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Microsoft Paid Novell $356 Million in '07

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the mere-pocket-change dept.

Linux Business 147

Anonymous writes "At the end of this piece at Channelweb.com, it's reported that Microsoft paid Novell $355.6 million last year as part of their 'interoperability' deal. It's no small wonder, then, that Novell executives are saying the deal has been a huge success so far."

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what did Novell give in return? (5, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873582)

their soul?

Re:what did Novell give in return? (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873598)

not sure if a corporation can have a soul, but you really have to wonder. Novell didn't have any single instance of *anything* on the books that they could get that kind of money for if it wasn't associated with unix/linux somehow. It certainly wasn't netware licenses :)

Re:what did Novell give in return? (1)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873614)

what about mono?

Re:what did Novell give in return? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21873814)

Details on how to make a stable OS!

Re:what did Novell give in return? (4, Insightful)

jafoc (1151405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874192)

I can't help but think of the claims by Novell's Miguel de Icaza [kdedevelopers.org] that "OOXML is a superb standard" and Novell's further support for OOXML. (For example, they joined the national standardization committee in Switzerland and probably also other countries and voted in favor of OOXML without having previously participated in the technical discussion of the specification's serious shortcomings.)

Re:what did Novell give in return? (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874860)

sounds like novell gave their soul to microsoft to me...

Re:what did Novell give in return? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21875430)

Miguel has been a Microsoft fanboy for a long time before this deal. And I'm not one to use the term "fanboy" lightly: he seems like a dizzy schoolgirl when it comes to them.

Re:what did Novell give in return? (1)

mjasay (1141697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875370)

There is no positive way to see this for the industry. Long term, it's even bad for Novell. Novell has become a vassal to Microsoft [cnet.com] - it can claim to be independent, but when 1/3 of Novell's revenue comes from its top competitor, there is no way it can make independent decisions. It depends on Microsoft for all of its profits, I'd be willing to bet. Sadly, the minute that Microsoft views Novell as a threat, it will simply turn off the spigot and Novell will die. Novell needs to find independent means to grow its business beyond Microsoft.

Re:what did Novell give in return? (1)

VON-MAN (621853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875428)

Soul?
What's that then?

Re:what did Novell give in return? (2, Funny)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876332)

I think it's the underside of their foot, and judging by the look of it, they've stepped in something rather unpleasant....

Hey, don't knock it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21876756)

Hey, don't knock companies which bend over for Uncle Bill's hot cash injection. It seemed to have worked out pretty well for Slashdot's darling Apple.

And heck, 99.999% of Slashdotters don't even remember it happened, and 100% will deny it anyway.

Customers? (4, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873600)

It'd be interesting to see if the money they got from their customers in '07 equals or exceeds that number.

If it doesn't, I'd think they have a somewhat skewed and short-sighted definition of success. Me, I'd call it getting paid off.

NASDAQ:NOVL Total Revenue (4, Informative)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873720)

It'd be interesting to see if the money they got from their customers in '07 equals or exceeds that number.

Novell, Inc. ( NASDAQ:NOVL ) reported total revenue of $932.5 million dollars for the year to October 2007.

http://finance.google.com/finance?fstype=ii&q=NOVL/ [google.com]

Re:NASDAQ:NOVL Total Revenue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874066)

And isn't this $356M part of that total revenue? If so, a third of their income came from Microsoft. That's a bit suspicious.

Re:NASDAQ:NOVL Total Revenue (2, Insightful)

balloonhead (589759) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874252)

What proportion of Mozilla's income is from Google via Firefox searchbar?

If it is more than a third,is this also suspicious?

Re:NASDAQ:NOVL Total Revenue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874302)

The minus sign in front makes it less suspicious.

Re:NASDAQ:NOVL Total Revenue (0, Troll)

bignetbuy (1105123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876836)

Don't try to divert attention. Nobody was talking about Mozilla.

Re:NASDAQ:NOVL Total Revenue (1, Offtopic)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 6 years ago | (#21877258)

It's hardly diverting attention. It's calling on the fact that Mozilla receives a large portion of its funds revenue from a corporate entity aswell, and probably receives a larger share than just one-third and yet only Novell is being criticised.

Re:NASDAQ:NOVL Total Revenue (1)

cow ninja (306125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876918)

What exactly are you suspicious of?

