03.24.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

How Novell Fell in Love With Its Hitman

Posted in America, Antitrust, Bill Gates, Corel, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites at 12:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“There are people who don’t like capitalism, and people who don’t like PCs. But there’s no-one who likes the PC who doesn’t like Microsoft.”

Bill Gates

There are corny old stories about people falling in love with their foes or becoming fascinated with stalkers (e.g. James Bond and “the spy who loved me”). In some cases, people develop an obsession for those whom they hate or those hate them. Novell seems to validate some of these bizarre phenomena. Novell, which has a history of being abused and betrayed repeatedly by Microsoft, is quickly getting close to Microsoft. How close? Far more than most observers even care to realise.

“Microsoft uses Novell as a bridge.”BrainShare 2008 may be over by now, but some of the reports stand out because they demonstrate the relationship Microsoft tries to establish not only with Novell, but also with other FOSS and/or Linux companies, by association. Microsoft uses Novell as a bridge. Would you expect Microsoft to stay away from BrainShare (as in, not stick its finger in that pie)? That would be wishful thinking.

Perhaps the biggest shock walking into the exhibitors room at Novell Inc.’s annual conference last week in Salt Lake City was the very prominent booth of Microsoft, emblazoned with the slogan “Interoperability.”

By “Interoperability” they actually mean "Taxoperability". The intent here is to replace opens standards with a monster that enables Microsoft to charge for GNU/Linux, per copy.

In an interview, Ron Hovsepian was asked about the relationship with Microsoft. Watch his response.

At Novell Inc.’s BrainShare 2008 user and partner conference here earlier this week, CEO Ron Hovsepian spoke with Computerworld about a range of issues, including a skills realignment in his company that resulted in 1,000 of his 4,000 employees being replaced in the past year.

[...]

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 5 is “meets expectations,” how would you rate your satisfaction with your interoperability agreement with Microsoft? To date, I would put it at an 8 or a 9. The logic would be, it’s worked out for our customers, it’s worked out technically. The interoperability differentiation has resonated incredibly in the market. And it’s been the proper thing for the company financially as well.

It comes just a couple of days after this antitrust lawsuit made headlines. Visual reminder below.

Jim Allchin on Novell

Another set of fines could — if not should — be expected. Here are some more gory details.

Wacko conspiracy and sour grapes? Not really, as there’s a smoking gun [PDF] in this case, a 1994 email from Bill Gates that outlines just such a plan to withhold the technical information from competitors, noting that their products were superior to Microsoft’s and that, well, cheating was the only way that Microsoft could compete.

Slated.org has the E-mails archived as plain text. The Webmaster brought us an excerpt from it:

Its time for a decision on iShellBrowser

[...]

I have decided that we should not publish these extensions. We should
wait until we have a way to do a high level of integration that will
give Office a real advantage.

[...]

We can’t compete with Lotus and Wordperfect/Novell without this. Our
goal is to have Office’96 sell better because of the shell integration work

Now that Novell and Microsoft are close, one has to wonder about chances of mercy, prospects of pardon. Either way, it would be unfortunate to see Microsoft handing in another financial lifeline to Novell in the form of a fine, assuming it loses the case. It is in Microsoft’s interest to keep Novell going at the expense of other Linux vendors, whose products are not Microsoft cash cows, owing to illegitimacy of software patents and bogus claims. It’s a win-win situation for Microsoft and Novell. They could have money exchanged among themselves, shared for common objectives. without prudent scrutiny.

By the time that e-mail was written in late 1994, WordPerfect was already in trouble. It’s clear, though, that Microsoft had no problem in using its operating system monopoly to kick WordPerfect while it was down. Whether this case goes all the way through trial or is settled out of court, I have a feeling that Microsoft will end up paying for its role in WordPerfect’s downfall.

Matt Asay, bearing OOXML in mind, wrote about the irony in this situation.

