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Novell News Summary – Part II: SUSE Appliance Toolkit, Samsung, and LG

Posted in GNU/Linux, LG, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Samsung, SLES/SLED at 9:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell’s most major announcement this time around is SUSE Appliance Toolkit and there is news from phone makers that pay Microsoft for GNU and/or Linux

SUSE (SLES/SLED)

OVER THE past couple of weeks there has been almost nothing to see here, until a few days ago when Novell announced SUSE Appliance Toolkit. Here are Novell’s PR people promoting it and here is the press release (also here). Some sites are pretty much reposting the press release (because it’s easier) and this product around “Appliance” is similar to Studio, so the very recent departure of Friedman is interesting. He played a key role in SUSE Studio. Anyway, here is IDG’s coverage of this: (also here, here, here, here, and here)

Novell on Tuesday will offer a package of tools enabling development of software appliances that bundle the application, application server, OS, and database into a single virtual machine image.

[...]

The toolkit costs $100,000 for enterprises but is free for ISVs, who would build a business model around Suse Enterprise Linux.

The other sources [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] still leave us with the impression that it’s very expensive. Who would select such a product and why? Similar things can be achieved free of charge given skillful people. Novell is selling proprietary software around SUSE. it’s not new.

In South Africa, Novell discovered the business of certification:

When Novell bought Suse Linux it introduced a set of certifications to recognise two levels of Linux skills. The primary certifications offered by Novell are the Certified Linux Professional and Certified Linux Engineer titles. The Certified Linux Professional certification is aimed at entry-level Linux administrators. The Certified Linux Engineer (CLE) certification is for administrators with more advanced Linux skills.

Novell is named here for its contributions to OpenOffice.org:

Universities and a variety of government institutions have also shown a preference for OpenOffice.org over Microsoft Office. Several notable private companies have also adopted the suite, including Novell, Bangkok Airways in Asia, and Peugeot Citroen in Europe, the report stated.

While Sun has contributed the lion’s share of the development monies to keep OpenOffice.org going, several other vendors are supporting it with money and technical contributions — IBM, Novell, Intel and Red Hat among them. Many of these contributors see the product as an opportunity for cutting the costs of commercial suites, the SIG reports states.

Moving on a bit, TCS adds SUSE support, so it is not just a Red Hat affair anymore.

Trusted Computer Solutions (TCS), a leading developer of cross domain and cyber security solutions, today announced that its widely adopted automated Operating System (OS) hardening tool, Security Blanket, now supports Novell SUSE as well as openSUSE and Fedora 11.

Java 6 has officially come to SUSE as well:

According to the release notes, Java 6 now supports Windows 7, as well as the Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Desktop Edition, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3.

A former Novell employee calls 2009 a “very good” year for “commercial open source” and he names SUSE growth. It’s not clear what he means by “commercial”, but his company has just moved from GPL to LGPL.

2009 was very good for open-source businesses. Sure, there was the very public news of Red Hat’s gravity-defying year, along with Novell’s SUSE Linux business climbing each quarter, but what of the still-private open-source companies?

Here is further indication that SUSE still targets Moblin as well (or desktops and sub-notebooks, as these older items about MSI ought to indicate [1, 2]), so it’s not just servers. Here is a new article about Samsung Moblin sub-notebooks. It quotes Novell as follows:

Samsung Moblin netbook snappy, still has Windows Key

[...]

The Novell engineers I spoke to told me that the Moblin version of the N127 is at battery life parity with the Windows XP version…

Samsung

Samsung is paying Microsoft for Linux or Linux-related products (unspecified), so its phones are worth avoiding. Some of these phones are rebadged though, which makes them harder to identify. Here again is an introduction to the Vodafone 360. It’s a Samsung phone that uses Ballnux.

The operating system – which is based on Linux Mobile – is similar to Motorola’s Android-based MotoBlur software, but its influence over your handset’s functionality is even greater.

It is also being taxed by Microsoft (which wants to make such tax a complacency). That is perhaps a very important difference. Here is another phone, the Galaxy i7500, which is a Samsung phone. There is this new review of it and more information right here:

Since the smartphone market is so new in China, it is not too late for carriers and their suppliers to defocus on Android and adopt a more fully supported platform like Symbian (already embraced by China Mobile) or a Linux alternative like LiMO (very friendly to the Chinese operators’ aims to control and customize their content and user experience).

LG

LG comes from the same country as Samsung and it signed a similar deal with Microsoft, so its Moorestown phones should be avoided. It includes the following:

European buyers tantalised by the LG GW990 smartphone that Intel demonstrated at the recent CES in Las Vegas should get ready for disappointment; the device will not be available over here.

LG seems to be moving away from Windows, based on the latest reports. With high targets such as 140 million phones in 2010, the patent deal with Microsoft does add up and it is important to say “no” to LG for its nonproductive pact (with Microsoft) against Linux as free software.

One report says that the LG GW990 might not come to the UK, but LG makes many different phones, including more than 10 that are using Linux, the kernel.

LG Electronics plans to sell 140 million cell phones this year and become one of the world’s top two mobile-device makers by 2012. Android will power more than half of LG’s 20 new smartphones. Other smartphones will use Windows Mobile and Linux. LG has a long way to go to catch up with global phone leaders Nokia and Samsung.

The Linux (Android) phones are already here:

KOREAN PHONE MAKER LG Electronics has announced its first Android phone.

More numbers at telecoms.com:

Korean vendor LG Electronics, which currently holds third position in the global handset vendor rankings, said that more than half of its smartphones to be released in 2010 will be based on Android. LG will unveil about 20 smartphones based on operating systems including Android, Windows Mobile and Linux this year.

LG is adding a Microsoft tax to Android. This is problematic to say the least. There are other patent issues that can be addressed by spreading Ogg. The president of the FFII quotes claims of “More than 1,000 patents [that] are essential for use of AVC/H.264 Standard” and spots what he calls a “Nice troll about patents covering h264 vs Ogg here (in french), FFMPEG and other Videolan made illegal…”

Andrew Tridgell named software patents the biggest threat to free software just earlier this month. This is not some minor issue, it is probably the most important one at the moment.

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