05.02.08

An Open, Gentler Microsoft: The Best Illusion Only Novell Can Buy

Posted in Deception, Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Steve Ballmer, Windows at 11:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell blinded by money

Image from Wikimedia

Movell and Nicrosoft
“Novell congratulates itself for snogging Microsoft” –The Register

Enthusiastic involvement and engagement with Microsoft by OpenSUSE’s lead was discussed here critically a couple of days back, especially due to the negative impacts of the Novell/Microsoft deal on OpenSUSE volunteers — the very same people that the community manager is supposed to invite and attract.

LinuxToday has some interesting comments about that too. Novell is not particularly popular among the many readers over there, at least based on the comments that are typically posted. The editors feel similarly. Here is one about Novell’s trust in Microsoft:

They still do/update “Get the Facts” with blatant lies and misinformation. They still play tricks to get their way, ISO-MSOOXML. They still strong arm PC OEMs as in forcing them to take the Vista pill cram it down consumers throats. They still oppose Linux anywhere it gains traction as in the Classmate PC deal where they came in and paid to have Windows installed after the laptops arrived with Linux. They have been going after the OLPC customers and they are purchasing customers for Silverlight because it is a lockin platform. No Jane, Moonlight is a joke and will never be fully compatible.

So why in the world would anyone think that Microsoft would play in the open source game? I’m sorry but only a moron would think they could get Microsoft to play along.

Microlinux Foundation?!?!?

As a timely reminder of the potentially negative impact of Novell inside the Linux Foundation [1, 2] consider this other headsup.

Novell has a seat on the board of the Linux Foundation, the foundation sponsoring Linus so that he’d be free to work on the Linux kernel. Yup, the same Novell from the ominous Microsoft-Nowell agreement related to Linux patenting. Do board seats have any odor?

It would not be impossible for Microsoft to at least attempt to join as well, arguing that it already runs some GNU/Linux servers. Remember Microsoft’s persistent attempts to join the Open Solutions Alliance, despite repeated rejections? Its former head has just jumped ship to another company.

Novell and Microsoft Busy Together While Adobe Battles Moonlight and Silverpatent [sic]

OOXML patent issue prompt

As already discussed in a previous post, Novell and Microsoft could take a little lesson from what Adobe did. Miguel’s blame-throwing does not help, especially if he continues in the same company with the same projects that bring benefit to Microsoft.

Adobe opens up Flash for the mobile world. A lesson for Microsoft

[...]

No side-deals to ensure a dearth of competition [link to Novell-type deal]. Maybe Microsoft could take a page from Adobe’s playbook. That is, if it wants to be relevant on the web.

Elephant in a Room of Gentlemen

In a separate new post it is now shown that either hypocrisy or ignorance leads to Microsoft disrespect for Free software.

Could it be, Mr. Ballmer, that you are classically overlooking a major opportunity for Microsoft because you simply don’t understand the open-source opportunity? Now would be a good time for a touch of humility and a smidgeon of good counsel from those around you.

As I told Matt Asay several times before, Steve Ballmer is a lost cause. But at least there are those mere chances of the man retiring or being pressured out the door. Among some recent articles of interest (starting with the most recent) consider:

1. If Ballmer bolts, who will lead Microsoft?

“Hey! Ho! Time for Ballmer to go,” a Wired.com headline proclaimed on April 29.

My rejoinder: “Hell, no. There are no Softies ready for a promo.”

2. Microsoft Should Fire Steve Ballmer, or Hire SuperNanny. Or Both.

What should happen is this: Ballmer should re-canvass Yahoo’s largest shareholders and ask what firm price in cash would get them on-board, and then offer it. No more futzing through middlemen bankers, just ask and deliver. I doubt this will happen — Ballmer is caught up among internal politics, his own increasing impotence, and childish Yahoo intransigence — so he is stuck and looking more and like someone who keeps threatening to ground his kids, but never does. As we have all learned from watching SuperNanny, the trouble is rarely with the kids; it’s almost always the nitwit parents.

