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Novell Too Busy (With Proprietary Software) to Promote OpenSUSE



Summary: Novell continues to show that it doesn't care about OpenSUSE; instead, it's focused on marketing Fog Computing, proprietary software, and the Microsoft-taxed SLES

EARLIER this week we noted that Novell had put Banshee (patent liability) inside OpenSUSE 11.3 and gave this release so little attention that it deserves to lose possession of OpenSUSE and its volunteer workforce. We have spent a few hours going through Novell news and Novell sites, but all we found from Novell is this lousy press release from last Thursday (July 15th, 2010). That's all the promotion Novell appears to have done for OpenSUSE. Typical.



Looking at some news sites, none of the major ones covered this release, but some medium-sized ones did [1, 2] and so did blogs, e.g. [1, 2], or something in between [1, 2, 3, 4]. Some sites posted pictures and shared advice (e.g. [1, 2]), but there was nothing in Novell's PR blog about the release of OpenSUSE 11.3. Instead, Novell chose to cover Fog Computing/virtualisation [1, 2], which led to articles around this particular theme.

Liquor group Pernod Ricard Australia has emerged as one of the early local pioneers for Novell’s Cloud Manager, currently available in beta form, prior to the product’s formal launch slated for September.


The posts from Novell's PR blog simply beg for the characterisation of Novell as a Fog Computing company [1, 2] and also in the press (more mainstream press) people may get the impression that Novell is still a purely proprietary software company. The company's staff is quoted on these matters, sometimes in the context of security [1, 2], though not in the SUSE/Linux sense.

“The PR blog sticks to Gartner boosting, quite frankly as usual.”Novell's PR blog continues to cover proprietary software like identity management, which was covered/publicised in Forbes. The PR blog sticks to Gartner boosting, quite frankly as usual.

GroupWise 8 Service Pack 2 is released, but there are many flaws in this piece of proprietary software [1, 2, 3] and others.

The point to get across here is that Novell did nothing to promote OpenSUSE, except that one press release. When it comes to SLE*, Novell is poaching Sun customers and SLES (not OpenSUSE) was mentioned in relation to IBM's proprietary offerings -- ones that may relate to those "Cloud Competence" announcements from IBM (also here):

IBM is working with a range of business partners across cloud management, security, software development and testing support. As a result, IBM can offer clients flexibility, scalability, enterprise-grade security and control for development and test on the IBM Cloud. By co-operating with Novell for example, IBM has SUSE Linux enterprise components available and can offer its enterprise customers a full range of Novell capabilities for smart development and workload testing services.


Novell helps IBM with Fog Computing in Ehningen, Germany and it also promotes Fog Computing in China by helping to create a "Cloud Computing Laboratory".

This is not about Free software at all. SUSE is in fact not free either and it carries with it a Microsoft patent tax. Who would choose to train for SLES rather than RHEL, for example? Some people might. From the news:

The Novell Certified Linux Engineer (CLE) 11 practicum exam is now available. This hands on assessment, which costs $195, is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 and can be taken by individuals who currently hold a Certified Linux Professional (CLP) 10 or 11 credential.


Novell is up for sale and Red Hat's market cap is almost 3 times that of Novell. So why would anyone choose to bet one's future on SUSE? It's a lost cause.

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