Bonum Certa Men Certa

Novell's Ron Hovsepian Slammed by Sun Employee

With tactless CEOs like these, who needs enemies?

Ron Hovsepian confused



Yesterday we wrote about the poor recent interview with Ron Hovsepian, CEO of Novell. The interview was poor for a variety of reasons, some of which were already mentioned in previous posts, but one largely overlooked issue was the attack on Sun.

“Hovsepian, hypocritically enough, called the kettle black.”Why would Novell want to attack Sun? For that matter, why would Amanda McPherson of the Linux Foundation pick these fights, which totally escape and ignore the real dangers? Just because Oracle is in OIN, for example, does not make it 'safe' and benign to Linux, but at the same time, there is no justifiable reason to sort of ignite any of these 'civil wars' [1, 2], unless a company that uses GNU/Linux aligns with one which calls it a "cancer" and then uses FUD to market itself.

Ron Hovsepian's ridicule of Sun (which needn't be parroted here) was ironically enough about its open source strategy. Hovsepian, hypocritically enough, called the kettle black.

Here is one response to Hovsepian's cheat shots or accusations. [via Simon Phipps]

Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian, ("ill considered" - Redmonk), not content with the murkiness of his own company's patent arrangements with Microsoft (the two companies laughably "agreed to disagree" on whether or not their November 2006 agreement was an ackowledgement that Novell was infringing Microsoft patents), has decided to throw some mud in the general direction of OpenSolaris.

[...]

Now this isn't Mr Hovsepian's first ill-informed and misleading attack on OpenSolaris, but I don't think that's it's really our fault. Simply put, he has a shortage of targets. I mean, who else is he going to attack? Given his position, he can't very well attack another Linux distro, and he's hardly going to attack Microsoft. Apple? For successfully porting of OpenSolaris technology into their operating system (without licensing any patents, we might point out)? Doesn't really work, does it?

Open source needs better leadership that this.


Well done and congratulations, Ron Hovsepian and Novell. You've just made yourselves more enemies at Sun. Novell's OpenOffice.org 'fork' [1, 2], which has some issues arising with the introduction of LGPLv3, didn't do much good, either.

Just glancing over at Erwin's blog you'll come to discover another case study or reciprocity. It's a case where OpenOffice.org assists GNU/Linux adoption and vice versa. 9,000 schools PCs were converted to GNU/Linux. So why fight?

How impolite of Novell not to acknowledge this and also forget where its code came from (Novell is a latecomer). It previously tried to throw mud also in the face of Red Hat, whose hard labour Novell enjoys yet discredits.

Realising that Red Hat FUD comes back to bite Novell in the rear, the company is looking for new targets. Novell will never criticise its new partner, Microsoft. So, who else? Should Novell be surprised that Sun is now doing business with Canonical (Ubuntu), as reported yesterday by Reuters? Novell painted itself into a corner, surely.

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