It’s Red Hat’s Day Again

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Red Hat at 7:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ron Hovsepian and Steve Ballmer with red hats

Summary: Red Hat continues to demonstrate that Free software as a business model most certainly works

RED Hat continues to impress by reporting a climb in profits, whereas Novell’s Community Specialist uses some form humour to steer away from the reality that Novell may already be looking to sell parts of the company [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Reuters has the details which prove that GNU/Linux is an established and successful path to doing business, provided that it is not done as tastelessly as Novell does it (turning GNU/Linux into part of Microsoft’s platform, .NET, as evidenced in Planet SUSE earlier today).

Software company Red Hat Inc (RHT.N) reported a modest jump in quarterly profit, bucking an industry trend of declining earnings, thanks to a reliable business model through which it books sales over multiple years.


The company, whose rivals include Novell Inc (NOVL.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), sells upgrades, help-desk support and bug fixes for Linux software. It has weathered the recession better than computer makers and many software companies because Red Hat customers buy its service in subscriptions over the course of several years, giving it a predictable revenue stream.

The axis of evil combined (Novell and Microsoft) is simply unable to hurt Red Hat. That’s what they have intended to achieve for the past two and a half years, without success.

“One of the questions I’ve always hated answering is how do people make money in open source. And I think that Caldera and Red Hat — and there are a number of other Linux companies going public — basically show that yes, you can actually make money in the open-source area.”

Linus Torvalds

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: June 24th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

Eye on Microsoft: Assorted Links on EU, Elsevier, NHS

Posted in Microsoft at 6:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hiding face

Summary: Spillover of news stories

MS vs EU: Microsoft does not control Windows anymore

From an European point of view at least they don’t. You see the way the EU and the US deal with monopolies is completely different. In the US the state reaction when faced with a monopolistic company is to break it apart, something that almost happened to Microsoft during their first US antitrust investigation.

The EU doesn’t break up companies, in fact they are usually quite OK with monopolies. For a long time water, power, cable and telecoms have been monopolies in most European countries and most people were OK with that. Of course there is a catch: in almost all cases the government owned a controlling share of those monopolistic companies and actually imposed some policies on them.

Now that most industries have been liberalized the state operate in a similar but subtly different way: You are entitled to operate a monopoly or quasi-monopoly as a private company, but you are expected to let the state have some control over your company in exchange. In other words from an European point of view if Windows is a quasi-monopoly then the state has the right to impose features and restrictions on Windows, as simple as that.

Elsevier Does a Microsoft with Open Access (see recent scandal [1, 2])

Elsevier Does a Microsoft with Open Access


I’ve seen these kind of stories so many times in the world of open source, with Microsoft as the main protagonist, that they warm the cockles of my heart when I see them popping up in other areas like open access. Why? Because if a multi-billion pound company like Elsevier is starting to stoop to this kind of tactic, it demonstrates just how profoundly worried it is – and how close open access is to widespread acceptance.

NHS Gateway Reviews damn £13bn IT decisions (NHS is largely derailed by Microsoft and its suppliers)

Since the start of the programme the British Medical Association, representing doctors, has repeatedly questioned the systems being used and the management of suppliers.

On Novell and Turnaround

Posted in America, Apple, Finance, Microsoft, Novell at 5:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chicago skyline

Summary: Corrective remarks about a new paper from the University of Michigan

THE Mad Hatter has just sent us a new paper [PDF], describing it as “a hot one — paper which has Novell down as a “turn around success”, which was a real surprise to me. The paper is about how the North American big 3 could increase market share and profits by building more fuel efficient cars.”

“This is the exact wording”, he added.

“Fixing Detroit: How Far, How Fast, How Fuel Efficient”, a report by the University of Michigan concludes that improving fuel economy would be very profitable for Detroit automakers.

“This is interesting,” adds The Mad Hatter, “The same arguments could be made about Microsoft as are being made about Chrysler/Ford/GM, in that with Vista and Vista 7 Microsoft is ignoring its customers, and not producing what the customers want. This is reflected by the growth of Linux (and Microsoft’s panicked efforts to control or stop it) and the growth of Apple.”