Such is the case here, so my recipe for action? Fire Ballmer. Think how quickly things would change at Microsoft, and in this deal. And then hire SuperNanny and film some Microsoft meetings. I’d watch.

3. Steve Ballmer’s Nine Year Retirement Plan

Bill Gates is retiring from Microsoft this year and the exec he left in charge, Steve Ballmer, is ready to leave in nine years.

4. Does Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer need an intervention?

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may need an intervention before this obsession with Yahoo–which is really about an obsession over Google–spins out of control.

5. Is the Sleeping Giant Finally Waking Up, or Just Rolling Over?

Like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, Ballmer seems to be preoccupied with GOOG while MSFT melts down – or at least while the first embers, which had already been apparent for years, now threaten to turn into something much more serious. Hence the recent ill-advised and fiscally irresponsible YHOO bid.

6. Microsoft FY08Q3 Results

[Microsoft employee:] Mr. Ballmer engaged in some good bluster Wednesday, saying that Microsoft could just walk away from the deal. Please, please, walk on by. I haven’t talked to every employee at Microsoft, of course, but everyone that I’ve talked to believes this is a bad idea. And that’s not hand wringing.

7. Is Microsoft’s Ballmer a bad dealmaker?

The bid for Yahoo that helped sink the market value of Microsoft (MSFT) by more than $20 billion in one day in early February is one of the latest in a string of acquisitions and major investment stakes Microsoft has initiated since CEO Steve Ballmer took over in 2000 that have been punished by the stock market as misjudgments.

“Some learn more quickly than others. It doesn’t look like Mr. Ballmer is learning that quickly,” says UCLA Anderson School of Management professor Richard Roll, lead author of a study that analyzed 11 years of merger and acquisition announcements by 2,589 CEOs at 1,740 U.S. companies.

8. UCLA Professor: Microsoft CEO Ballmer a ‘hubris-infected serial acquirer’ with dismal track record

9. Bear Stearns’s Advice To Microsoft

Co-founder Bill Gates can’t be thrilled with watching Ballmer drain the company’s cash. He didn’t get so rich by buying at the top of the market.

10. Will Deal-Making Chiefs Ever Learn? Maybe.

Mr. Ballmer was considered a “hubris-infected” chief under the study’s definition, because of Microsoft’s value-destroying deal to invest $100 million in Vertical Net in 2000. He followed up with deals for Intertainer and BroadBand Office, which were also followed by below-market returns for shareholders.

In all, Mr. Ballmer made 15 deals between 2000 and 2002, with an average market-adjusted shareholder return of negative 4.59 percent.

11. Mergers of Corporate Giants Not Likely to Benefit Consumers

“There is little if any evidence that increased corporate size in already-large national and international firms produces greater technological innovation,” writes Elizabeth Sanders, Professor of Government at Cornell University. “To the contrary, it probably leads to less, given lower competitive pressures, and the starving of research in debt-burdened companies.”

12. Can Ballmer pilot Microsoft through a changed tech course?

Can Ballmer steer Microsoft out of the roadblocks?

The highly competitive Ballmer, you might say, is the man who cried “nice.” And like the boy who cried wolf, no one believed him. The software giant’s attempt to make nice with much of the developer community by opening up its APIs for key products was greeted with a jaundiced eye by regulators at the powerful European Commission.

However sincere Microsoft’s stated change of heart may be, it is becoming clearer and clearer that Microsoft — which knows it has to change — is still struggling to find a fresher path.

What’s a poor CEO to do?

Now that Bill Gates has effectively left the building, Ballmer is free to transform Microsoft, a job made all the tougher by the enormous reservoir of mistrust the company has engendered over the years.

Case in point: the open APIs. Microsoft will give its competitors free access to the application programming interfaces and protocols it uses to ensure interoperability between its own products, a very significant change in business practices.

13. Microsoft Profit Drops; Forecast May Miss Estimates

The world’s biggest software maker said sales of Windows for PCs sank 24 percent and revenue from its online advertising unit came in at the low end of its projections. Microsoft’s report contrasted with positive comments from chipmaker Intel Corp. and computer company International Business Machines Corp.

[...]

Microsoft declined $1.60 to $30.20 in extended trading after closing at $31.80 at 4 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The stock has fallen 11 percent this year.

14. Microsoft says to borrow money for Yahoo deal

Microsoft Corp said on Monday it may borrow money for the first time in its history to fund a portion of its $44.6 billion unsolicited offer for Yahoo Inc.

15. Microsoft’s DreamSpark – What a Giveaway

The rest of the $44.6bn (£22.3bn) deal would be financed with an undisclosed amount of credit.

What that means is that it must squeeze as much money as it can from its operations to fund that debt and still pay dividends to shareholders, who will be looking for some payback from the Yahoo takeover. Giving away software is the last thing it would want to do in these circumstances, and the DreamSpark announcement shows just how worried it is about the future.

This hopefully shed some light on Microsoft’s situation.

Steve Ballmer rides SUSE

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/05/02/novell-openly-delusional/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/6/2021: NVIDIA’s DLSS and Most Beautiful GNU/Linux Distributions

    Links for the day



  2. Neil's Misgovernment

    The GNOME Foundation has one member of staff fewer; the attack on the founder/father of Free/libre software activism and GNU (the "G" in GNOME) failed and backfired spectacularly



  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, June 21, 2021



  4. Virtual Injustice -- Part 14: How Mandatory ViCo Became the “New Normal”

    How mandatory ViCo hearings gradually became the "New Normal" at the EPO



  5. Links 21/6/2021: Rocky Linux 8.4, IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 157, and SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP3

    Links for the day



  6. There Are Bigger Scandals Than Revisionism and Brand Dilution at the Linux Foundation

    There are some misconceptions that need tackling; back in February (more than 4 months ago) the so-called 'Linux' Foundation decided to associate with yet another controversial drive that has nothing to do with Linux; some people think it's a new thing and leap to conclusions



  7. Techrights Video Gallery Without JavaScript

    Some of the improvements made this morning to the gallery of recent videos



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, June 20, 2021



  9. Links 21/6/2021: Linux 5.13 RC7, IRC.com by Freenode

    Links for the day



  10. Virtual Injustice -- Part 13: Let the Games Continue…

    "It would be nice to think that the events of 28 May have given the Enlarged Board pause for thought."



  11. Links 20/6/2021: Akademy 2021 Underway and Linux Foundation Blasted

    Links for the day



  12. EPO: Fake Patents, Fake (Paid-for) Patent Coverage, and Fake Awards for Public Relations Purposes

    The media has been thoroughly corrupted, patent legitimacy has been severely damaged (far too many European Patents aren't in compliance with the EPC anymore), and Team UPC is trying to undermine the EPC and turn Europe into another Texas



  13. Changes in IRC and New Features Over Gemini Protocol or the World Wide Web

    We examine more closely some of the latest changes in the site and the capsule (Web and Gemini, respectively); we show that it’s possible to keep abreast of IRC using nothing but a text editor, a Gemini client… or even the command line alone



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, June 19, 2021



  15. We Need and Deserve a Saner Patent System in Europe

    The laughing stock that the patent system, the patent law firms, and patent media became (over the past few years) must be replaced; at the moment we have a cabal connected to a bunch of criminals running the entire show and the public understandably grows impatient (at least people who are sufficiently informed; the criminals have already intimidated and bribed a lot of the media and they're still bribing more of it, as we shall demonstrate later today)



  16. [Meme] IRC Wars in a Nutshell

    In terms of large IRC networks, we’re in trouble (unless we self-host) because they seem to be dividing themselves along political lines rather than anything technical or something of an on-topic/relevant substance. Using networks for Free software projects/organisations to push one’s political agenda is not acceptable because it’s starting to seem like in IRC space, FN has become the Front Nationale (French) and LC is Liberal Coalition. Both FreeNode and Libera Chat have managed to turn from technical platforms into political parties, in effect using technical networks (intended for technical projects) to push someone's political agenda and thus misusing them for personal gain. There’s no free lunch. As it turns out, FreeNode’s new owner (Andrew Lee) has just outed himself as a huge Donald Trump supporter who speaks of “these fuckers who stole that shit” (he meant the election, which he insists Trump actually won in 2020).



