Bonum Certa Men Certa

Steinman: Ballmer's PASS Statements Taken Out of Context

It is more and more clear with each passing day that Novell has become Microsoft's Linux Division, and is actively involved in their PR and FUD campaigns.

Justin Steinman, of Novell, now is performing damage control, working to minimize Steve Ballmer's incendiary comments and says they were taken "out of context", something Ron Hovsepian, CEO of Novell, recently implied as well.

In an article that parrots the results of the spurious, co-sponsored survey, I found this gem, where Justin Steinman is apologizing and spinning Steve Ballmer's recent statements at the Professional Association for Sequel Server conference. You know, the "undisclosed balance sheet liability" statements when Steve Ballmer of Microsoft said:

And we agreed on a, we call it an IP bridge, essentially an arrangement under which they pay us some money for the right to tell the customer that anybody who uses Suse Linux is appropriately covered. There will be no patent issues. They've appropriately compensated Microsoft for our intellectual property, which is important to us. In a sense you could say anybody who has got Linux in their data center today sort of has an undisclosed balance sheet liability, because it's not just Microsoft patents. Because of the way open-source works, there's nobody who's been able to do patent coverage or patent indemnification behind that.

Now, please take a moment to visit the Seattle PI site where the story "broke", I personally feel the statements were covered perfectly, with the question and the entire answer, fully in context. There is even an MP3 available for download so that you can verify the transcription, and perform a voiceprint, I suppose, if necessary. Anyhow, here is Microvell's PR team at work spinning the situation [rel=nofollow]:

Ballmer's responses to a question at a sequel users' conference "was put of context," by a blogger and it has since been laid to rest publicly by the CEOs of the two IT vendors themselves, stated Justin Steinman, director of product marketing for Linux and open source solutions at Novell.

So, were Mr. Ballmer's statements taken out of context? Hardly. Was the disagreement between the parties laid to rest? Only if you think agreeing to disagree is laying it to rest.

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