“…Novell, like Sun, better serves as an example of a company that failed to make a turnaround happen.”There is something more than debatable in the suggestion that Novell experienced a “turn around success”. It is reminiscent of a very recent book that wrongly describes Microsoft as a company that changed its behaviour.

We take an issue with the hypothesis in this paper where Novell is used as an example because Novell, like Sun, better serves as an example of a company that failed to make a turnaround happen. Jack Messman failed miserably and Ron Hovsepian just sold out to a competitor in exchange for a temporary supply of cash and a lifeline that came at a considerably high cost. Now that Novell is likely to be split apart [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] it does not seem like a bright idea, not in retrospect anyway. Like with EDS and other acquired companies, Novell will possibly sell the weak parts of the company and let that buyer do the layoffs.

All in all, the paper in question [PDF] seems like interesting work which is worth reading. It came from the prestigious University of Michigan, which is one of the highest-ranking public universities in the United States.

Press That Covers Microsoft Also Sponsored by Microsoft, Praises Microsoft

Posted in Deception, Finance, Microsoft at 5:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: TechFlash’s confession about finances through sponsorship

We routinely remind readers that Microsoft owns a lot of the mainstream press (to a greater or lesser degree). In fact, we gave one example a week ago. With the sour economy, a lot of the pro-Microsoft press goes underground (e.g. [1, 2, 3]) and new media sources are being formed, so it is nice to be able to confirm that they too get corrupted by Microsoft’s money, especially because their main areas of focus include Microsoft.

Bing, Microsoft’s newly rebranded search engine, will have some surprises in store as the presenting sponsor.

The example above comes from TechFlash, so there are no illusions about financial independence when it comes to Todd Bishop. The companies that invest in this publication can expect positive coverage in the future. People would not bite the hand that feeds them. It is the same with Ziff-Davis [1, 2, 3, 4] for example. Money changes everything.

Speaking of Microsoft and sponsorships, the Microsoft crowd keeps pinging/bothering us in Twitter, with banter about freebies. It’s not the first time. They do not like being exposed and they typically handle this with tactless humour which it worse than silence.

Links 24/06/2009: Fedora Elections Over, HP’s TouchSmart Printers Use Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 4:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • From where do you get Linux?

    If you would rather shop from a place that is specialized in Linux computers, there are a few online retailers that can provide you with computers designed for Linux. In the US Zareason has an excellent reputation for its Ubuntu computers, they even sell them with special Ubuntu keyboards on which the Windows key has been replaced by an Ubuntu Logo. If you live in Europe you should check out UK based EfficientPC.co.uk : they have a decent selection of computer that can be provided with several flavors of Ubuntu or even dual booting with Windows. They ship in the whole EU and have decent shipping charges. Finally, Dell is selling some models of computers pre-installed with Ubuntu, but only in some countries. Their Linux page is sometimes hard to find though.

  • IBM, Google to Poach on Microsoft’s Territory

    IBM offers on-site systems than can run Windows or open-source Linux applications. Big Blue also offers hosted services, such as an Internet-based social network that helps companies link to their clients and partners.

  • Linux touchscreen advances

    French development group at ENAC have developed native multitouch using the Linux 2.6.30 kernel, and can support swipe, flip, rotate and pinch-resize gestures…

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 50

    Editorial: Mandriva Linux 2010
    Distributions announced last week:
    · SystemRescueCd 1.2.1 Is Powered by Linux Kernel
    · Available Now: Fedora 11 LXDE Remix
    · Parted Magic 4.2 Has Clonezilla and Linux Kernel 2.6.30
    · GeeXboX 1.2.2 Is Capable of Multi-Threaded Video Decoding
    · First Alpha of Mandriva Linux 2010 Is Out

  • Desktop

    • 25 Great-Looking Compiz Emerald Themes
    • Project FrankenMac Needs Your Help!

      My plan is to get down to this after I do my monthly backups on July 1st, and if all goes well I can wipe OS X entirely by the end of the year.