Re:NASDAQ:NOVL Total Revenue (3, Interesting)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874270)

That $932M is revenue (gross receipts). Their gross profit was $672M, and overall they reported a LOSS of $44M for the year.

Re:NASDAQ:NOVL Total Revenue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874670)

Since we don't know how their recognizing the revenue, the more interesting number is cash flow, where they reflect a "change in working capital" of $399 million. Which means almost every dollar of their capital funding in the last 12 months came from MS cash infusions. Novell actually lost 48 million on investment projects, and would be in a pretty poor operating capital position with out the MS money.

Follow the numbers -- it really looks like Novell would be risking bankruptcy without Microsoft's money. That might not have been the worst thing for the rest of the market, of course, but it certainly would have been the worst possible case for Novell.

Re:NASDAQ:NOVL Total Revenue (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876360)

kinda sounds like SCO and how Microsoft not only paid them directly(licensing UNIX) but also actively went out and obtained millions in investment capital from BayStar and others. SCO was running out of money and then Microsoft helped them out.

Sounds alot like Novell. Microsoft has been good at using its cash like this in the past so it's no surprise. Now Novell goes under will be what's interesting here and who gets the UNIX rights.

LoB
 

Re:Customers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21875318)

What's wrong with MS being their "customer"?

Don't trust them (4, Insightful)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873610)

It illustrates that Novell can no longer be trusted to push Linux technologies beyond that which is offered by Microsoft.

Re:Don't trust them (5, Insightful)

Idiot with a gun (1081749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873620)

Personally, I didn't trust them the moment they made the deal with Microsoft. It showed more of an interest towards their own pocket books than the software or their users. Unlike Red Hat, which promised to protect their customers, and change any infringing code, and Canonical, which I believe offered the same for *buntu users.

Re:Don't trust them (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874398)

Uh... Novell also promised to protect their customers and change any infringing code.

But guess what? "Changing infringing code" only works for copyrighted code, not code infringing a patent.

Lern2clue.

Re:Don't trust them (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874548)

If a patent can be worked around, then changing the infringing code would be exactly the way to do it.

Re:Don't trust them (4, Insightful)

DMoylan (65079) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873752)

> Don't trust them

i actually pity them. been partners of any sort with ms just seems to be the kiss of death.

Re:Don't trust them (0, Troll)

simscitizen (696184) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875686)

Yep, that Microsoft investment in the late '90s has really sunk Apple...

Re:Don't trust them (5, Insightful)

slyn (1111419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873774)

They've done a lot of the work towards the FOSS drivers for the ATI cards, including recently releasing V1.10 of the RadeonHD adding support for the 3850 and 3870, as well as release 10.3 of OpenSuse, and (AFAIK) have continued business as usual since the MSFT agreement.

Novell at the moment may not be the most faithful to the GNU ideals at the moment, but I wouldn't go as far as to say that Novell "can no longer be trusted".

Re:Don't trust them (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21873958)

Novell at the moment may not be the most faithful to the GNU ideals at the moment, but I wouldn't go as far as to say that Novell "can no longer be trusted".


Well, while I could agree on the substance (after all they haven't done anything against Linux and the FOSS community yet), still their deal with MS stinks: usually when a big corporation like MS sees something interesting in a much smaller one, they buy it with all assets, embrace some products and/or kill the competing ones.
Not this time, though: MS made a deal whose details are still secret and let Novell keep its appearance of pro-Linux-OSS company.
Novell didn't need MS money, but they got it and as a result the company will grow to the point they will be forced to continue to get money from Microsoft. At this point they're pwned because, as a Microsoft property, every single move will be directed to please Microsoft. That's the reason we cannot trust Novell anymore.

Re:Don't trust them (3, Informative)

jafoc (1151405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874220)

after all they haven't done anything against Linux and the FOSS community yet

That is not true.

For example, their active support for Microsoft's attack on the ODF standard can IMO only be seen as an aggression against the FOSS community.

Re:Don't trust them (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873946)

Upon hearing of the Novell-M$ "interoperability" deal I promptly switched all my SUSE machines to Debian [debian.org] GNU/Linux, and it works great.

Re:Don't trust them (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875400)


Same here. There was only one, mind you, but we did it.

Re:Don't trust them (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874130)

Personally I trust them much more than before.
They are the only behaving like a corp should and not playing stupid ideologist games.

