Bonum Certa Men Certa

How Microsoft Used Novell to Stifle the Samba Case in the EU

Novell: Microsoft's best friend and Samba/EU's foe?

A reader has just brought to our attention some interesting quotes from an interview that we mentioned earlier. Here are the bits worth highlighting, with special emphasis (in red) on the role of Novell and Jeremy Allison, whom we interviewed in the past:




Carlo piana from the interview at LinuxWorld:

Q) Who are the people from free software community in this process and what was their role?

A) I have already mentioned Tridgell, whom many of the readers should know already. He is the founder and the leading developer of Samba. But also from the Samba team, two more people deserve high praises. The first is Jeremy Allison. Jeremy had a very important role first in the administrative proceedings, convincing the Commission to pass the Decision. Then in the interim case he also appeared in court ad made a big show. Unfortunately, after the interim, he was recruited by Novell which, shortly thereafter, entered into a settlement with Microsoft and pulled off the case. The settlement also prohibited any employees of Novell to cooperate with the case (and especially with us), which shows how negative to justice this sort of agreement could be. Nonetheless, as an Italian saying goes, not all bad things come to harm. We had the opportunity to bring Tridgell into the case, and I can hardly say who is more effective.


Some other excerpts of the interview are very clarifying as well, as highlighted by Groklaw's News Picks:

Q: Was there some problematic behavior from MS that you noticed during the processes? Some non-official information says that MS spent 3.6 billion dollars on several actions related to this case. Any comment?

Piana: That was another arm of Microsoft strategy. Divide et impera.

It all started with Sun, the initial complainant. It received quite a treat to jump off the case, something in the range of two billion dollars. That was even before the court case started. The same happened later with Novell and CCIA, shortly after the "interim measure" case, during fall 2004. Notably, it was before the President issued the final order in that part of the case. And it happened again shortly before the main hearing last year, with Real Networks. That was even sleazier, because it had as a consequence that all the written documents submitted by Real as pleadings and evidence were taken off the court file. At that point the written phase was over and the evidence we were relying upon disappeared. I don't know what is the final figure of this, but surely is over 3 billion dollars, in cash or services....

Q: How do you comment on the latest 899-million-euro fine?

Piana: Microsoft's claim that the fine is from old issues, now resolved, is not entirely accurate. See what they are doing with the OOXML process, where instead of merging two standards for the same realm of application, they insist quite peculiarly in pushing for approval of a second international standard. And with a fast track procedure, when there have been thousands of comments in the voting process pointing out tons of very substantial shortcomings.


You can hopefully see the degree of manipulation and Novell's role in it. Carlos mentions the illusion that the case is over. Microsoft sure like to prematurely/falsely declare such cases as dismissed, but as we showed in a digest just moments ago, Opera indicates that its case is not over. Always beware the spin. IE8 is one heck of a spin!

We previously showed how Microsoft uses Novell as a tool in Europe. Examples include:

  1. What About the EC Ruling?
  2. Novell's Role in a Microsoft Crusade Against Genuine Open Source Software
  3. Novell's Role in Microsoft's New Battle with the EU
  4. The Samba Project Still Affected by the Novell/Microsoft Deal
  5. Novell is not the next SCO, Microsoft is.
  6. Interoperability Mockery in Europe - Microsoft Dumps 30,000 Pages of Text
  7. Novell's Role in Hurting Samba and Free Interoperability


Is Europe still buying from MicrosoftNovell?

MS Novell

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