      3. Do I need to reformat HFS+ drives?

      * I understand that Linux support for Apple’s proprietary disk format is sketchy to non-existant. I’ll obviously have to reformat my boot drive — will I have to do the same with the other three internal drives on my machine?

    • Windows and Linux desktop enterprise support comparison.

      Personally I found the Linux end user troubleshooting experience to be far more pleasant than with windows troubleshooting. In my mind there are more advantages than disadvantages.

    • Changing the Desktop Metaphor

      But now, the metaphor is shifting yet again. Servers have grown powerful enough with clustering and processing advances that they have started to take back the heavy workloads from the desktop/laptop clients. Sure, some work is done locally, but more and more we are seeing really big workloads going back to the server environment, which thanks to Internet connectivity, we euphemistically refer to as “the cloud.” For me, I am watching the cycle of the early 90s reverse itself, as the data lives and works out in the cloud, and we access it through more sophisticated browsers and add-ons.

      The desktop metaphor, then, is dying. The new metaphor is the window.

  • Server

    • GNU/Linux Tops TOP500 Supercomputers Again

      The fact that GNU/Linux totally dominates the top 500 supercomputing list is hardly news, but the fact that it has managed to *increase* its market share yet further is.

      Here are the results for June 2009:

      GNU/Linux 443 (88.6%)
      Windows 5 (1.0%)
      Unix 22 (4.4%)

      and here are the figures for six months ago:

      GNU/Linux 439 (87.8%)
      Windows 5 (1.0%)
      Unix 23 (4.6%)

    • Police expert calls for open-source data tools

      Currently police forces use a patchwork of proprietary and open source systems. The Holmes 2 (Home Office Large Major Enquiry System) police database, which is run on behalf of the police by Unisys, is optimised to run on both Linux and propietary systems. The police communicate using a mixture of propietary systems from companies including Airwave, Blackberry and Orange.

  • Kernel Space

    • NVIDIA 190.xx Linux Driver Leaks Onto The Web

      The latest stable NVIDIA Linux driver release is in the 185.xx series, but NVIDIA developers have been hard at work on the forthcoming 190.xx driver series. Among other features, this next major driver update is expected to bring their talked about OpenCL support.

    • Kernel Log : Winding down the IDE subsystem, LinuxTag Kernel presentations

      David Miller has stepped in to maintain the IDE subsystem, but plans to make it maintenance only, with no major development work. On Friday, one LinuxTag venue will be dedicated entirely to the Linux kernel. An Intel developer has expressed wide-ranging criticism of various graphics benchmarks for Linux/X.org.

    • Intel develops simpler alternative to ACPI for Linux

      A few days ago, version 4.0 of the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) specification was released, weighing in at a hefty 727 pages. Lead by Intel, PC manufacturers as well as operating system, driver, BIOS, firmware and software developers have, for more than a decade, been working on this specification, which is designed to enhance the configuration management and power saving features of computer hardware. Despite this, there are still flaws in many implementations.

  • Applications

    • Opera 10 Beta – Preview and Screenshots

      The last time I had a look at Opera 10 it was in alpha state, meaning no new features were introduced, and only the rendering engine was replaced with a newer one compared to 9.x series. This first Opera 10 beta comes with various new features.

    • Move Over Opera Unite: Welcome Meiga

      It can punch holes through uPnp-aware routers to make the operation automatic. Meiga can even publish an RSS feed of your shared items. The program’s lighter than gnome-user-share since Meiga doesn’t use Apache. Since Meiga uses Gnome technologies, it fits right into the standard Ubuntu desktop. Packages are available for Hardy, Intrepid, and Jaunty.

    • The Proprietary Software/Linux Conundrum

      For most people, computing comes down accomplishing their daily tasks with as much time saved and cost efficiency as possible.


      Can proprietary software/driver modules find a home in the heart of a platform that was designed to be the complete opposite?

    • Taking screenshots in Linux

      So you’ve been reading about Linux on ghacks for a few months now and you’ve noticed plenty of screenshots or images of applications in action. Now it’s time you found out just how those images are taken. No it’s not magic, but in one instance it’s ImageMagick. Actually there are a few ways to take screenshots in Linux, ranging from a simple keypress to a command line tool.

