Bonum Certa Men Certa

Beware the Novell Talking Heads and Passive Sympathisers

Good publicity through wealth and pressure

About a month ago we wrote about what was called "Novell boosters" in the press. There are several people whose eyes are kept regularly on Novell (e.g. in Beta News), employees whose role in the press reveals a conflict of interest, and other naive people who are simply used by Novell to propagate public relations messages as though they are facts.



Matt Asay used to be a vocal critic of Novell (despite his past career at Novell). The guys at Novell, some of whom are former colleagues of his, bent his arm a little on numerous occasions and gave him a hard time.

GNOME RPMOver time, things changed. He couldn't criticise Novell in peace any longer, no matter how justified him claims and accusations were. He was receiving E-mails while his new partner at CNET (Dave of MuleSource) received rabid trolling that he told me about. 'Daring' to tell Novell off became a no-no, or at least became a burden and a risk. Things changed a little further more recently when Asay did some PR stunts around Novell's poor financial results [1, 2, 3].

Not much has changed. He now comes out (yes, once more) to defend Novell's latest FUD attack on Red Hat. He actually pushed this into Linux Today, by submission. Here is the first response (the only one at the time of writing):

Matt Asay - believing anything he read this afternoon.

...Novell stands more-or-less alone in the enterprise Linux desktop market. Just ask Peugeot, Italy's parliament, and the others who use SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.

So I'm guess that Novell just sent Matt Asay an press release about those two deployments.

...Ubuntu owns the consumer Linux desktop market (through deals with Dell and others), but Novell may well stand alone (for now) in the enterprise market.

Or ... it MAY NOT!

You'll never know because you cannot do any research. All you can do is parrot whatever you've heard most recently.

What is Novell's market share for SuSE?

How does that compare to Ubuntu's market share?

You don't know? How could I have guessed that?

...Or perhaps Red Hat and Ubuntu are approaching the enterprise Linux desktop market through the most strategically important ways: Developing nations (Red Hat) and consumers (Ubuntu). Your thoughts?

Again, why not do the research yourself?


This make one sigh. To think that all this shallow analysis about GNU/Linux on the desktop comes from a person who earlier today (or yesterday) boasted about the use of Macs and argued that open source developers were moving to Macs, which is not true but more of a case of wishful thinking for those seeking to justify personal preference and sometimes incompetence in dealing with intuitive GNU/Linux distributions (or stubbornness that antagonises learning curve).

The same pitch is repeatedly echoed also by Sam Dean over at OStatic. People who do not use GNU/Linux ought to write less about it (if at all). Comparing distributions or assessing differences without actually knowing or using them means that the speculative press -- rather than actual users -- can deceive and inappropriately set trends based on perception alone.

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