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Has the Novell/Microsoft Deal Made a Difference?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the only-to-healdline-writers dept.

Novell 120

willdavid writes "The deal between Microsoft and Novell was announced a little more than a year ago, and it's hard to judge what impact the deal has really had on the marketplace (if any). The two groups claim to have signed up 30 new customers (including heavyweights like Costco and Southwest Airlines), but it will still be some time before any real changes will be felt. 'Regardless of what impact the deal has triggered in the marketplace over the past year, ultimately it's about meeting market requirements. "The fact is that the vast majority of businesses do not want homogeneous IT infrastructures," Pund-IT analyst King said. "Instead, they want to be able to better and more easily manage their IT assets no matter what hardware or OS platforms they buy. Microsoft and Novell deserve congratulations on their one-year anniversary, but the needs of Linux and Windows customers are as much responsible for the partnership as the companies themselves."'"

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paludis -s && paludis -pi everything (1, Redundant)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301321)

Nope.

Re:paludis -s && paludis -pi everything (1)

Nephrite (82592) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301515)

+1, Insightful.

Duh.

Re:paludis -s && paludis -pi everything (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303289)

The fact that Novell has not really managed to come close to taking Red Hat's crown in the enterprise space shows it's made no difference. Microsoft will do their FUD with or without Novell.

The community does seem less likely to use their products (Novell, Linspire, Xandros) but most community users use Fedora or Ubuntu already

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301327)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
has goatse made a difference? [goatse.ch]

Not really (2, Insightful)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301349)

My Novell server is still disconnected.

Re:Not really (3, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301809)


Heh! Mine now has debian on it. I'd like to say it was a direct result of the Novell-Microsoft deal, which was the major factor, but SuSE's hideous application launcher "start" menu was also a contributor. ;)

Re:Not really (2, Insightful)

LinuxDon (925232) | more than 6 years ago | (#21305529)

I agree on the fact that it would have been a better choice for them to choose KDE instead of Gnome, although KDE is optional.
But who cares about a GUI on a server? You should disable it anyway.

Personally, our company is using Novell software with a lot of satisfaction (SLES, eDirectory, Groupwise, Zenworks, Intellisync). It really fills the open source gap and is rock solid.
I really don't understand all of the bad press about Novell. Novell is really helping Linux into the business environment and is doing it very well and their pricing is very acceptable.

Without Novell, which solution could I choose to serve our windows workstations? I'd probably have to use active directory, Exchange and Windows server 2003. Which will soon turn into a stability nightmare.
There really is no other software based on Linux that provides the functionality that Novell does.

Marketplace has spoken (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302525)

I think the marketplace has already demonstrated Teh Lunix to be a huge failure. Businesses just don't want it.

Add that to the fact that the Stallmanistas are trying to use the GPLv3 as a back door to gain control over all software created by anyone, and it makes the entire Lunix/FOSS thing into a huge red flag.

Look at Munich: they have been trying to get Teh Lunix working on all their computers since 2001, and it's been nothing but a huge money-sucking disaster. If the city of Munich were a business, choosing Teh Lunix would have put them out of business.

Re:Marketplace has spoken (3, Funny)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303245)

Ballmer? Is that you?


CHAIR!

Re:Marketplace has spoken (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303931)

I've been using Ubuntu alongside Windows for about a month now, and the only complaint I have is that Evolution's shared calendaring via our Exchange server doesn't work. Other than that, it's just as good. The Gnome file manager kicks ass, I'm able to drag and drop from FTP to Samba connections flawlessly. The UI is quick and un-cluttered.

It's not perfect, but after the fun I just had trying to get one of our remote offices to work properly with Outlook's shitty IMAP support (they're connection is too unreliable for connection to the Exchange server, and there's no budget for another Exchange server), I keep thinking how streamlined something like Thunderbird is in comparison.

The one video that sums (5, Informative)

holloway (46404) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301361)

The one video that sums up this patent deal is this one by Eben Moglen [youtube.com]

Re:The one video that sums (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301591)

Actually, the speech that Linus Torvalds gave at the 2007 Nierdorfen conference summed it up a lot better [youtube.com] . Linus has a way with brevity and hitting the nail on the head. Not a lot of wasted words.

Re:The one video that sums (0, Flamebait)

shawn443 (882648) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301635)

Fuck you. I guess I got Rick Rolled. I was looking to mod an AC informative. Prick.

Re:The one video that sums (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301637)

rick roll

Re:The one video that sums (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301767)

that brings back memories... I was at the Nierdorfen conference earlier this year. During a break between sessions, I was taking a shit. Another guy walked into the bathroom and set next to me. After a moment, he intentionally coughed a couple times. "Do you like dick?" He had an accent I couldn't quite place.

After a moment's pause, I responded, "yeah. Your stall, man, or mine?"

Re:The one video that sums (1)

Touvan (868256) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302453)

I can't say I entirely agree that that strategy will work. I can't imagine too many developers getting all concerned over getting sued by MS for developing Linux (especially since many of them are in the EU). I would have thought the only ones that would not want to deal with the legal uncertainty are those big businesses, that MS is apparently trying to pay off with the Novel like deals.

I suppose an argument could be made that they are really looking to scare off startups, and their investors, and not necessarily "the developer community". I can't see how that would help them, and there are alternatives anyway. Get a threat against your use of Linux? Switch to a BSD, or OpenSolaris. Re-incorporate in the UK, and tell MS where it can go. I know it wouldn't be that easy, but there are options - but the most important thing is, I don't think most people are taking the MS bait - I think their FUD isn't really working that well for them here.

The way I see this whole thing, Novel is the one making out like bandits here. They know what MS is attempting to do with what is basically an ad campaign. They know it will not work anyway. So why not take the money, and laugh all the way to the bank?

Re:The one video that sums (3, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302759)

So why not take the money, and laugh all the way to the bank?

Because there are more than just MS and Novell involved. And because there are issues of trust at stake.

Look at it this way: suppose you find out I've been talking to your neighborhood thief. Suppose you find out that I've taken money from him to keep lookout while he robs your house. Suppose I then turn around to you and say "it's all right, your house has good locks, he's never going to get. Why shouldn't I take his money and laugh all the way to the bank?". Would you find that reassuring?

Most people would not, I think, and rightly so. I've given no indication that, if the thief did get in, I would do anything to stop him; I've shown a willingness to collaborate with lawbreakers in your town; and I've demonstrated a worrying willingness to betray my associate that suggests I may betray others just as lightly. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

In Novell's case, they've demonstrated a worrying disdain for the community that developed most of the software they sell, and they've given themselves a financial incentive to include MS patents in the code they contribute. And in doing so, they've lost the trust of a large portion of the community, trust which may prove difficult to regain. And while it's true that doesn't seem to particularly worry Novell, the fact that they hold the community in such low regard is worrying in itself.

What it boils down to, I think, is that stratagems that work well in purely commercial environments don't always work so well in the world of free software. That, for my money, is "why not".

Sure it has (2, Funny)

graviplana (1160181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301365)

It's the first in a series of claws that are slowly being sunk into the Fleshy Underbelly that is the LINUX Penguin. A couple more cleverly thrown chairs and my plan will be complete! Muhahaha. /Ballmervoice :)

Re:Sure it has (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301745)

That doesn't sound like Ballmer at all!

I mean, it doesn't involve saying "FUCK GOOGLE!" or involve throwing chairs!

Re:Sure it has (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301839)

No, however this [youtube.com] is Balmer's true self.

Re:Sure it has (1)

graviplana (1160181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301997)

No, however this [youtube.com] is Balmer's true self.
LOL. I know my post didn't sound like Ballmer. I was just being silly. He should sound like that, though. :D

Apple Fans (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301395)

"The fact is that the vast majority of businesses do not want homogeneous IT infrastructures,"
Mac users want a homosexual IT infrastructure.

Re:Apple Fans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302599)

sorry to see you got modded down by a bunch of macinfags.

Of course it has! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301419)

Obviously the deal has made a difference to Slashdot's bottom line. Things like the MS/Novell deal are perfect for getting everyone riled up into a frenzy and generating lots of page views!

monkeyballs (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301623)

RATCOCKS!!!!

P.S. Illments is not a cunting word, you poopchewers.

That is all, you may go now.

The only differences (5, Insightful)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301633)

- More than 3000 people/companies have moved away from SuSE, OpenSuSE and Novell products [0]
- Novell is going to incorporate GPL3 [1]
- Vista still sucks

[0] - http://techp.org/p/1 [techp.org]
[1] - http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS3755005405.html [linux-watch.com]

Re:The only differences (3, Interesting)

slashnik (181800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302225)

I have moved from Suse to Kubuntu
I had always recommended Suse to beginners, not anymore.

Re:The only differences (1, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302315)

Kubuntu's KDE implementation is poor. If you like SUSE look at PCLinuxOS or Mandriva.

Re:The only differences (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302821)

I find it odd that I was modded Flamebait, when the Kubuntu devs themselves admit the Kubuntu isn't that great right now. It doesn't integrate existing Ubuntu features into KDE well (it is often effectively two releases behind) and the lead designer said on his blog the other day that right now it is just Ubuntu with KDE thrown on it. They plan in the future to design with KDE in mind and improve the distro, but right now Kubuntu is not a good implementation of KDE. It just isn't.

Re:The only differences (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303827)

Agreed.

I thought kdesktop was not that well polished nor integrated like the gnome ubuntu desktop. I wondered if kubuntu was different but its the same. Cannonical seems to not care about kde and QA like they do with Gnome. As a result I always pick gnome with the ubuntu desktop.

Maybe this might change when the community has enough of .NET, Microsoft, and Miguel and Cannonical switches to kde as a result.

Well one could help with kde 4.0.

Re:The only differences (1)

KugelKurt (908765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21305997)

That's strange, because I feel the opposite.
IMHO the whole *drake*-tools just feel tacked on while Kubuntu's System Setting feel integrated.
I don't have to open two different configuration tools in Kubuntu, because I don't know in which of those two I'll find the option I look for.

Re:The only differences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302497)

Yet first-month downloads for openSUSE 10.3 were double that of 10.2. Go figure.

Re:The only differences (1)

dmitri3 (1101095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21304501)

That was only cause of Live CDs. And btw, they were pretty late on these. Every other major distro had them long time ago.

Re:The only differences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302613)

Very insightful.

I don't think I'd go with Novell either.

Re:The only differences (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21303157)

Those that moved from SuSE weren't paying customers anyway, so why should Novell give a damn?
Companies that actually pay for support contracts are the ones that Novell cares about, not your home set-up.

Re:The only differences (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303971)

I'm not sure those numbers mean what you say they mean, but *I've* stopped considering Novell products. (OTOH, there is no evidence that the people signing that petition were ever using Novell. Some of them probably were, but then a lot of people who didn't sign the petition have also moved away from Novell.)

I do hope that Eben Mogen's hopes are justified. But my choices aren't dependent on what a court may decide, or such. Novell is no longer considered for purchase.

Before the deal I had SUSE, Debian, and Ubuntu installed. Now I have Debian and Ubuntu. (Both before and after Debian was the main system. SUSE was there largely because I wanted to see what the noise was about, and partially to support Novell against SCOX.)

CostCo? Last Year around Christmas (1, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301683)

So last year around Christmas I break down and finally buy an iPod. There's pallets of iPods and they're moving, by the looks of it. There's also a pallet of Zunes. Looks like they've sold about 5 players.

Making a deal with CostCo to sell your stuff doesn't mean people will buy it.

Re:CostCo? Last Year around Christmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302285)

You'd think mods would at least read the whole post before modding Offtopic.

Re:CostCo? Last Year around Christmas (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303281)

The parent isn't offtopic. The analogy is direct, although explicit. Moderators please take note!

Of Course It Has (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301707)

Microsoft is successfully splitting the Linux marketing into Dangerous Litigation Minefield and Peace of Mind Secure sides for the business world.

And the Linux/Open Source crowd have been in a mad rush to 'prove just how open minded they are' to the world, because 'Microsoft isn't ALWAYS evil, you know' and other such blather.

Instead of cutting Novell's air supply off with prejudice making it clear that any other distro that aids Microsoft in their Patent War against Linux/Open Source would be treated the same way, the open source crowd posted a few worthless +5 Insightful diatribes on Slashdot and other forums and then went right back to using Novell's Linux distros.

You should hear the utter contempt the folks at Microsoft in charge of taking on Linux have for you open source folks. Your Weakness sickens them.

Re:Of Course It Has (5, Insightful)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301973)

>> You should hear the utter contempt the folks at Microsoft in
>> charge of taking on Linux have for you open source folks.
>> Your Weakness sickens them.

What actually sickens them is that GOOG is trading at about $660/share.

Re:Of Course It Has (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302321)

in random post-scared trading it fell 7% in an afteroon... that says alot too

Apple and RedHat way up also (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303521)

If you want something to grin about: take a look at a 5 year chart that compares: msft, aaple, rhat (or whatever it is now), and goog.

Re:Apple and RedHat way up also (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303659)

Also, it's glorious schadenfreude fun to put SCOX in the comparative charts...

Re:Of Course It Has (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303741)

What sickens a more specific set of them is that GOOG was trading at $740 just 2 days ago.

Re:Of Course It Has (1)

rtyhurst (460717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303851)

And what sickens a whole different set of them is that even among dedicated PC users, Vista is as popular as chickenpox and nobody wants IE7.

"Random guy at the computer shop today" said "Nobody wants Vista... of course I use Firefox."

SS Microsoft-Titanic has already hit the iceberg. Messing with Open Source is just their muddled attempt to mitigate.

Looks like it's not working...

Re:Of Course It Has (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302097)

"Dangerous Litigation Minefield"

Funny, isn't someone supposed to get hurt in a minefield, see cause it looks like Suse was "paid" a lot of money to "act" like there were land mines on an otherwise innocuous and beautiful beach front. Seriously, nothing screams weakness more than Microsoft warning everyone how dangerous it is to use FLOSS, while the majority of community shrugs it off. Weakness indeed, ballmer and these patent threats, have been little more than a joke, with some segments of the community actually taunting the beast "go ahead, push me on a mine" - "sue or stfu". The only thing that sickens the people at Microsoft are informed customers.

Re:Of Course It Has (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#21305377)

Actually, I think it has more to do with scaring the crap out PHB's with the thought of lawsuits. If they can scare them away from the free Linux distros, that leaves them with Red Hat (very expensive), Xandros (Which works great for me and is affordable,but nobody has heard of it), and Suse (Last time I checked also expensive,at least for the enterprise version). And since the PHB cares about the bottom line more than anything he is going to "play it safe" and stick with Windows.


Microsoft knows Vista is a bloated pig. FUD is the only real tool the have to keep the PHB's buying. After all Sally Secretary can do word processing on just about anything. Microsoft doesn't have to actually sue, they just have to keep the threat real enough in the mind of your average PHB to keep them from looking at Open Source.

Re:Of Course It Has (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21303173)

You should hear the utter contempt the folks at Microsoft in charge of taking on Linux have for you open source folks. Your Weakness sickens them.

Those MS drones need to think that FLOSS survives despite their racketeering and 40B+ company behind them.

Re:Of Course It Has (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303723)

You should hear the utter contempt the folks at Microsoft in charge of taking on Linux have for you open source folks. Your Weakness sickens them.
Ohh.. the plan is working then :-)

Yes (2, Interesting)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301789)

Made me lose any and all interest in Suse.

If you knew.........nevermind.

I'm very pleased, except (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301821)

The only problem I have with the deal is that I'm unable to find the download links to the new software that helps my linux and windows pcs connect better and become easier to manage.

Re:I'm very pleased, except (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302445)

Here you go... [samba.org]

BLah BLah Blah more crapspeak (4, Insightful)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301885)

"The fact is that the vast majority of businesses do not want homogeneous IT infrastructures," Pund-IT analyst King said. "Instead, they want to be able to better and more easily manage their IT assets no matter what hardware or OS platforms they buy. Microsoft and Novell deserve congratulations on their one-year anniversary, but the needs of Linux and Windows customers are as much responsible for the partnership as the companies themselves.'"

I dont think any of that actually means anything. No really, it sounds like a bunch of Manager type talk but nothing concrete. All ideas and no real tangibles.

Re:BLah BLah Blah more crapspeak (1)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302051)

"The fact is that the vast majority of businesses do not want homogeneous IT infrastructures," Pund-IT analyst King said. "Instead, they want to be able to better and more easily manage their IT assets no matter what hardware or OS platforms they buy.

Microsoft and Novell deserve congratulations on their one-year anniversary, but the needs of Linux and Windows customers are as much responsible for the partnership as the companies themselves.'
You're quite right I think. I've quoted the two separately for a reason here; read one, then read the other. You might notice that those two sentences actually have no explicitly stated connection with each other. It's really just a cleverly stated non sequitur, phrased in such a way as to make you think the two parts share some kind of causal relationship. There's a reason, I think, that he doesn't instead say, "Microsoft and Novell deserve congratulations for making this freedom possible," or something of the like, and that's because, really, they haven't.

Re:BLah BLah Blah more crapspeak (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303533)

The fact is that the vast majority of businesses do not want homogeneous IT infrastructures," Pund-IT analyst King said. "Instead, they want to be able to better and more easily manage their IT assets no matter what hardware or OS platforms they buy.
See I don't think they really care about hetrogeneous IT infrastructures. They might view it as a nice to have in terms of not being completly beholden to one vendor, not have their entire infrustructure vulnerable to the same threats, and so fourth; but they don't care. If they did care they would be investing hetrogeneous infrastructures despite additional management overhead.

The reality is most small shops are either all Linux/BSD/appliance(with a few OEM licensed winders boxen on ppls desks who need to deal with customer docs) shops or all windows/appliance shops. Most medium business I have seen are all Windows shops and if there is any Linux its well hidden inside appliance devices which include lots of proprietary stuff to integrate with Windows.

I only know enough about the internals of a couple large organizations to comment so these statements much more anecedotal then the above. These organizations have so many resources that the hurdle rate for hetrogeneous infrastructures at least appears lower. They will make some effort in this direction but its one of keeping it that way not setting out to create it. They are large because they grew over decades and got into the IT game before Microsoft became a monopoly. So they have a hetrogeneous legacy have solved the management problems themsevles some what and are just used to it in general.

Other then having a support staff more acustom to assiting with Windows integration issues, don't know have not tried calling them. I don't see what SLES has that reall makes it interoperate with Windows better then anything else, especially in terms of unified management tools. They act like they are the only distribution that includes Samba, and kerb5. Ok so maybe they are the only distribution where Microsoft won't sue you for useing Samba, but with still not knowing the internals of the deal a wise man would consider that shaky at best to mention nothing of the fact that running SUSE you are probably more visible to Microsoft then you otherwise would be.

So as a Network admin, I think SUSE-Microsoft have TOTALLY FAILED to deliver on their promise. I still wonder if either side is being honest with customers and the public and SUSE and Microsoft are really thinking the same things. I also don't think enough of the commercial world is really concerned about hetrogeneous IT infrastructures of they were we'd see more of them. In the end that is what will be needed but I think most Linux vendors could gain more ground sooner offering a compelling end to end solution complete backoffice and desktop. I don't think it even needs to work or be simpler to manage then windows to be successful. Just cheaper and more flexible in terms of license costs and support options but COMPLETE. In other words, CSRs, Sales People, AR, production better all be able to run on that platform.

Re:BLah BLah Blah more crapspeak (2, Informative)

killjoe (766577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21304951)

>Ok so maybe they are the only distribution where Microsoft won't sue you for useing Samba,

Actually samba is specifically named as not being covered by the agreement. MS will sue you if you use samba even if you are using suse.

In fact if you are using suse you are at a greater risk of a lawsuit because you have established a relationship with MS at that point.

Re:BLah BLah Blah more crapspeak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302161)

Ok, let's translate:

"[Businesses] want to be able to better and more easily manage their IT assets no matter what hardware or OS platforms they buy." Translation: They don't care if they're running Windows or Linux as long as their shit works the way they want it to.

"The needs of Linux and Windows customers are as much responsible for the partnership as the companies themselves." Translation: This partnership wouldn't have been successful without the customers

That's what it means. Whether the partnership was successful or not is up for debate, but it just sounds like you didn't read the article and decided to latch onto two sentences to make your disdain of "Manager type talk" (as well as your immaturity) known to the world.