    • Alien Arena 2009 Brings New Gaming Improvements

      Back in October we reported on the release of Alien Arena 2008, which brought several graphical improvements, such as GLSL enhancements, parallax mapping, and new shaders. The developers behind Alien Arena and its Quake 2 derived engine had not stopped there, but they immediately began work on Alien Arena 2009. Now just a mere six months later, we have Alien Arena 2009 and it brings more graphics improvements along with many other technical improvements and new game content.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat

      • YPF Migrates to Red Hat on Intel® Xeon® Processor-based Servers and Achieves Reduced Costs and Improved Performance

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that YPF SA, a leading oil and gas company in Argentina, has migrated from proprietary UNIX operating systems to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 with integrated virtualization technology on Intel® Xeon® processor-based servers for its YPF Gas business unit. With the Red Hat on Intel processor combination, YPF Gas’ IT infrastructure has experienced reduced costs, boosted performance, increased scalability and agility and expanded flexibility.

      • Red Hat Accelerates JBoss Partner Initiative

        Linux put Red Hat on the map. But growing sales of JBoss open source middleware should make Red Hat a $1 billion company within the next few years. With that goal in mind, Red Hat is launching “partner-only” JBoss roadmap briefings the week of July 20. Here’s the scoop from The VAR Guy.

      • Board results.

        The Fedora Board election results and the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee election results have been posted.

    • Ubuntu

      • ANN: Kernel Mode-Setting for Intel Graphics

        Today we’ve switched kernel mode-setting on by default for Intel graphics, a change which arrived with the 2.6.30-10.12 kernel.

        Many of you already know all about KMS, and can stop reading here.

        For those who are wondering what the heck this new acronym is, I’ve attached some background explanation below, and answered some questions I expect to be common.

        Thanks go to apw and the kernel team for wrangling all the patches, and to the ubuntu-x team and community members who have been testing out this new stuff the past few months.

      • Great themes for Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty jackalope

        This is a collection of great themes for Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope, these themes are from zgegblog a blog of François Vogelweith, on the blog exist a collection of wonderful gnome themes for Ubuntu (see the total collection)

      • Ubuntu: Miracles Are Happening

        As an aside to my utter surprise at coming across two Ubuntu users at random. I am starting to note a pattern, of the 5 chance encounters that have needed Ubuntu support in the last year: all have all been women. Now either it’s because women are more willing to try something new when offered by Dell, are less invested in Microsoft’s desktop familiarity, are more willing to go out and find help (and thus find me or the LoCo group) or some unforeseen force, but I’m very happy to see the 50% of people who have been typically excluded from technical areas coming to Ubuntu naturally.

        Anyone else found Ubuntu users randomly because you were helping someone else with their Ubuntu machine in a coffee shop? Because I think there is progress in the air.

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop Edition

        Stability: 5/5 – No Linux distro could have a PERFECT stability rating. So I’m scaling the score because Ubuntu rocks the socks off of stability.

        Simplicity:4/5 – Ubuntu aims at Linux for human beings and that is what they deliver. Setup is a synch and using it is amazingly simple also. However, due to the lack of a centralized configuration feature I did have to drop the point off but a four out of five ain’t bad.

        Speed:4/5 – Speed is one of the fundamental features of Linux and that is what Ubuntu does, they deliver speed. Now maybe not lightning here but certainly a good offering on speed.

      • From Arch to Ubuntu?

        In the end, it’s a trade-off…ease of use versus control over your system. In any case, my Arch install needed to be updated, because of the whole ext3 thing, and the fact that I just want to clean it after trying to install every possible open source application on it. Installing and configuring Arch still takes me something like an hour though, so I’ll stick with Ubuntu for a while. Knowing me, I’ll get bored of it soon enough.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Nokia to develop Intel-based pocket internet gadgets

      Until now. Like Nokia, Intel is keen on Linux, initiating the development of Moblin, a distro for netbooks and MIDs. Nokia’s own Linux tablet OS is Maemo, and the two companies today said they will “develop common technologies for use in the Moblin and Maemo platform projects” which will feed into future mobile computing devices.

