Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

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

Filed under

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 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 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
» 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

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

Android Leftovers

today's leftovers

  • Purchased a PlayStation 3 Between 2006 and 2010? You May Be Entitled to $65
    PS3 owners first qualified to receive compensation from Sony following the settlement of a lawsuit in 2016. That case dealt with the "OtherOS" feature that came with the console when it debuted. With OtherOS, Sony promised a new PlayStation that would operate like a computer, allowing users to partition their hard drive and install third-party operating systems like the open-source Linux software.
  • Moro – A Command Line Productivity Tool For Tracking Work Hours
    Keeping track of your work hours will give you an insight about the amount of work you get done in a specific time frame. There are plenty of GUI-based productivity tools available on the Internet for tracking work hours. However, I couldn’t find a good CLI-based tool. Today, I stumbled upon a a simple, yet useful tool named “Moro” for tracking work hours. Moro is a Finnish word which means “Hello”. Using Moro, you can find how much time you take to complete a specific task. It is free, open source and written using NodeJS.
  • Twenty years, 1998 – 2018
    curl 4.0 was just a little more than 2000 lines of C code. It featured 23 command line options. curl 4.0 introduced support for the FTP PORT command and now it could do ftp uploads that append to the remote file. The version number was bumped up from the 3.12 which was the last version number used by the tool under the old name, urlget.
  • What’s New in ArchLabs 2018.03
    ArchLabs 2018.03 is the latest release of Linux distribution based on Arch Linux featuring the Openbox window manager as the primary desktop interface. The project’s latest release ArchLabs 2018.03 brings a few fixes and improvements and improve the user. Powered by Linux kernel 4.15 series and based-on latest version of Arch Linux. LUKS and encryption is now working, for those security concious users out there you should be all go on the encryption side. There have been a few installer updates, base-devel is included at install time. Also the mirrorlist is optimised at the same time.
  • [Older] openSUSE.Asia Summit 2018: Call for Host
    The openSUSE.Asia organization committee is accepting proposals to host the openSUSE.Asia Summit during the second half of 2018. The openSUSE.Asia Summit is the largest annual openSUSE conference in Asia, attended by contributors and enthusiasts from all over Asia.
  • TidalScale Software-Defined Servers Now Support SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
    TidalScale, the leader in Software-Defined Servers, announced today that working in partnership with SUSE, the world’s first provider of Enterprise Linux, TidalScale has achieved SUSE Ready certification to ensure full compatibility with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. TidalScale’s breakthrough scaling platform allows multiple industry standard servers to be combined into a single Software-Defined Server running a single instance of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
  • 8 Best Radio Apps For Android To Stream Online Music In 2018

Kernel and Graphics: Torvalds, Linux Foundation, Nouveau and libinput

  • Which Linux Distribution Does Linus Torvalds Use in 2018?
    We know a sizeable amount of his views on Linux distros, thanks to an interview he took long ago in 2007, but who knows – could he have changed his mind? In a 2007 interview, Linus professed that he didn’t use Debian because he found it hard to install, a statement I find interesting because he’s the guy who wrote GIT in C. Anyway, he buttressed his reason for not using Debian in a later interview from 2014, when he explained that because he is responsible for maintaining his computer and all the computers used by his household, he likes to use an OS with virtually no installation hassle. [...] As far as I know, he uses Fedora on most of his computers because of its fairly good support for PowerPC. He mentioned that he used OpenSuse at one point in time and complimented Ubuntu for making Debian accessible to the mass. So most of the flak on the internet about Linus disliking Ubuntu isn’t factual.
  • Linux Foundation, Intel launch open source IoT hypervisor
    The Linux Foundation has unveiled plans for a new open source project to provide streamlined embedded hypervisors for IoT devices. Called Acrn, the project has been assisted by Intel, which contributed code and engineering. The main thrust of the project is to create small, flexible virtual machines. ACRN comprises two main components: the hypervisor and its device model, complete with I/O mediators. The Linux-based hypervisor can run many ‘guest’ operating systems at the same time.
  • Nouveau NIR Support Appears Almost Baked, NV50 Support Added
    Karol Herbst at Red Hat started off this week by publishing his latest patches around Nouveau NIR support as part of the company's effort for getting SPIR-V/compute support up and running on this open-source NVIDIA driver. Red Hat's grand vision around open-source GPGPU compute still isn't entirely clear especially with Nouveau re-clocking not being suitable for delivering high performance at this point, but it must be grand given the number of developers they have working on improving the Linux GPU compute stack at the moment.
  • xf86-input-libinput 0.27.0 Released
    Aside from a few touchpad issues and other minor random issues with select hardware, libinput these days is mostly in great shape for being a generic input handling library that is working out well for both X.Org and Wayland users.

KDE: KDE Applications 18.04, KDE Connect, KMyMoney 5.0.1 and Qt Quick

  • KDE Applications 18.04 branches created
    Make sure you commit anything you want to end up in the KDE Applications 18.04 release to them :)
  • KDE Connect – State of the union
    We haven’t blogged about KDE Connect in a long time, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve been lazy. Some new people have joined the project and together we have implemented some exciting features. Our last post was about version 1.0, but recently we released version 1.8 of the Android app and 1.2.1 of the desktop component some time ago, which we did not blog about yet. Until now!
  • KMyMoney 5.0.1 released
    The KMyMoney development team is proud to present the first maintenance version 5.0.1 of its open source Personal Finance Manager. Although several members of the development team had been using the new version 5.0.0 in production for some time, a number of bugs and regressions slipped through testing, mainly in areas and features not used by them.
  • Qt Quick without a GPU: i.MX6 ULL
    With the introduction of the Qt Quick software renderer it became possible to use Qt Quick on devices without a GPU. We investigated how viable this option is on a lower end device, particularly the NXP i.MX6 ULL. It turns out that with some (partially not yet integrated) patches developed by KDAB and The Qt Company, the performance is very competitive. Even smooth video playback (with at least half-size VGA resolution) can be done by using the PXP engine on the i.MX6 ULL.