Someone please!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874376)

Tag this newsstory "animalfarm"... :-/

But hey, let's be optimistic. If such revenues increase they might buy Microsoft out...

What do the SUSE people think of this? (1)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873618)

I used to know some really rabid SUSE fans a few years ago. They would go on and on about how it was the best distro and great YaST was. I haven't heard anything from them in a while. I can only imagine what their opinion on the last year is.

Re:What do the SUSE people think of this? (2, Interesting)

j_sp_r (656354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873686)

As long it's a great distro (OpenSuse) I don't see any problem using it. Novel made Yast open source btw, something SUSE never did.

Re:What do the SUSE people think of this? (1)

whatevah (1130459) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873910)

Obviously you didn't know more than... 2?
Professionally and for my pleasure I still choose anything Novell.
All the suse fans I knew are still suse fans and no, they are not
drinking the Ubuntu kool-aid. Everything else you say is typical
slashdot talk of someone who doesn't know how business works and
typically lives in a basement. So please don't do it.
cheers and Happy a new year!!!

Re:What do the SUSE people think of this? (5, Insightful)

malkavian (9512) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874020)

Actually, I think it's a whole non-issue at the moment, until the waters are less muddy, and only time will tell that.
For interoperability, Novell SLES is pretty pleasant. I work for the NHS in the UK, and moving hospitals away from being almost pure Windows is not an easy thing. SLES fills a lot of niches that Windows currently fills (file server, database platform et.), for a fraction of the cost. One of the things I'm working on is to make greater use of SLES. And if you point to Red Hat, and say "Well, they do the same product, except they're more idealistic", Red Hat don't have a current deal with the NHS (where Novell do, and provide fantastic pricing).
Couple that with eDirectory, Identity Manager etc. and you've got a lovely heterogenous infrastructure to play with.
I like Novell. Yes, they took money from the Beast. However, the Beast is currently being watched very carefully, and has a lot of other (probably unexpected) battles to fight.
I tend to run Ubuntu and Debian for home use (and quick build servers/firewalls). But in business, you need to bring a lot of other factors in. And for something the size of the NHS, alas, you can't always choose the idealistic route. Pragmatism and practicality are large factors.
As long as SLES keeps on being a great product, performing well, and being a really low cost product (for a commercially supported enterprise grade OS), I'll keep on using it.

Re:What do the SUSE people think of this? (2, Interesting)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874430)

I expect some Marketing Drone in Microsoft is at this moment cooking up their next FUD Campaign around the theme that SUSE is 'sort of ok' if you really, really have to use something other than our fantastic Windows products.
As far as at least one Microsoft Account manager I know, if they absolutely have to lose a sale to Linux, then it had better be to Novell/SUSE than the devil incarnate called RedHat.

IMHO, SLES/SLED is just different enough from RHEL/Fedora that I get frustrated when I have to make changes to root level config scripts etc just for SUSE. sort of like having to code web pages specifically for IE.

And even though, I normally prefer a GNOME desktop but with more bits of it being written using MONO, I am getting more and more uneasy about using it for the long term. I do think there is a risk from Microsoft getting tough about licensing with MONO etc.

Re:What do the SUSE people think of this? (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875708)

actually, i've had some experience with both sles and rhel.
i started with sles, so i might be slightly biased here, but there are several areas where i feel sles is better than rhel.

from usability viewpoint, yast, with all its problems, seems to be much better than rhel offerings.
first, yast is a pretty centralised system for configuring things, which feel much better than system-config-something modules that can't even be launched from a single location, as far as i know.
second, yast offers more modules.
third, a LOT of modules in rhel are unusable in console - which is the thing one should be interested in servers.

from functionality viewpoint, i've seen the biggest difference in autoinstallation systems. autoyast is so much better than kickstart, it is a bit surprising. for example, generating an autoinstallation profile from an already installed system in sles can be nicely done (even taking into account a bug here and there ;) ), but doesn't seem to be possible for rhel.

package management - yum in rhel5 is quite nice, but darn things suck in rhel4. and rhel4 is still required by quite some software packages...

oh, and then there's the thing that as a kde user i feel rhel being gnome-centric is a drawback ;)

regarding mono usage, that abomination should be given back to miguel. one thing is gnome contaminations, but sles has several things developed on it (yuck), like enterprise novel stuff - so there are some disturbing trends in sles development as well.