    • Intel, Nokia to develop mobile Linux devices
    • Cisco offers Linksys 802.11n router with Linux

      The choice of Linux still allows for media sharing and, through USB storage, can share media to any computer or other device that recognizes UPnP. Security is also as advanced as other routers with a single-button Wi-Fi Protected Setup link for those computers that support it. Cisco’s latest hardware should be available today and sells for $120.

    • Cisco releases Linux-powered 802.11n router and media-server

      At first glance that may not seem that interesting. But, this isn’t just a new Wi-Fi router with Linux. Cisco, via its Linksys subsidiary has long been offering users Linux-powered, hackable Wi-Fi routers like the WRT54GL. But, this one also includes integrated Storage Link functionality that lets you use inexpensive USB storage devices as NAS (Network Attached Storage) and a built-in media-sharing server that Cisco says can handle video, photo, and music sharing.

    • Splashtop Adds Instant-On to Acer, Sony Computers

      DeviceVM, the folks behind Splashtop, are expanding their instant-on, Linux solution to new brands today. The company just announced deals with Acer and Sony. The Acer AspireRevo Nettop and the Sony VAIO NW notebook line get the Splashtop treatment, although Acer is calling theirs “RevoBoot.”

      By using Splashtop, the devices can boot into a functional work environment complete with Internet access in a browser. It’s similar to the Hyperspace offering from Phoenix, but doesn’t add any additional cost to the consumer. Hyperspace requires a yearly subscription fee, but offers more than a browser, music and photo app: Programs like the ThinkFree Office suite are included, for example.

    • Splashtop In Sony Notebooks and Acer Nettops

      DeviceVM, the company behind the quickboot mini-linux Splashtop, announces two great deals: Splashtop will now be embedded in Sony Notebooks and Acer Nettops (Aspire Revo).

    • Netgear to ship 24TB NAS system for SMBs

      The ReadyNAS 3200 combines the features of the other ReadyNAS for Business products, including the recently launched ReadyNAS 2100 1U rack-mount and ReadyNAS NVX desktop systems. The 3200 can function as a NAS or iSCSI SAN system and, like its smaller ReadyNAS brethren, runs the Linux-based ReadyNAS RAIDiator operating system.

    • HP’s TouchSmart Printers Print Web Content, No PC Required

      The underlying technology is HTML and Linux based; the Web kit browser runs on the embedded Linux OS; inside, there’s an IMX 31 processor. The apps don’t take a lot of resources, according to Joshi.

  • Phones

    • Palm

      • Is Palm a Player or Just a Pre-Tender?

        What about the gaggle of PalmOS applications written by those intrepid mobile developers over the past decade? Thankfully Palm has addressed that opportunity in the form of the “Classic” emulator application which may be purchased and run on the Palm Pre. This emulator allows you to use your favorite PalmOS application from yesteryear. That is exciting, and in my not so humble opinion a necessity to draw people back to the brand. Of course Palm has to make sure that new WebOS applications are readily available and begin to woo back their development base. I personally am very excited to learn more about WebOS. I just have to count the cost of sneaking another smartphone into the house.

      • Palm Pre, webOS: Software outshines device

        The software? webOS is a brand new mobile operating system, built by Palm from the ground up using common Web technologies like Javascript, HTML and CSS. That means experienced developers should be able to jump right in to create Pre apps with relatively little new knowledge. And the faster that great applications become available for webOS, the more attractive it will become to potential users. I look forward to seeing what kind of apps spring up for the Pre.

    • Android

      • Android OS for the HTC Touch Diamond and HTC Touch Pro!

        It’s not everyday you see a Windows Mobile smartphone running a Linux-based mobile operating system. But, in the crazy (crazy cool, that is) world of handset hackery, anything is possible.

