Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Bruce Perens: Allegorical version of the Novell-Microsoft Patent Agreement

Filed under
SUSE

Once upon a time there was a software company called Novell. Novell had a friend "Big Mike" who was always getting in trouble with the law, but he was strong and had a big business. Big Mike was making big noises, threatening to beat up Novell's customers. So, Novell made a financial deal with Big Mike so that he'd promise not to beat up Novell's customers, but would instead threaten the customers of all of Novell's competitors.

Full Story.


When Novell signed the now-famous agreement with Microsoft, I must admit that I was quite puzzled. For a company making most of its business by selling free and open source software, this seemed unreal; maybe there was a good reason for that, after all. But when I read the part on the patents and the indemnification of customers, I really found out that it was quite odd and contradicting anything I ever read about the GPL.

I have however refrained from giving in the Novell-bashing fashion for several reasons.

This article reflects my personal point of view only, and does not mean that the OpenOffice.org project nor my company, Ars Aperta, endorse this opinion in any way.

Several years ago, I was an intern at Novell. I used to be the « Linux guy » in their Paris office. It meant that I was more or less in charge of training and explaining the local sales force what Free Software was all about, and how to market it to enterprise customers. It was quite of an experience, since Suse had just been acquired. I also knew and know several people at Novell, mostly because Novell is an important contributor of the OpenOffice.org project.

Following the announcement, I was thus quickly in contact with folks at Novell.

Introducing the Novell's Cunning Plan.


Novell on Thursday said it has assigned Susan Heystee, the company's recently named vice president and general manager for global strategic partners, to manage its partnership with Microsoft.

Novell taps exec to manage Microsoft deal.

UPDATE: More details Here.


Balancing the needs of a public company that sells open source software is no easy task--just ask Ron Hovsepian. Hovsepian, the CEO of Novell, Inc., is getting an up-close and personal education in just how demanding those challenges are, as he and his company continue to come under fire for the November 2 partnership announcement with Microsoft.

Almost immediately after announcement, once jaws were collectively lifted off the floor, the community was polarized in their reaction. Many saw the positive technological and business benefits of the relationship, but there seemed to be just as many questions about the nature and rationale for the litigious aspects of the new partnership--specifically, the promise by Microsoft not to enforce their patent portfolio on Novell customers or on non-commercial software developers.

As time went on, the intellectual property segment of the partnership completely overshadowed the other parts of the agreement--a situation further exacerbated by the Microsoft CEO's public statements that indicate he, at least, still believes that Linux does indeed infringe on Microsoft's IP in an undisclosed manner. Despite a quick public response from Novell that argued against Ballmer's insinuations, community opinion about Novell has become decidedly negative in the past couple of weeks.

Which prompted the question to Hovsepian in an interview with LinuxPlanet yesterday: when Ballmer made those remarks, didn't you want to toss a chair in his office? A weak joke, which drew an appropriately weak chuckle, but an honest response: "it's definitely frustrating."

Hovsepian: Balancing on the Novell-MS Tightrope.

Microsoft, Novell Take Their Partnership To The Streets

» E-Mail
» Print
» Discuss
» Del.icio.us
» Digg

Microsoft, Novell Take Their Partnership To The Streets

Customers are more interested in interoperability and virtualization than patent protection and intellectual property issues, despite the stir Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is creating in the open source community, says Novell.

By Antone Gonsalves
InformationWeek

Nov 30, 2006 08:47 PM

Microsoft and Novell have already contacted more than 100 potential customers in the United States and Europe to sell interoperability deals between SuSE Linux and Windows, according to Susan Heystee, Novell's newly appointed head of the controversial partnership.

Novell said Thursday it chose Heystee to oversee the partnership as part of her new position as vice president and general manager for global strategic partners. Microsoft and Novell announced the partnership this month, saying they would work together on providing virtualization technology to run Windows and Linux on the same machine, and data center interoperability between the two platforms.

Heystee said in an interview that joint sales teams have visited more than 100 companies on both sides of the Atlantic, and has found the reception "extremely positive."

"Our focus has been about where we're going with the combined offering, and working with them on specific proposals," she said.

Full Story.

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Slackware Live Edition – on its way to 1.0?

Last week the second Beta of the upcoming Slackware 14.2 was released. My goal was to have a new Beta of my liveslak ready by that time, so that I could provide new ISO images to test the Slackware Beta2 on a live medium. Unfortunately, there was an attack of the flu in my team at work and things got a bit busier than usual. There was a plus side to this: some last moment bug fixes which could be applied to my scripts – the result of having more evenings available to test. Therefore the new release is not labeled “0.5.0” but “0.5.1” Read more

Leftovers: KDE

  • Cantor migrating to Phabricator: which tools our contributors must to use
    Projects and software developed by KDE community are going to migrate for a new tool to manage our code, commits, reviews, tasks, and more. This tool is Phabricator and you can visit the instance for KDE projects in this address. Since November 2015 we are migrating Cantor to Phabricator. After our first successful review code some days ago, I decided to write a post about which tools our contributors must to use while the migration process is not finished.
  • Kdenlive's sprint report
    Last week-end, Vincent and me met in Lausanne for a Kdenlive sprint. One of our goal was to merge Gurjot Singh Bhatti's GSoC work on curves for keyframes. This was more work than expected and we spent many hours trying fix the curves and make keyframes behave correctly. Not much time was left for sleep, but we still managed to get outside to make a group (!) picture in the woods above Lausanne.
  • Jekyll 3.x
    I’ve found three different types of transition issues (it is cool to look at these in a project I do not upgrade on a daily basis like Plasma and the rest of the KDE software).
  • kdev-python on Windows: try it!
    I spent the last two or three days playing around with KDE on Windows, with the aim of getting my Python language plugin for KDevelop to run there. In the end, it wasn’t that hard to get this to work — not as hard as I would have expected it to be, anyways.

Manjaro ARM launched

Hi community, wonderful news in regard of architecture expanding within Manjaro Linux. It all started with a simple post on our developers mailing list. Somebody wants to do Manjaro for ARM … Just after one month of development our first alpha release is now ready. So what is this all about? Manjaro Arm is a project aimed to bring you the simplicity and customability that is Manjaro to ARM devices. These devices are growing in numbers and can be used for any number of applications. Most famous is the Raspberry Pi series and BeagleBoard series. Read more

Plasma 5.5.4 and Calligra Suite 2.9.11 now available

The 4th update for KDE's Plasma 5.5.x series is now available to all Chakra users. According to the release schedule, unless new issues occur, this will be the last update for this series before 5.6 gets released next month. Plasma 5.5.4 as usually includes a month's translations and bugfixes, with the authors highlighting the improvements for handling multi-screen setups. The Calligra Suite also receives a bugfix update to version 2.9.11, which mainly provides fixes for krita and kexi. Read more