Re:What do the SUSE people think of this? (1)

azenpunk (1080949) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876578)

in the late 9.x versions Suse had the best game in my opinion. their repositories were much larger than mandrakes, ubuntu wasn't around (or hadn't matured yet), it was an easier install than fedora, and it just ran really well. the package management in mandrake wasn't laid out as well either. but with the 10.x versions they've lost some ground. they've changed the backend to the package management and broke it in one version, it was advised to switch to Smart, which i could not stand, and i've had some major issues with installation on my machine with 10.3. so far i've kept it but only after running a cat5 to my router and putting a rug over it as getting my wireless card to work has been hopeless (well, 'keeping' it running would be more accurate), partly due to the first kernel update failing to update the sources as well so i was unable to compile new drivers for it.

so i agree that a while ago suse had the best 'friendly' linux distro out of all the ones i tried, but the only reason i keep them now is their repositories are just vast. of course this also means it takes longer for the package manager to fire up as it has to get info from more repositories.

all of these changes do seem to coincide with their deal with microsoft too. anyways i dont pay real close attention, so grain of salt and all that.

(running opensuse 10.3 for i386 on an amd64 athlon)

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21873650)

How much did Novell pay Microsoft in other areas though?

356 Million? (1)

Sadsfae (242195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873656)

And I all I got was this lousy T-Shirt?

Two ways to control corporations (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873678)

there are two ways to control corporations:

1. government regulations
2. free market competition

in a Free Society the government is supposed to be for The People. and it should act as an arbiter of fairness in respect to the above, insuring that access to the market is available to entrepreneurs, and that monopolies do not form, either in fact or by collusion

the above sounds like a Pretty Tall Order. But We the People do have all the legal authority necessary to insure that we do have a proper Free Society. It all starts with the Freedom of Speech and Assembly as the reader will note that to make use of their legal authority to control the government the people must act collectively

to act collectively requires communications, leadership, and organization.

in our world today we have better communication than ever, by means of electronic technology. the latter elements are often manipulated by demagogues

Re:Two ways to control corporations (2, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873730)

in a Free Society the government is supposed to be for The People. and it should act as an arbiter of fairness in respect to the above, insuring that access to the market is available to entrepreneurs, and that monopolies do not form, either in fact or by collusion

Unfortunately, it's the government itself, through patents and copyrights, which is acting to perpetuate the existing monopolies.


A fair society shouldn't have the current intellectual property laws. Patents shouldn't be given to processes and methods, only to specific mechanisms. Copyrights shouldn't be given to trade secrets, only to open publications. No copyrights for executable code, unless the source code is also provided. No coprights for copy-protected material, because if you use DRM you don't need the protection of the law.


Re:Two ways to control corporations (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873886)

Unfortunately, it's the government itself, through patents and copyrights, which is acting to perpetuate the existing monopolies.

A fair society shouldn't have the current intellectual property laws.


patents and copyrights are what entice entrepreneurs to make improvements in our circumstances. the protection of intellectual property is literally "the lamp by the golden door" .

our protection of intellectual property is one of the elements that has made us the prosperous society that we are

Re:Two ways to control corporations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874226)

It's also the hammer that corporations will use to beat us all back into non-prosperous serfdom.

Re:Two ways to control corporations (4, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874320)

"patents and copyrights are what entice entrepreneurs to make improvements"

So, let me tell you about this opensource thing...

"our protection of intellectual property is one of the elements that has made us the prosperous society that we are"

Our 'protection' of intellectual 'property' has kept us as far less prosperous society than we could have been.

Competition is what drives innovation and the evolution of technology. Handing out intellectual monopolies slows that innovation and evolution. Protecting someone from competition makes them slow and inefficient; to realize exactly how inefficient you just need to look at the former Soviet state-run businesses, or other state-protected monopolies in the west.

Just imagine the world we'd be living in today, had technology been allowed to develop competetively. Imagine the medicines we'd have if 'protected' pharmacorps couldnt spend 80% of their revenue on administration and marketing. Imagine the operating systems we'd have if most of the resources spent on them didnt get tied up in a single company that cant even produce a product better than their last one after six years (nevermind being outevolved by a rag-tag bunch of companies and individuals working in a _competetive segment_ with _unprotected_ software).