      • T-Mobile’s Android-powered myTouch 3G due in August

        Designed by HTC, the myTouch 3G will be available for presale to T-Mobile customers on July 8 and will sell for $200 for users who sign a two-year service contract. The phone, which features a 3.2-inch touchscreen, is being released just under a year after T-Mobile launched its first Android-powered smartphone, the HTC G1.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Red Hat, Alfresco Attack Microsoft SharePoint

    The VAR Guy hears it all the time: VARs and managed service providers generate hefty profits with on-premise and hosted Microsoft SharePoint. In fact, SharePoint has grown to become a $1 billion business for Microsoft. But now, Red Hat and Alfresco are trying to direct some of those SharePoint channel dollars toward open source alternatives. Here’s the scoop from The VAR Guy.

  • Opengear Goes Remote for Power Management

    Additionally, the new software benefits from a number of different open source power management projects that stand to benefit in return from Opengear’s contributions.

  • How friendly is the Movable Type fork?

    Movable Type did not become open source until 2007, after WordPress had passed it by in many ways, proving the value of the open source model. In a way, Melody is Movable Type’s effort to build community following the release of its software, something most projects do the other way around.

  • Other Operating Systems

  • Firefox

    • about:mozilla – Firefox 3.5, add-ons contest, screencasts, hacks, multi-process, collections, art, security, and a whole lot more…

      In this issue…

      * Firefox 3.5 Release Candidate!
      * Extend Firefox 3.5 contest
      * Help Firefox users transition to 3.5
      * More Firefox 3.5 hacks and demos
      * Multi-process Firefox, Phase I demo

    • Feedinvader: News Ticker and Feed Reader for Firefox

      Feedinvader is an interesting Firefox plugin that combines an online feed reader with a news ticker right underneath your bookmarks bar. The feed reader in the back-end is currently mostly for managing the feeds in the ticker, but with a bit of additional work, it could also become a great reader in its own right.

      The core of the plugin is the ticker, though, which also features a nice pop-up with a story’s excerpt when you hover the mouse over a story. While a lot of similar tickers can be distracting because the developers insist on making new stories scroll horizontally, Feedinvader just fades stories in and out, making the ticker far less intrusive.

    • Mozilla’s new security policy

      In an article on its security blog, the Mozilla Foundation has presented a new security policy – known as content security policy (CSP) – intended to guard against the epidemic of cross-site scripting attacks (XSS) and other vulnerabilities. This allows web administrators, by sending special headers, to tell the browser which domains it should accept as sources for trusted code. Standard XSS attacks sometimes utilise vulnerabilities in web applications in order to execute JavaScript in the browser with the rights of trusted domains.

    • Firefox 3.5 Release May Accelerate IE’s Downfall

      Looking at the early 2009 numbers compared to the mid-2009 numbers, it appears the shift has been accelerating on its own — and that’s despite both the lack of any major Mozilla releases and the presence of a high-profile Microsoft release. Given that, and considering the huge surge seen with the previous Firefox release, it seems entirely plausible that Firefox 3.5 could move the market shift into overdrive.



  • AP: Others Who Use Our Work For Free Are Stealing… Now Who Wants To Provide Content To Us For Free?

    The Associated Press has been going on quite the rampage over the past few months about all those evil online sites that are “stealing” its content, demanding that those who use its content absolutely must pay for it. We joked in response that the AP and other newspapers complaining about people “stealing” their coverage should actually be paying the people who make the news. After all, aren’t they really creating the “content”? That was meant as a joke, but sometimes you have to wonder if people at the Associated Press even realize the double standard they’ve set for themselves.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Alexandro Colorado, international open source evangelist 06 (2004)

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

Bill Gates on C# as “Key Element in Preventing Commodization by Linux”

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, Database, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Oracle, Steve Ballmer at 10:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Insights from Bill Gates (and colleagues) on platform strategy

THE NEXT exhibit which we deal with is Exhibit PX06917 (2001) [PDF]. This relatively recent one has had OCR applied to the PDF. It is only 2-3 pages long (depending on whether one needs the attachment/s).

Let us just summarise a few key points. Microsoft is afraid of Java; very much afraid not only because it’s better, but also because of its support (with parity) for many distinguishable platforms. It’s not Windows-centric like .NET.

