM have settled all their patent-infringement lawsuits and signed a long-term patent cross-license agreement”

    We’re going to continue to see the larger businesses form these types of partneships. Why? Because in the virtual world, everyone has the same chance to succeed…

  4. shane said,

    May 8, 2007 at 7:18 pm


    It’s cartelization of the software industry via legally questionable patents, and Novell has just as much a stake in the continuation of the software patent myth as MS, or IBM for that matter.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 8, 2007 at 8:35 pm


    @ tpg:
    There are several of them. It is, after all, a user-generated site.

    Here is one of interest:

    Notice how heavily demoted it is (minus 400 at present). This indicates that people who are registered with ideastorm, whether they are Free software advocates or not, are not happy with the news.

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