Re:BLah BLah Blah more crapspeak (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303391)

What he's saying is that he thinks businesses want to dual boot, basically...in terms of running different operating systems...and that they also want no-brainer deployment with the types of hand-holding contracts from IBM and RedHat that they've always wanted.

Business as usual, to a large extent...although he actually isn't saying anything negative about Linux. He's saying that he thinks businesses want diversity of operating systems, based on what they're doing...and Linux can benefit from that.

Re:BLah BLah Blah more crapspeak (1)

LinuxDon (925232) | more than 6 years ago | (#21305619)

[quote]"The fact is that the vast majority of businesses do not want homogeneous IT infrastructures," Pund-IT analyst King said. "Instead, they want to be able to better and more easily manage their IT assets no matter what hardware or OS platforms they buy. Microsoft and Novell deserve congratulations on their one-year anniversary, but the needs of Linux and Windows customers are as much responsible for the partnership as the companies themselves.'"

I dont think any of that actually means anything. No really, it sounds like a bunch of Manager type talk but nothing concrete. All ideas and no real tangibles.[/quote]

--

Its quite clear actually. In technical terms, what he is saying is the following:
Businesses want products that integrate with each other, instead of loose products.
Novell products let you centrally manage a large array of different devices and operating systems: Windows, Linux, Servers, Workstations, PDA's, etc. (No other product I know of allows you to do that)
You can have Novell products add a new user account in your ERP system when you create a new user.

So even though you may have a homogeneous IT infrastructure, it doesn't look that way anymore when using Novell, because everything integrates tightly.

Now, imagine you have 3000 users and 3000 workstations/laptops/pda's/e-mail accounts
How on earth are you going to manage this consistently and efficiently with open source software?
Think about: Creating user accounts, deploy new software, remotely deactivate a pda, imaging, printing, monitoring, users being able to log in at multiple offices, etc.

You will have to (choose one):
a. Use separate systems for everything (thus manually create multiple accounts)
b. Reinvent the wheel and write the glue code and automation yourself. (which is a really tremendous task)
c. Use Microsoft products. (which are unstable, expensive, provide less features, and can't manage Linux!)
d. Use Novell products. (which are stable, provide more features, cost less and manage both Linux and Windows seamlessly)

Novell is much more than just Linux.
(Note: I am a Novell customer)

Breaking News - Pakistan (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301999)

Mrs Buto says: Mbud bud budm, mbud. Mbudbud, budbud bid bud. Bud, mbud, mbudd budd budd.

Has it made a difference? SURE! (4, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302017)

It's caused a ton of friction between Novell and big chunk of the rest of the Linux community.

Re:Has it made a difference? SURE! (2, Funny)

childprey (1054198) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302265)

And the ire of the fanboy is the most dangerous thing to those who oppose free standards

Re:Has it made a difference? SURE! (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303247)

They're not quite the mob of Rome, but.... ;-)

Re:Has it made a difference? SURE! (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21304843)

If I were Novell, I would be far more worried about the ire of Jeremy Allison.

People contribute to open projects for a reason & it's usually not so they can be a pawn in some game controlled by Microsoft.

Re:Has it made a difference? SURE! (2, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21305603)

It cost them Jeremy Allison, and ruined any potential leadership in the file-server and Samba-based Windows-compatible server market. Given the choice between Microsoft patent protection, and actually having developers like Jeremy to write the code and make it work, I'd take Jeremy and his ilk everytime. In fact, I do so, and have submitted several proposals in the last year for storage solutions that carefully avoid Microsoft and Novell, for exactly this sort of reason.

Novell Honor Roll diff (4, Informative)

schwaang (667808) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302233)

Over the past year several of Novell's msGNU/Linux employees have left:
Robert Love - beagle, kernel, now at Google
Joe Shaw - beagle, not at ITA Software
Crispin Cowan and the entire AppArmor team (fired en-masse)
plus others I can't remember off the top of my head

Who of note is still drawing a Novell check?
Miguel de Icaza, mono
Nat Friedman, "chief technology and strategy officer for open source" (but mighty quiet lately)
Greg Kroah-Hartman, kernel

Re:Novell Honor Roll diff (3, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302353)

Michael Meeks, who seems to be working predominantly on Gnome and OOo stuff. He still gets a check from Novell.

Re:Novell Honor Roll diff (0, Troll)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302977)

Don't worry, I'm very confident the Novell management will find competent/less-ethical replacements very quickly. After all, there are lots of extremely skilled people over here in the Ximian division.

Re:Novell Honor Roll diff (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21303555)

Jeremy Allison, a lead Samba developer, also quit Novell. I think he's at Google now. And he was outspokenly critical of the Microsoft deal and explicit about it being the reason he quit.

Thank you Jeremy! You're a role model for integrity.

Re:Novell Honor Roll diff (3, Insightful)

apokryphos (869208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303881)

Novell has some 5000 employees. You find it odd that some have left? (only two have stated that they left because of any deal). Novell/SUSE have more developers working on the Linux desktop than anyone else; that's many core KDE, GNOME, OOo, GCC, Kernel, and ALSA developers. So, a _lot_ of people there of note :)

Re:Novell Honor Roll diff (1)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303917)

Oh? Care to give some figures (with cites, please) that we can then use to compare to other sources?

Re:Novell Honor Roll diff (3, Insightful)

apokryphos (869208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303977)

Figures on what? In terms of contribution to the Linux desktop? I'm not sure there is any competition. While Red Hat is fully pushing the server into new avenues everywhere (which is of course great), SUSE are doing this on the server and the desktop. They have actively pursued the Linux desktop and have taken it very seriously, as you can see by their acquisitions of Ximian and SUSE. There is simply no other company that even really competes with the same level of consistent contribution throughout the whole desktop.

Re:Novell Honor Roll diff (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21304767)

Does this mean Beagle's not going to change as much? I'm not sure if thats a good thing or not. Its the first thing I disable when I do a suse install. Its just too immature right now. Its not smart enough about limiting its indexing. But to be fair google desktop search also has this problem in addition to the security problems ( running a local webserver, inserting a link to said webserver into your webpages).

I'm not a big fan of App armor either, but thats just because I don't think its that necessary and would prefer to see improvement in the SeLinux implementation.

All, in all Novell will survive and thrive. I'd prefer that they didn't give MS such ammo. I never though they would actually attempt to use the patents, maybe its all just fud.

Still, I'd consider working there. I think they've done a great job on the technical side.

No, it didn't (1)

talksinmaths (199235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302323)

...at least not to patent trolls [slashdot.org] .
 

Measure? (3, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302487)

How do you measure the impact?

How many companies have been terrified to look at Linux now that Microsoft is screaming that Linux users are violating patents? Didn't SCO use the same tactics, and everyone berated them for it? SCO's stolen code they wouldn't point out is the same as the unlisted patents that Microsoft feels are violated.

Novell paid to license patents, and in doing so, they cast a shadow of guilt on all Linux distros. Can you quantify and put on a pie chart a FUD factor? Can you count how many users move from one distro to the other, when we don't have counts in the first place?

And what of the other distros that ended up signing deals as well?

Re:Measure? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303079)

This FUD factor is only true because MS put the bait in the water and the FSF took it hook line and sinker. But hey, they were using it to push their own agenda.

The bottom line was that the entire patent deal was supposed to only cover new products that Novell developed with the intent of helping linux and windows technologies to work together better and more efficiently. Novell has consistently said that the deal was for new tech and to get windows and linux working as well as repeatedly denied any knowledge of MS patents currently in linux. The entire situation could have been handled somepletely different if people would have taken Novell's word from the start and backed them up in their position. But unfortunately, there ended up being a big chest beating contest with the FSF resulting in a "we can tirck MS out of their patents somehow" and the excusing of Novell and their deal from the GPLv3 restrictions.

Seriously look at the situation without any preconceived notions and take Novell's word at face value. You quickly see that the FUD came from within the linux community (most aptly the FSF) and Novell is more or less a victim of circumstances. MS should have been the one confronted not Novell.

Re:Measure? (3, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303147)

I've read the exact verbiage of the deal, as well as Novell's FAQ about the deal.

It simply says that Novell paid to license patents, and the ambiguity is notable. It doesn't have to clearly say that Linux violates Microsoft patents, Microsoft wins with even just a shadow of doubt here. If they can make corporations wary, then it will be enough to keep them from using Linux.

I work in a moderately sized IT department for a local company these days, and most of the IT staff here say things like "it is against the law to use any GPL programs for commercial use", etc. Even the suggestion or rumor is enough to scare people away permanently often enough.

Re:Measure? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21305143)

If you read the verbiage of the deal then you also know that it says that the protection doesn't cover products directly competing with Microsoft services and technologies. This would indicate to most people that Novell was truthful in their claims that they were looking to develop software to make the two platforms interact better with each other. Of course this was Novell's only claim on the matter and their entire reason for getting involved with MS in the first place.

As for the idiots your work with. Using "GPL programs" or opensource "for commercial use" being against the law has nothing to do with this situation what so ever at all. It is more likely that some MSCE or MCSA decided to nip the idea of using opensource in the but and made that a policy within the company because he didn't want to learn something else. Or the company didn't want to opensource their products by in essence creating a derived work with the use of GPLed program. If the later is true, then they are truthful in at least it is against the license and therefore against the law to include GPLed program inside a propriatary program and keep the entire thing propriatary. I have ran into the same thing and people point to company policy when I ask there what law it breaks. Either way, that FUD mess is nothing related to the MS-Novell deal unless it stems from the FSF's reaction to it. For some reason there was a big push on the "spirit" of a 15 year old document that some how was claimed to include more then what was presented by the license itself over the 15 years of existance through this newly discovered "spirit".

The FSF's reaction was more to gain support for a rejected GPLv3 at the time then because of anything in the deal. You can tell this by all of the claims that the new GPL wouldn't allow the deal and then taking two revisions to find that the GPLv3 only restricts a small portion of these types of deals with companies doing certain specific things. It also specifically exempts the Novell MS deal that was so bad.

To test this, you can look to see if a company can make the same patent deals with a patent troll company or any other company that doesn't sell software. The answer of course is Yes, according to the GPLv3, you can in fact take part in the same MS-Novell like deals with a patent troll company. The clause was left open specifically for this type of deal to happen. Most all of the FUD coming from that ordeal was directly the fault and a calculated result of the FSF and the linux community. They seemed to shoot themselves in the foot in an attempt to gather support for a then rejected license. Sadly, they did not get things right in this license and it is somewhat rejected still.

Re:Measure? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21306301)

We're a multiplatform shop (AIX, Solaris, Linux, Windows, though mainly Windows) but during my peer review for this latest SysAdmin job, one of the guys said if he had his way, we'd never have anything *Nix related on the network, especially Linux which he claimed was programmed "by teenage turds".

He insisted that Microsoft has never done anything wrong, and that all problems on Microsoft platforms are caused by idiot third-party programs making crappy drivers or applications. Pretty much the only reason we use any *Nix products, is because that was how the system was designed by vendors we did contracts with. I keep trying to extoll the virtues, and I don't think anyone is listening. In many circles, open source seems to be a dirty word.

Re:Measure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21303769)

Thank you. It's refreshing to see someone who "gets it". I only wish Novell would have licensed Microsoft's marketing department! One thing that everyone seems to skip when discussing the Novell/Microsoft deal... Who was the company that helped defeat the SCO lawsuit? Who is the company that holds the IP rights to UNIX? http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS4446359842.html [linux-watch.com]

Re:Measure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21304787)

How do you measure the impact?

In millifausts, of course.

M$ is the new SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21306189)

... Didn't SCO use the same tactics, and everyone berated them for it? ...
Doncha know? M$ is the new SCO [groklaw.net]

No difference whatsoever. (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302527)

The deal has made no impact whatsoever in any of Novells products. Most integration with Microsofts products is either old or from open source components. The only exception is Zenworks 10 support for Vista but i really doubt that is because of the cooperation they have. In fact Novell relies on samba 4 for AD support, go figure that out. Where is the hyped cooperation there one might ask? This is just an attempt to justify taking loads of money from Microsoft to purport using their patents. PR wise it was a disaster and now its all about damage control.

Yes it has.... (5, Interesting)

segedunum (883035) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302561)

...to Microsoft. Let's see:
  • Has it stopped Microsoft from picking on Novell and stealing their customers, as Novell have hoped? No.
  • Is Novell lame and incompetent enough to try and get its biggest competitor to try and sell its own software?! You bet.
  • Given Microsoft the platform to claim that Linux and open source software infringes their patents? Check.
  • Given Microsoft access to Novell's customers to tell them about said infringement? Check.
  • Allowed Microsoft to sell a sanctioned version of Linux, in amongst a network controlled by Windows Domain Controllers as per the agreement? Check.
  • Allowed Microsoft to accelerate the move of Netware to Windows, via some meaningless SLES installations? Check.
  • Where's the interoperability? Is Microsoft contributing to Samba 4? Is it contributing to anything else? No.
  • Is Novell flushing the rest of itself down the toilet in the long run? Yep.

M$ has had the source to both Samba and Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21306213)

It needs to be pointed out that M$ has had the source code to both Samba and Windows, and even Linux, for a long, long time. That's in addition to having the full specs for the SMB / CIFS protocols. So they could have arranged "interoperability" any time during the past decade -- if they so wished.

Less than 4 years left on the M$-Novell contract ...

one difference that I know of (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302569)

One difference is that I went from recommending SUSE as a commercial Linux option to customers and other contacts to recommending that they avoid it. Note that I don't "not recommend it", I "anti-recommend it". If it were just me, no big deal. But I'd bet I'm not the only one out there. I now recommend either Ubuntu or Red Hat (for those who are running other commercial software that depends on RH). I really think Novell made a dumb decision...

The Impact (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303203)

The impact is that I was willing to use Novell products in the past, but now I'm not interested in anything they have or will do. I also tell others not to purchase nor use any Novell product. I don't want them to bastardize Linux because we worked hard on this and we don't desire to have Microsoft come in and fuck it up.

Yeah, yeah (1)

ArrayIndexOutOfBound (694797) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303223)

Not the first time not the last. Just the tactics - spread FUD and pinch a slice of the market. Year down the line, do it again. That's a cunning and ruthless corporate http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel [wikipedia.org] weasel for you.

On the funny side, note that wikipedia article on weasels is compromised by 'weasel words' :)

Microsoft and Novell extend alliance (1, Insightful)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303251)

This must *really* piss you guys off:
Microsoft and Novell extend alliance [vnunet.com]

I know that 99% of slashdotters desperately want the MS/Novell deal to flop, but you're going to have to accept the fact that it's here to stay. And it's causing companies to switch to Novell at Red Hat's expense. Know that.

Re:Microsoft and Novell extend alliance (2, Interesting)

VENONA (902751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21304027)

Doesn't piss me off at all. Your reference to "99% of slashdotters" as "you guys" rather makes me think you're a 1 percenter (or like to think of yourself that way) with an axe to grind.

It's difficult for many companies to admit they've made a horrible mistake. Look at a one year stock price chart of RHAT v NOVL http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=1y&s=RHT&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=novl [yahoo.com]

Sure SuSE can claim some client wins. So can Red Hat, as their current agreements with Amazon show. That sort of thing is annecdotal noise. Novell's earning per share haven't changed a cent from four quarters ago, as stated in SEC filings. They're exactly what they were a year ago, when the agreement was made. Red Hat's are up 17%. In your words, "Know that."

