04.24.10

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Novell News Summary – Part III: Last News Summary; SCO Updates and BrainShare Amsterdam

Posted in Java, Mail, Novell, Patents, Red Hat, SCO, Servers, Virtualisation, Xen at 1:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell’s proprietary software as seen in the eyes of the past week’s news

THIS is the last “Novell News Summary”; the delivery format is about to change for the first time in years. Today we’ll address several areas in turn.

Pulse

Pulse enjoyed some video promotion in Brainshare 2010 — promotion that has just been uploaded again because it’s a nice video (someone has also uploaded old Novell adverts [1, 2, 3]). Pulse has pretty much been forgotten about, perhaps except for this one sentence in an article about Wave.

Novell are working on Pulse, a collaboration tool that used to be separate, but after we announced Wave they started working to allow compatibility across product boundaries.

Novell is betting on piggybacking Google. It’s absent from the mainstream media for the time being.

SCO

Novell’s victory against SCO was covered in Linux News Log a few weeks late. The hearing about SCO's Java patent took place some days ago; here is what Groklaw wrote in advance:

The SCO bankruptcy hearing on the sale of the Java patent will be on April 20. That’s this proposed sale to Liberty Lane for $100,000, and that’s an LLC affiliated with Allied Security Trust, the anti-patent-trolls company, if you’ve dropped a stitch and can’t keep up as SCO’s assets get sold off bit by bit. If anyone else has bid, other than Liberty Lane, then there would be an auction on the 19th, but SCO told the court they don’t expect that to happen.

This Java patent was not a done deal yet. Here is another update from Groklaw which talks about the patent being sold.

Bankruptcy court gets more and more weird. Today’s scheduled hearing in SCO’s bankruptcy was cancelled at the last minute. No one told the U.S. Trustee’s Office, I gather, since our reporter showed up and so did that office’s representative. Meanwhile, the order approving the sale of the patent was approved and signed by the judge.

Groklaw then explains “What the Judge Still Has to Decide in SCO v. Novell”

We know that the jury in SCO v. Novell decided that SCO didn’t get the copyrights in 1995 under the APA or by Amendment 2 or any fusion thereof. That killed SCO’s slander of title claim as well. But that isn’t the end. There were some issues the parties agreed before the trial which would be decided by Judge Ted Stewart. That has yet to happen.

The most important remaining issue is SCO’s claim for specific performance. SCO’s alternative claim, should it fail to win on the copyright issue, was that even if it were decided that it doesn’t get the copyrights to date, under the APA Novell is obligated to turn them over now. I’ve seen some comments wondering if there will be another trial of these issues left for the judge to decide. The answer is no, I don’t think so. It was all tried together. The jury rendered its verdict, and next comes the judge’s. I don’t know of any time frame.

The following day and the day after that:

Novell has filed its Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in SCO v. Novell, one of the two documents that the judge has been waiting for prior to reaching his decision on the issues he was to decide after the jury reached its verdict on copyright ownership…

It seems like it never ends. Novell’s stock is still steady ahead of what seems like a takeover. This could certainly disrupt the case against SCO.

Old Products

iPrint adds some drivers and Netware continues to receive support from Arkeia [1, 2]. This was mentioned before; Netware has no real future, but it still has many users.

Virtualisation

Red Hat has just officially dumped Xen (based on a beta of RHEL), but Novell keeps closer to Citrix, as expected.

While The Planet uses KVM running on Ubuntu, IBM adopted the Red Hat-branded version of KVM. Red Hat and KVM seem to have won another endorsement from Novell, which said it will support KVM in version 11 of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

But Novell still supports Xen, of course, and Citrix CTO Simon Crosby writes in his blog that Novell’s support of KVM is to be expected because KVM comes with the mainline Linux kernel.

Here is a lame new video about IWM, which is just a load of jargon and marketing hype for the movement of processes or VMs between servers.

Mail

Novell’s GroupWise is going nowhere special and here is a new rant about Novell Web Access:

• I almost feel bad stating the obvious, but it needs to be said: Let’s switch to Gmail already. In four years, I’ve heard nothing but disdain for Novell Web Access’ micro-sized inboxes and, as one former student and computer whiz told me, “a user interface that’s so counter-intuitive it’s not even funny.” USGA already passed a resolution advocating the switch, and could potentially engage a massive segment of disgruntled students with the proper outreach. Rally the troops, Tony Catalano, and make this one happen. We’re behind you.