  17. IBM Handles More Removals of Signatures From Its Hate Letter Against Richard Stallman

    Less than a day ago IBM processed a request for removal (from its hate letter); as someone put it in a letter to us, also less than a day ago: “When all of this started in 2019, the Red Hat GNU developers showed off their colours. The best way to attack an organisation is from the inside. Using GNU developers was a dead giveaway. Google and Microsoft are very much on the team with IBM. I believe they’ve made headway into the Free/Libre software community and have persuaded senior Debianties to go along with them.” That same message, from an anonymous GNU maintainer, said: “The strategy to target major distributions is clear and present danger. I’m not sure what arguments of persuasion are being used, but I’m pretty sure their main tool is currency. RMS needs a lot of strategic support from experts who will rally to the Free Software cause. He needs great lawyers, some corporate minds, and intelligence specialists.” Sometimes it seems or feels like by simply buying Red Hat (the staff) IBM infiltrated the GNU Project and now it is vainly making claims like 'GNU is IBM' and thus IBM et al can command/tell the FSF who should run FSF, not only GNU. Such entryism isn’t hard to see; “An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation” has meanwhile garnered 6,758 signatures. The opposite letter is only decreasing in support (signatures lost).



  18. Links 20/6/2021: Debian GNU/Linux 10.10 “Buster” Released and LF Revisionism Resumes

    Links for the day



  19. The EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal Has Already Lost the Case in the Court of Public Opinion

    Personal views on the sordid state of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA), which by extension bodes poorly for the perception of independence in every Board of Appeal (BoA); the patent tribunals have been captured by patent maximalists who either stack the panels or intimidate judges into ruling in a particular way



  20. Virtual Injustice -- Part 12: Carl Josefsson – Down But Not Out!

    António Campinos still controls Josefsson, who controls all the judges, so in effect all the legal cases (including some about European software patents) are manipulated by the Office the judges are supposed to judge



  21. Links 19/6/2021: Wine 6.11 and Proton 6.3-5 RC

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, June 18, 2021



  23. Virtual Injustice -- Part 11: Perceptive Comments and Caustic Criticism

    The EPO‘s management managed to silence a lot of the critical media (handouts and threats from Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos), but silencing comments is a lot harder; though we don’t know which ones were moderated out of existence…



  24. Links 18/6/2021: Mir 2.4, ActivityWatch 0.11, Microsoft Breaks Its Own Repos

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] When the 'Court' Drops

    As the EPO sneakily outsourced courts to American companies and parties in dispute depend on their ISP for “access to justice” there’s a catastrophic impact on the very concept of justice or the right to be heard (sometimes you don’t hear anything and/or cannot be heard)



  26. The EPO's Virtual Injustice and Virtual ('News') Media

    A discussion of this morning's post (part 10 in a series) about the shallow media/blog coverage that followed or accompanied last month's notorious EPO hearing



  27. Links 18/6/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 Beta, Elementary OS 6.0 Beta 2, and Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Beta

    Links for the day



  28. The Self-Hosting Song

    Cautionary tales about outsourcing one's systems to companies that could not care less about anyone but themselves



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 17, 2021



  30. [Meme] Swedish Justice

    The EPO‘s patent tribunals have been mostly symbolic under the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regimes; giving them back their autonomy (and removing those who help Battistelli and Campinos attack their autonomy) is the only way to go now


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