11.08.07

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Microsoft and Novell Get Even Closer (Updatedx2)

Posted in Deals, Intellectual Monopoly, Interoperability, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents at 4:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

News just in…

A press release is making its way through the tubes at the moment (original at microsoft.com). In this public relations ‘stunt’, only Microsoft chose to boast its ‘interoperability’ deal with Novell. The source of the announcement (it doesn’t indicate if it’s a joint PR) says a lot about who benefits from such a patent deal and rest assured, journalist will get persistent prodding from Microsoft to write about how wonderful and rosy the deal has been.

MS Novell

Patents are mentioned in this press release. “Intellectual property” (not the same thing as patents) also. Here’s a fragment:

Having exceeded their original business targets, the companies continue to see strong demand for interoperability and intellectual property (IP) peace of mind.

“The Novell and Microsoft agreement provides Zabka Polska S.A. an interoperability solution incorporating the essential element of intellectual property assurances,” said Maciej Klaskala, chief information officer for Zabka Polska S.A.

An article that has just been published turns the press release into a story explicitly says the the Novell/Microsoft “alliance” (yes, that’s the term used) has been extended.

One year after sealing their surprise alliance, Novell and Microsoft have announced an expansion of their technical collaboration to “link together the existing Windows and Linux frameworks”.

Here is what Mary Jo Foley writes, along with a detailed list of events.

As those who’ve followed in greater depth the twists and turns of Microsoft’s attempts to pressure Linux distribution vendors to pay for alleged infringement on Microsoft patents know, the Microsoft-Novell partnership has not been all smooth sailing. In the past year, here are a few of the related milestones in the Novell-Microsoft relationship that Microsoft isn’t celebrating in today’s press release…

Ron Hovsepian confusedWith the word “alliance” (not even “partnership”) making an appearance and revealing the nature of this evolving deal, it is hard to deny the fact that Novell and Microsoft are merely inseparable. They are working together to push all other Linux vendors out of the market, unless those vendors surrender to Microsoft’s ludicrous demands. This sums up one of the troublesome effects of this patent deal. And yes, Ron Hovsepian, it’s a patent deal, so stop denying this already.

Update: now it’s Turbolinux as well.

Microsoft, Turbolinux, Extend Interopability Collaboration Agreement

Linux client and server distributor in Japan and China, Turbolinux, has aligned with Microsoft Corp., in a business agreement that expands their recent collaborations. The deal advances interoperability, furthers research and development collaboration, and provides IP assurances for Turbolinux users.

Given the source of this press release, the date might be incorrect and maybe it’s just the previous announcement. Either way, do not buy anything from companies that take part in this awful scam.

Update #2: mind the good take by Matt Asay.

Is it Microsoft + Novell or Microsoft vs. Novell?

Actually, this is very surprising. I’ve started to notice a trend in all the announcements the two companies have made over the past year: Novell stresses interoperability while Microsoft beats its drum on patent protection.

[...]

I wonder how long Microsoft will continue its efforts to try to cast the deal as about IP. It’s not for Novell, it seems to me now. Microsoft did the deal to hurt Linux – there’s no other explanation for it. It has no fiduciary duty to enable a competitor (unless its a weaker competitor against the Linux market leader, Red Hat). It has a fiduciary duty to kill that competitor.

To answer the question that is also Matt’s headline, it’s a “Microsoft + Novell vs. Mandriva, Red Hat, Ubuntu (and whoever else has not joined the ‘protection racket club’)” deal. Novell isn’t against Microsoft anymore. In fact, Novell depends so much on Microsoft at this stage, so it is willing to actually assist and give way to Microsoft. How ironic and sad.

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9 Comments

  1. vexorian said,

    November 8, 2007 at 6:26 pm

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    I would say your link to Mary Jo Foley’s article is wrong.

  2. vexorian said,

    November 8, 2007 at 6:33 pm

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    New Collaboration to Improve Computer Access for People With Disabilities

    This whole accessibility charade reminds me the anti ODF FUD that they tried once.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 8, 2007 at 6:49 pm

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    I would say your link to Mary Jo Foley’s article is wrong.

    Oopsie. Should work fine now.

    This whole accessibility charade reminds me the anti ODF FUD that they tried once.

    Yes, indeed. It took ages to squash that nasty FUD (screen magnifiers and the use of blind people to block or suppress ODF acceptance in Massachusetts). See notes on accessibility FUD in MA here and a good video of Mr. Korn on ODF accessibility here.

  4. eet said,

    November 9, 2007 at 8:19 am

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    So, from the wording “alliance” you conclude that “they are working together to push all other Linux vendors out of the market”?

    Your blogging grows evermore far-fetched.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an abusive Internet troll

  5. Truth Seeker said,

    November 9, 2007 at 11:49 am

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    @eet: Come on, Roy just means it is yet another bad indicator. Historically, “alliance” undeniably has troubling connotations for those not a part of it, i.e., not “all other [GNU/]Linux vendors, but vendors who refuse to give in to extortion.”

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 9, 2007 at 2:09 pm

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    So, from the wording “alliance” you conclude that “they are working together to push all other Linux vendors out of the market”?

    No, the two statements are completely independent.

    The fact that the two companies liaise to fight other companies like Red Hat is nothing new. We said that many times before. The new new bit is to do with terminology and “alliance” is a very strong word.

    Remember that Novell had anti-Windows messages in its Web site. Shortly after the deal with Microsoft, Novell ‘cleaned up’ its site.

  7. Repre Hendor said,

    November 9, 2007 at 2:16 pm

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    There are not many companies who succeeded long-term to be a “partner” to Microsoft, and not being eaten alive.

    One of them is Citrix. Now listen to what Citrix’ CEO has to say about Microsoft ():

    “Microsoft is a giant aircraft carrier. They move at very deliberate and predictable speed in enterprise computing. You know where they will be two or three years from now. So the onus is on you as a company to listen to those signals and steer with that, instead of getting in front of the aircraft carrier or getting swamped in the wake of it.”

    You can bet that Microsoft is also *able* to tell their “partners” where they will be in two or three years from now. And they’ll do so if they want. For sure they’ll tell where they *don’t* want their partners to be.

    In that light, and given the above statement: is there still anybody around who thinks Citrix’ acquisition of Xen happened without the big aircraft carrier sending his steering signals?

    Citrix clearly is acting as a Microsoft proxy in the Xen affair.

    Now let’s see if Citrix will keep obeying their masters, or if they start running with the loot, once they see that the aircraft carrier shows signs of heading towards an iceberg, or some other major leakage having occurred that dissallows it to keep course and full steam….

  8. Repre Hendor said,

    November 9, 2007 at 2:18 pm

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    This damn’ site software has eaten the link to the above quote. Here it is once more:

    http://www.eweek.com/print_article2/0,1217,a=218979,00.asp

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 9, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Gravatar

    In that light, and given the above statement: is there still anybody around who thinks Citrix’ acquisition of Xen happened without the big aircraft carrier sending his steering signals?

    Citrix clearly is acting as a Microsoft proxy in the Xen affair.

    Same situation with Novell. It’s a patent proxy, a GPL proxy (Microsoft wants no direct touch with the licence), an anti-Red Hat proxy, a pro-OOXML proxy, a proxy against the EC’s actions, and a few other things. We’ve covered all of this before.

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