GWAVA continues to develop for GroupWise, based on this new press release.

GWAVA is pleased to announce the release of version 1.8 of Retain for GroupWise®. Retain archives GroupWise messages in a secure and accessible format so that restoration is simple. By archiving older messages, data integrity is still maintained while storage costs are significantly decreased. Archiving with Retain protects organizations from costly litigation or liability issues.

GroupWise is mentioned very briefly in a few other new pages [1, 2] and also in this announcement from SKyPRO (mirrored here).

SKyPRO is releasing a public beta version of GWTalk, their Soft Phone Client developed specifically for the Novell GroupWise user communities.

GWTalk is a free soft phone client that integrates with Novell GroupWise. GWTalk connects all users to the GWTalk Network allowing them to make calls and IM each other for free.

SKyPRO was involved with Novell last year [1, 2, 3].

Here is something about the blunder which we mentioned earlier in the week:

Human error is being blamed for the action as the author used the auto-complete function in Novell’s email software to include the journalist’s address, along with those of five Gwent Police officials in the ‘CC’ field of the message.

This is also a security hazard.

Security

A promotional piece from the Indian press presents the words of Naresh Shah, the director of Novell India Development Center. He speaks about fluffy notions such as “cloud computing”.

IWM strategy combines identity and security, systems management, and OS technology to manage workloads more securely and efficiently across physical, virtual and cloud computing environments. Novell places its IWM products into four different categories: build, where it has SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, SUSE Studio, SUSE Appliance Toolkit and ZENworks configuration management; secure, where we find Identity and Access Manager, governance and login; manage, consisting of Novell’s acquired PlateSpin management software and more ZENworks; and measure, where it has Novell myCMDBTM and business-service measurement and management tools.

Novell has made very little out of PlateSpin. In fact, PlateSpin executives fled Novell.

People

Former Novell executives are reaching some other companies, with new examples that include:

1. Storage Startup Fusion-io Continues Rapid Pace

Many of those new-wave storage products are called SSDs, for solid-state drives, and are designed to fit in the same slots in the front of servers that house conventional drives. Fusion-io takes a different approach, offering devices that fit inside servers in slots that are typically used for graphics chips. “We get much higher performance,” says David Bradford, the onetime general counsel for software company Novell who was named Fusion-io’s CEO last year.

2. ContentWatch Names SageCreek’s Warner As CEO

According to ContentWatch, Warner replaces Jack Sunderlage, who is leaving the firm after a transition period. Warner was previously VP of Global Sales for Alianza, and also served at Altiris/Symantec and Novell.

3. Liz Carter: The serious businesswoman who would capsize a certain Georgia Democrat

Carter understands it all too well, having risen to a leadership position with Novell at the age of 22, having run her own consulting business for the past decade, and having had to face tough budget and spending decisions on more than one occasion.

Partners

Pan Communications, which we mentioned last week, mentions its relationship with Novell and Novell is also mentioned in coverage and press releases of other companies [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. With the exception of SUSE Studio partners, Novell does not connect with many companies anymore.

Marketing/PR

Novell’s latest marketing message has no real meaning. There are no real announcements to make, either. So Novell just brags about a CRN award in its PR blog and even issues a press release about it [1, 2, 3]. These prizes are easy to just buy and they have little significance, except for on paper. It’s even less reliable (more corruptible) than an analyst’s “recommendation” — any analyst with whom one can sign a contract in exchange for influence. It’s not hard to find press coverage that mostly quotes Novell on the subject. It’s all marketing from channel chiefs who are also CMOs.

A new poster called “Dister” writes/talks about BrainShare and shares videos that we mentioned last week. Other BrainShare videos are being spread, including those preceding the keynote talks [1, 2] (we have already seen these older ones because they were uploaded before). Novell’s PR team then prepares people for BrainShare Amsterdam. It’s coming soon and it will go beyond Utah.

Red brick, blue sky
Utah building

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