BTW, in the reference you cite, the *only* specific technology that was mentioned by name was Microsoft's User Interface Automation specification. Which the article went on to say, "The Redmond giant added that it will not assert any patents necessary to implement the specification against anyone, regardless of platform, in the open source and proprietary software communities." So amongst the corporate PR platitudes, the only specific item mentioned provides no business advantage to SuSE.

Yes, this agreement probably will continue. Until SuSE's board come to their senses. It hasn't been good for Linux or SuSE's investors. The only winner has been Microsoft. IOW, it's been the same story as the vast majority of all partnerships with Microsft.

The point? (1)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303755)

What's the point of publishing stories about "the deal" over and over again?

Does anyone really expect some discussion to this story that hasn't already be repeated gazillion times before?

Does this story have anything significant that other stories about "the deal" don't have?

It has made Microsoft the largest Linux OEM (5, Interesting)

WGR (32993) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303903)

I was talking to a Novell sales support person this evening. I asked him what the effect had been of the Novell/Microsoft deal and he replied that Microsoft is now Novell's biggest OEM partner, he said that Microsoft have sold ~60,000 SUSE licenses with support, at about $5,000 each. $300 million is not a laughing matter.

Microsoft has realized that there are some things that Linux does better than Windows, especially in the server area, and wanted to guarantee a piece of the action. So far they seem to have succeeded. Novell gets the support business, Microsoft gets to keep a customer..

Re:It has made Microsoft the largest Linux OEM (1)

VENONA (902751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21305049)

Here are the last four quarters of Novell revenue, as per SEC filings, in Ugly Slashdot Table Format:

Q4 2006 Q1 2007 Q2 2007 Q3 2007
10/31/06 01/31/07 04/30/07 07/31/07
244,905 224,596 463,752 243,135 (in thousands)

Notice the Q2 '07 pop. This must have been when Microsoft paid up. But that income wasn't recognized as the usual license, maintenance, subscription, etc. fees that show up in the quarterly reports as "Total net revenue." Those numbers (in thousands) for the past few quarters are:

Q1/06 242,294
Q2/06 193,086
Q3/06 236,271
Q4/06 244,905
Q1/07 244,905
Q2/07 197,433
Q3/07 243,135

In short, they're doing pretty much as they were doing before the Microsoft deal. Including losses from operations, quarter after quarter. All of this is indicative of why NOVL is a $7 stock. Their management team simply isn't up to it.

All of this is in Novell's quarterly reports at: http://www.novell.com/company/ir/qresults/ [novell.com]

Also, when this story broke back in February,"...Microsoft will annually purchase as part of a resale arrangement approximately 70,000 coupons, with a mix of priority and standard support, for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server maintenance subscriptions." See "Microsoft and Novell: Fox marries chicken, both move into henhouse" at: http://blogs.zdnet.com/Gardner/index.php?p=2369 [zdnet.com]

So once a year Novell can get a revenue pop, but it looks as if they've been unable to translate this into service agreements that *aren't* through Microsoft. Certainly not to the point of remotely compensating for the damage they've done to themselves in the community. If they can't succeed in that, (and we don't know what percentage of those 70K coupons are actually being used) then Microsoft has a potentially large amount of control over Novell's bottom line.

Given Novell's lack of growth, I imagine some investors are unhappy anyway. Novell are about a $1.2B/yr company. If MS were to threaten to take their revenue down 20-30% when this agreement expires in 2012, which they could do simply by allowing the agreement to lapse, I wonder just what they might force Novell to go along with?

MS has a history of treating 'partners' the way we'd treat a Kleenex, and of some very unethical business practices. It doesn't take much imagination to come up with a couple of ways this could end in tears. If it's only Novell doing the weeping, I could care less. They knew the history of partnering with Microsoft when they did the deal. But I don't trust Microsoft at all, and now I don't trust Novell, either, due to them having done the deal to begin with, and now as a possible hostage.

Re:It has made Microsoft the largest Linux OEM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21305273)

Note that Novell really doesn't make any money from Linux -- most of that revenue is still from NetWare and directory products. Something > Nothing.

mod UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21304327)

ballots. You coul3 1. Therefore it's

Heterogenous environments? (1)

MacColossus (932054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21304733)

Most heterogenous environments include Macs. We are still on Netware 6.5 due to lack of AFP support in OES 1 or 2. Our options will be to migrate to something else as Netware is EOL and will not be supported in the future by hardware vendors. . Why would we move to OES? If we are moving to SMB or NFS mounts we won't go with something that has a more complicated directory service. We will use Apple's built in Active Directory support and use DirXML to migrate to Windows server, Go with Mac OS X Server, or move to Open LDAP on Linux. The last two are especially appealing when you look at client access costs in comparison to Microsoft or Novell servers.

The only difference it has made... (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21305247)

is that I have moved from SuSE to RedHat.

When Microsoft are /still/ FUDding Linux in their advertising, they're not helping shit. Novell gave them a blank cheque to carry on when they signed up. This carries on, I'm going back to RISC OS.
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