“Pearly Gates and Em-Ballmer
One promises you heaven and the other prepares you for the grave. “

Ray Noorda (Novell’s CEO at the time)

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. 2023 is the Year Taxpayers' Money Goes to War and Energy Subsidies, Not Tech

    Now that a lot of powerful and omnipresent ‘tech’ (spying and policing) companies are rotting away we have golden opportunities to bring about positive change and maybe even recruit technical people for good causes



  2. Getting Back to Productive Computer Systems Would Benefit Public Health and Not Just Boost Productivity

    “Smartphoneshame” (shaming an unhealthy culture of obsession with “apps”) would potentially bring about a better, more sociable society with fewer mental health crises and higher productivity levels



  3. Links 04/02/2023: This Week in KDE and Many More Tech Layoffs

    Links for the day



  4. Dotcom Boom and Bust, Round 2

    The age of technology giants/monopolies devouring everything or military-funded (i.e. taxpayers-subsidised) surveillance/censorship tentacles, in effect privatised eyes of the state, may be ending; the United States can barely sustain that anymore and raising the debt ceiling won't solve that (buying time isn't the solution)



  5. Society Would Benefit From a Smartphoneshame Movement

    In a society plagued by blackmail, surveillance and frivolous lawsuits it is important to reconsider the notion of “smart” phone ownership; these devices give potentially authoritarian companies and governments far too much power over people (in the EU they want to introduce new legislation that would, in effect, ban Free software if it enables true privacy)



  6. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 03, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, February 03, 2023



  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 02, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 02, 2023



  8. Links 03/02/2023: Proton 7.0-6 Released, ScummVM 2.7 Testing

    Links for the day



  9. Links 03/02/2023: OpenSSH 9.2 and OBS Studio 29.0.1

    Links for the day



  10. Links 03/02/2023: GNU C Library 2.37

    Links for the day



  11. Sirius Finished

    Yesterday I was sent a letter approving my resignation from Sirius ‘Open Source’, two months after I had already announced that I was resigning with immediate effect; they sent an identical letter to my wife (this time, unlike before, they remembered to also change the names!!)



  12. The Collapse of Sirius in a Nutshell: How to Identify the Symptoms and Decide When to Leave

    Sirius is finished, but it's important to share the lessons learned with other people; there might be other "pretenders" out there and they need to be abandoned



  13. Links 03/02/2023: WINE 8.1 and RapidDisk 9.0.0

    Links for the day



  14. Links 02/02/2023: KDE Gear 22.12.2 and LibreOffice 7.5

    Links for the day



  15. Linux News or Marketing Platform?

    Ads everywhere: Phoronix puts them at the top, bottom, navigation bar, left, and right just to read some Microsoft junk (puff pieces about something that nobody other than Microsoft even uses); in addition there are pop-ups asking for consent to send visitors’ data to hundreds of data brokers



  16. Daily Links at Techrights Turn 15, Time to Give Them an Upgrade

    This year we have several 15-year anniversaries; one of them is Daily Links (it turned 15 earlier this week) and we've been working to improve these batches of links, making them a lot more extensive and somewhat better structured/clustered



  17. Back to Focusing on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Crimes and Illegal Patent Agenda, Including the EPO's

    The EPO's (European Patent Office, Europe's second-largest institution) violations of constitutions, laws and so on merit more coverage, seeing that what's left of the "media" not only fails to cover scandalous things but is actively cheering for criminals (in exchange for money)



  18. European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) at the EPO makes a strong case for António Campinos to stop breaking and law and actually start obeying court orders (he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli and he uses worse language already)



  19. Links 02/02/2023: Glibc 2.37 and Go 1.20

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 01, 2023



  21. Links 01/02/2023: Security Problems, Unrest, and More

    Links for the day



  22. Links 01/02/2023: Stables Kernels and Upcoming COSMIC From System76

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 31, 2023



  24. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

    Links for the day



  25. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

    Links for the day



  26. Intimidation Against Nitrux Development Team Upsets the Community and Makes the Media Less Trustworthy

    Nitrux is being criticised for being “very unappealing”; but a look behind the scenes reveals an angry reviewer (habitual mouthpiece of the Linux Foundation and Linux foes) trying to intimidate Nitrux developers, who are unpaid volunteers rather than “corporate” developers



  27. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

    Links for the day



  28. Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) and KU Leuven Boosting Americans and Cancellers of the Father of Free Software

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), along with the SFLC one might add, have been under a siege by the trademark-abusing FSFE and SFC; Belgium helps legitimise the ‘fakes’



  29. Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

    Now that I’m free from the shackles of a company (it deteriorated a lot after grabbing Gates Foundation money under an NDA) the site Techrights can flourish and become more active



  30. 60 Days of Articles About Sirius 'Open Source' and the Long Road Ahead

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series ended after 60 days (parts published every day except the day my SSD died completely and very suddenly); the video above explains what’s to come and what lessons can be learned from the 21-year collective experience (my wife and I; work periods combined) in a company that still claims, in vain, to be “Open Source”


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts