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Novell Spins the Numbers Again

Posted in HP, IBM, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Red Hat, Servers, SLES/SLED, UNIX at 3:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Storage technology
Novell Spin® Deluxe™

Summary: In order to generate hype which is not justified, Novell comes up with familiar numbers that do not tell much and might not tell the truth, either

NOVELL is still pushing whitepapers into all sorts of Web sites, even IDG in this case (we no longer report all the examples because there are many and they are repetitive). Given those IDC ‘studies’ from Novell (e.g. [1, 2]), it is apparent that Novell operates similarly to Microsoft. It’s about funding so-called ‘studies’ where the results are predetermined and then throwing the produced propaganda all over the Internet in order to deceive.

“It’s about funding so-called ‘studies’ where the results are predetermined and then throwing the produced propaganda all over the Internet in order to deceive.”As we showed twice this morning [1, 2], Microsoft loves fake numbers. To Microsoft, truth does not matter as long as the lie does not violate the law. And similarly, Novell issues a new press release this week [1, 2], claiming that 5,000 applications are now certified for SLE*. Now, we haven’t verified these numbers yet, but we vividly recall how Novell lied about those numbers some years ago (about a year and half ago) and got challenged rather severely by several journalists. Here is a news article that repeats claims from the press release without any scrutiny:

ISVs, Novell claims, are contributing an average of 150 new applications each month.


Since the launch of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server platform, more than 250,000 appliances for physical, virtual or cloud environments have been built by ISVs using SUSE Studio.

Many of them are just single users toying with the tool (us included), sometimes constructing several appliances per user (as we did). Novell makes it sound like many unique appliances are created to be spread to a lot of people (for each appliance). This is not true. It’s spin with numbers; in a Brainshare 2010 interview, Novell’s CEO parroted exactly the same type of statistics because them — and only them — make it sound like a success.

This is not the first time that Novell fakes or dishonestly selects numbers, sometimes by push polling.

“The future of Novell, and therefore of the SUSE Linux distribution, is uncertain.”
      –Research and Markets
This week we also find these two new copies [1, 2] of the IBM-Novell press release (already covered in [1, 2, 3]). IBM is another company that will help Microsoft/Novell increase the number of so-called ‘appliances’ that rPath seems to have invented. Research and Markets has a new report bearing the headline “Novell and SUSE Linux: Not So Happily Ever After?” From the summary: “Developers, partners, and users of SUSE Linux as distributed by Novell have seen the company go through a stunning range of disruptive events within the past several weeks. The future of Novell, and therefore of the SUSE Linux distribution, is uncertain. This Strategic Perspective looks at the most recent events causing uncertainty for Novell, and the effects on Novells SUSE Linux distribution and markets.”

In short, home and business users ought to avoid SUSE as a GNU/Linux distribution, especially now that Novell is up for sale. The same uncertainty applies to Mono and Moonlight. Timothy Prickett Morgan writes about the death of Itanium, which probably relates to this uncertainty around Novell, SUSE, and other Novell products. Conversely to this trend, however, Timothy claims in The Register that SLES is the last GNU/Linux distribution which supports Itanium.

That leaves HP’s HP-UX, OpenVMS, and NonStop operating systems, Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, and a handful of proprietary OSes from Europe and Japan on Itanium chips.

Earlier this month, an Intel spokesman said that most Itanium users run HP-UX. So SUSE for Itanium too might soon fade away.

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