Bonum Certa Men Certa

Novell Resentment: OSI, Others Begin to Wake Up

Novell and Microsoft are allies, not rivals

After this revealing post, one must wonder if SJVN was contacted by Novell in order to soften him. Once again, he offers almost no criticism and instead he echoes Novell's PR.

While many Linux users hated the idea of the Microsoft/Novell partnership from the start, Ian Bruce, director of Novell public relations, says that “Customers drove” the latest expansion of the Novell/Microsoft deal.


Right. So the previous PR Director quits, a new one joins, and being a PR director (for Novell and Microsoft), he is hyping things up. How 'trustworthy'. Here is a response to him from Linux Today:

And since those "customers" that he speaks of would be Linux users ...

While many Linux users hated the idea of the Microsoft/Novell partnership from the start, Ian Bruce, director of Novell public relations, says that Linux users "drove" the latest expansion of the Novell/Microsoft deal.

They hate it but they want more of it?


SJVN also includes this carefully-crated statement from Ron Hovsepian:

In a statement, Ron Hovsepian, Novell’s CEO, said “The strategic partnership between our companies continues to attract customers by building a bridge between proprietary and open source software. The interoperability delivered by Microsoft and Novell has resulted in very high demand for SUSE Linux Enterprise from customers and channel partners, further validating Novell’s Linux strategy.


Ryan Paul offers very little new information of significance. He does, however, pause at the sight of "intellectual property peace of mind." That is the same phrase which pissed Aaron Seigo off, and rightly so!

Microsoft still repeatedly touts "intellectual property peace of mind" as one of the strengths of the agreement, but the rhetoric seems to have had no impact on the market. Microsoft still hasn't revealed the alleged infringers or indicated which patents it believes are being infringed. The claims remain entirely hollow and no basis for the allegations has been presented.


The phrase "peace of mind", which almost begs for an image of guns and kneecaps, has already been very prominent in the relevant Novell/Microsoft Web site/s touting the deal and also in the latest press release:

Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc. are announcing an incremental investment in their relationship to meet accelerating customer demand for their business model solution, which is designed to build a bridge between open source and proprietary software to deliver interoperability and intellectual property (IP) peace of mind for organizations operating mixed-source IT environments.


Movell and Nicrosoft



ComputerWorld mentions us here and fortunately we received the attention of the OSI too. Michael asks in an apprehensive 'open question' fashion whether "Microsoft + Novell = Monopoly 2.0?"

But is Microsoft really so stupid that they would write a $100M check to prop up a message that nobody believes? I don't believe so, and I especially don't believe so given that nobody in the world of open source is asking Microsoft to keep propping up Novell. My conclusion, especially given the lack of response from Sam Ramji, is that Microsoft knows perfectly well what it is doing. Microsoft's good-faith effort at technology innovation, Vista, has failed, and so they are resorting to their true core competency, updated to the 21st century: Monopoly 2.0.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Asay may be right that Microsoft is throwing away their money, in which case customers and shareholders may wish to be less generous sharing their money with Microsoft. Or Microsoft may be pursuing a new way to undermine open source--is that something you want to support?


We recently wrote about Microsoft's threat to the OSI. They want to be inside. They're everywhere already. There is hardly an open source conference that hasn't been intruded by Microsoft through sponsorships. Absence has become rare. Even SourceForge gave up and 'sold out'. OSCON [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] and OSBC [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] are among the larger-scale examples, but there have been many more.

There are some new exceptions. Here is one that does not (yet) list Microsoft among the sponsors.

With over three dozen sessions, workshops, and keynotes, OSSPAC 09 will be the premiere Open Source event held in Southeast Asia. Your participation is critical...


It is also unnatural to expect Microsoft to sponsor an OpenOffice.org conference.

The OpenOffice.org Conference 2008 will extend over three days, Wednesday 5th November to Friday 7th November inclusive. The Conference will open on 9am on Wednesday, and close on Friday 5.00pm.


In this particular context, if there is one common denominator for Novell and Microsoft, it is that both are throwing money at events and projects in order to suppress criticism.

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