Bill Gates tells Jim Allchin and Steve Ballmer:

Our applications platform message is quite confused today. Pieces like CLR, WMI, MSMQ, XML runtime, Biztalk, MTS,IIS, ASP+, Load Balancing, Message bus, ,SOAP, UDDI and Yukon are not consistent and reinforcing. Basic standards like eventing, logging, and filtering have to be established. The disconnection of these products make our message when trying to win back the developers who like JAVA and J2EE very difficult especially when we have the limitation of being only on Windows and those technologies are supporled on many platforms by many companies. Although we have waited a long time for the shipment of VS with the URT that doesn’t give us anywhere near a complete consistent platform story.

The ‘smoking gun’ is probably this following bit which speaks about GNU/Linux:

We have to take a hard look at our tools and consider how to be a better high end solution. We have to spend a lot of money to make sure the openness of C# is well understood and that it is accepted at a level that allows our innovations to have traction.

I think that between Paul, Yuval and Eric’s group with leader from Rick Rashid we should be able to go through another iteration on this (like we did with NGWS) and come up with some clear answers.

The strength of this platform and the innovation around it is the key element in preventing commodization by Linux, our installed base and Network Appliance vendors.

Gates refers to Yuval Neeman, whose take on .NET inside Linux/UNIX can be inferred from this other antitrust exhibit and another appearance can be found in an antitrust exhibit that we disclosed yesterday. “Paul” might be Paul Flessner (not Paul Maritz), who wanted to "whack" Dell over GNU/Linux and “Eric” would be Eric Rudder, whom we last mentioned yesterday. As pointed out before, Rudder once said: “As many of you may know, we’ve actually kind of broadened the product portfolio of Visual Studio, targeting all the way from the low end with students and hobbyists, kind of competitive in that Linux space, making sure that every developer has a copy of .NET and is trained in writing .NET solutions. [...] I think it will really help us in our competition with open source.

The text above is very relevant to the role of Mono. One of our readers warns that “the Mono guard seems to have started to undermine even Debian.” We will come to this at a later stage, or rather just return to it.

David Vaskevitch writes to Bill Gates, Jim Allchin, and Steve Ballmer with some attached papers, but he seems rather demoralised and afraid of Oracle too.

Having now sent these I have to admit I also feel pretty weird sending them. Weird and conflicted. On the one hand, I feel pretty deeply that if we don’t do what is described in these papers, and some of the others I’ve been writing, we will either a) not achieve our long term goals (platform adoption, business growth, developer wins, etc), or b) get into relatively serious trouble (never catch up with Oracle, not have the platform the biggest apps are wdtten on, miss key changes). All of that makes me want to write these papers, want to see them acted on. Then there’s the “on the other hand” ..

On the other hand I am now totally disconnected from pretty much everything to do with our platform. These papers are hard to write in a wide variety of ways: time consuming, energy draining, etc. And, being so disconnected from the platform, it means that most of what gets written in papers like this is just not going to happen. True of storage. True for distributed app support. True for things in general. So, I’m saying out loud, that I’m trying to figure out whether to even keep writing this stuff. Besides the fact that it might well not have much effect, chews up time, etc, it must be annoying for the people actually having to build this stuff, to have people off in other areas writing this kind of stuff down for them.

The next one I would have written was going to drill into the whole “distributed” and “application server” mess. But, I’d really appreciate feedback on whether it is good, bad, or indifferent, and why, to be writing in this vein…

The core of this exhibit is below, but there are also attachments which we may translate into plain text pretty soon, the reason being that if we are aiming to accumulate a searchable database of all the Comes vs Microsoft exhibits, it wouldn’t be complete without the attachments. They look like very interesting pieces of information. For instance, how about this little gem: “It’s our decision. Do we want to create the next revolution, fundamentally change the definition of the term database? So, others can start keeping up with us? Or do we want to stick to improving databases as we all know them today, and continue slowly catching up with everybody else?

Embrace and extend? Making up one’s own pseudo standards? WinFS? Which choice did they eventually make? Whichever was obstructing competition more effectively?

“At Microsoft I learned the truth about ActiveX and COM and I got very interested in it inmediately [sic].”

Miguel de Icaza

Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit PX06917, as text

Read the rest of this entry »

Further Signs That Novell Will Sell in Parts, Stock Rebounds

Posted in Finance, Novell, Rumour at 9:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell sale

Summary: Novell employees give more signs that sale of Novell assets is still on the table

ABOUT A DAY AGO, one former employee of Novell said that they should sell parts of the company. Based on prior reports [1, 2, 3], this appears to be Novell’s plan and one anonymous comment suggests that Novell has already engaged in this “behind the scenes”.

Based on a new update from the comments in CNET:

As I mentioned over on BNET (http://industry.bnet.com/technology/10002269/novell-considering-being-acquired/), Novell has phrased their denials carefully. They said to me that they had “no current plans to sell the company.” When I pointed out that this statement wouldn’t cover a consideration to sell, early stage negotiations, or sales of parts of the company, the spokesman said, “I stand by the statement.” I read that as interested and open if not closing a deal today, which is far different from saying that it’s not for sale.

That is precisely what we said when Novell first made this statement. Here are more explicit details:

I talked briefly with a Novell spokesman and am waiting for more information or a comment. But entering pure speculation for a moment, given the relative importance of the Microsoft deal, could a Microsoft purchase of Novell be possible?

[UPDATE: Novell has filed an 8K with the SEC stating that the company has "no current plans to sell the company." Of course, that doesn't mean that management is not considering a sale and it also leaves open the room for selling anything shy of the entire company. It also is not a statement that management has no interest in selling all or part of the company in the interest of shareholders. I asked a company spokesman about this, who said that they stand by the statement. So, we're pretty much left with the word from DiFucci.]

As a recap, here are some old reports that came after the rumour. From the Boston press:

Novell approach

Novell Inc., the Waltham-based Linux software maker, may be willing to sell itself to boost shareholder value, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said after meeting with Chief Financial Officer Dana Russell.

Bloomberg has identical text in two aggregate reports:

Novell Inc. (NOVL US): The second-largest U.S. seller of Linux software said it has no current plans to sell the company. The shares rose 10 percent on June 19 after JPMorgan Chase & Co. said the company may be willing to sell itself.

Fox Business more or less repeats the report from Reuters and so does this site. It turns out that Reuters may have only parroted the SEC filing from Novell. The company was made so nervous by the rumours that it carefully phrased a short statement and pushed it out via the SEC as soon as possible.

Software and services company Novell Inc. (NOVL: News ) Friday said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it currently has no plans to sell the company. Novel also said that it is continuing to operate in the best interest of its shareholders.

Bloomberg later came out with identical bits of text in reports about Novell’s slide:

Novell Inc. (NOVL US) lost 4.7 percent to $4.46 for the largest decline since May 29. The second-largest U.S. seller of Linux software said it has no current plans to sell the company. The shares rose 10 percent on June 19 after JPMorgan Chase & Co. said the company may be willing to sell itself.

More on the news can be found in:

i. Oil Drops 4%; Valero, Conoco, Exxon Fall

Novell, Inc (NOVL) lost 4.9% or 23 cents to $4.45 after the Linux software developer denied its plan to sell part of the company or businesses. On Friday, JP Morgan analyst had said that the company is exploring to sell part of the businesses in a research note.

ii. Novell Falls After Denying Reports of a Sale of the Company

After rising more than 10% on Friday on news of a potential sale of the company, shares of Novell (NASDAQ:NOVL) have given back just over 5% after the seller of Linux software said, in a filing with the SEC, that it has no current plans to sell the company.

The pro-Microsoft Motley Fool had something to say about Novell too:

Pay attention to the SEC’s entire definition, not just the stock price. Going solely on price would wrongly categorize billion-dollar companies Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) and Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) as penny stocks.

In summary, it’s reasonable to expect Novell to announce sale of parts of the company. Its investors are mostly okay with that.

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