Bonum Certa Men Certa

What Red Hat and Novell Have in Common and What They Do Not

Summary: Remarks on takeover possibilities and interoperability with Microsoft Exchange Server

Investopedia is not a Web site whose name comes up quite so often. It seems to stick to conventions rather than question or challenge them. For example, it uses the Microsoft-based IDC numbers to belittle GNU/Linux (notice the "ASPX" in Investopedia), but either way, there is this new short report regarding Red Hat, Novell, and takeovers.

Novell Takeover Talk Overplayed (NOVL,RHT)

Despite reporting earnings beating expectations, shares of network software provider Novell (NYSE:NOVL) failed to rally on the news, as uncertainty regarding the company's ability to successfully transition to a new business model based on so-called "open source" Linux software appears to remain a significant concern for investors.

According to this, Red Hat and Novell are similar in the sense that neither will be acquired any time soon (by the way, both companies are symbolised by red colours too). It has been weeks since Egbert's prediction that Red Hat will be acquired -- potentially by IBM -- and even months since she spoke about Oracle. She just never gets it right. It is worth pointing out that Red Hat and Novell are in very different positions. Novell's revenue keeps declining because it carries a baggage from the past, whereas Red Hat is the type of company Novell wishes to be.

Meanwhile, Paula Rooney writes about OpenChange and she makes it sound very much like it's only a Red Hat thing which bears resemblance to a Novell deal.

Red Hat is not going to let the Microsoft-Novell partnership dim its own prospects for interoperability.

That seems to be the case with the Red Hat-sponsored open source Fedora project, which plans to release on June 9 a major upgrade of its free Linux that offers robust integration with Microsoft Exchange via a new feature called OpenChange.

As one of the commenters points out:

Is this particular to Redhat? My understanding is that OpenChange is being implemented by Gnome Evolution and KDE Akonadi. (It would be nice if the Mozilla Messaging also supported it.) I think OpenChange is already available in some form on OpenSuse, SLED and maybe other recent Linux distro releases and will be available on others soon.

And, yes, it is a big deal, a bigger deal than just Exchange. The European Commission forced Microsoft to cough up the details of all their server protocols. Microsoft are of course doing it to "foster innovation and interoperability". Ha, ha!

So patent deals are not required for interoperability after all. What was Novell thinking at the time? Speaking of Exchange, Google Wave renders it obsolete (if adopted) and to a large extent the same goes for SharePoint and Outlook (even the whole of Office, by extension). Google terrifies Microsoft for this reason. It puts together a lot of pieces like video (YouTube), spreadsheets editor (Apps), image viewer/album sharing (Picasa), E-mail (GMail), and so on. But that's another story.


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