Patents and copyrights are a blight upon the economy and upon innovation.

about "open source thing" (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876554)

open source projects are predicated on an agreement to share work

and that is OK, -- anyone can agree to place their work in the public domain -- or to reserve a copyright. that is up to the original authors

but that has no bearing on the fact that the availability of patent and copyright protections have served to help provide financial incentives for the development of many good works

the absence of such protection is a dis-incentive to spending capital on research and development

and no, you and John Lennon may not "borrow" my "ink pen" and just adopt it while singing "imagine no possessions"

Re:Two ways to control corporations (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876590)

Please separate patents from copyright.
Copyright is "I did this, do something different yourself", sounds fair enough.
Patents is "I do or don't do this, but nobody else does it".

Even patents aren't evil by themselves but seeing the current state of affairs I prefer them to be unenforceable. Less people being pushed to innovate by patents is better than not being able to use the double linked list.

Re:Two ways to control corporations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21876768)

Patents protects original methods for achieving an end. Patents allow the holder to decide who can and cannot use said method. If anything, patents encourage competition to invest in the R&D necessary to derive a new way of attaining a goal.

Conversely patent rights to not forbid a third party from deriving a means to use a patented means to achieve a separate end, and patenting the result. The jist of it is that it pushes innovation, unless you're of the mind that duplication equals innovation, in which case I'd advise looking up 'innovation' a bid more thoroughly, your definition of it appears to be skewed.

People just don't bother looking up which methods are patented, nor asking permission from the holder until they're smacked by an infringement notice, in spite of the fact that patents and patent information is publicly available. That's not a failing on behalf of the patent system, it's a failing on behalf of the developer.

And copyright? Copyright at least in Canada is designed to retain the moral rights of whomever produced a creative work. It's the right to decide who can an cannot copy, distribute and modify a creative work (there's a world beyond code), and to impose limitations on a third party's ability to do either, if such is deemed necessary. Such a decision is one that belongs completely to the person who created a work, and not to any third party, nor should it. You put your blood sweat and tears into bringing something out of your mind and into this world, you have every right to decide who can and cannot copy/distribute/modify/butcher it.

Claiming that copyright slows innovation is like claiming that plagarism is innovation. Yes, plagarism. That's what copyright in designed to protect against. It's designed to protect people who put in the time and effort, put in the blood sweat ad tears to make something be, and people who invest the money into R&D, and the people who DO the R&D, from, say some third party coming along and just appropriating the fruits of the first party's labours. It's what prevents thir parties from bypassing the R&D an just taking the final product and undercutting the first party. It might be good for the economy, but it's dirty, it's bullshit, and it removes any inscentive to do something innovative. Lets say you spent two years writing a novel, then upon completion, it's appropriated by someone else, well, copyright is what prevents that.

Further there's the utterly blind hipocricy of FOSS people ranting about copyright given that the only reason the GPL is legally binding is because it's a copyright, and abides by copyright law. Stallman ca fancy it up and call it copyleft all he wants (the play on words isn't even all that clever), but it's still copyright. It uses the laws that ensure a person retains the moral right to their creation, the right to decide who can distribute/copy/modify their creations. And that's precisely what it does; gives people the right to copy/modify/distribute a creative work, as long as contiditions X, Y, and Z are met, and with limitations and restrictions A, B, and C. It's copyright, and use of it both supports copyright law, and removes one's ability to condemn copyrights in general. Just like someone who didn't vote, forfeits their right to complain, people who call for the abolition of copyright, yet use copyright in lieu of public domain.

Re:Two ways to control corporations (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874568)

I would've agreed with you when computer programs didn't have the triple threat of copyright (on the binary and source), trade secret (for the source code), and patents (for the algorithms). The fact that copyright has been extended to ... basically forever doesn't help my opinion of it. Bring back limits, and I'm right there with you.

Re:Two ways to control corporations (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873816)

The "People" don't need to control the government. The people are the government, that's what democracy (or representational democracy) is all about. Get involved with the political process, work on campaigns, talk to your representatives, vote. Don't just complain about it in Us versus Them terms.

The People are the Government (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873962)

hardly

the government is a huge, out of control bureaucracy

the people by fiat have representatives who do have the authority to alter the government in any desired manner. but this mechanism is de facto controlled by ?

= ? = what do you need to get yourself elected? what does anyone need to get elected?

==> name recognition

= ? = how do you get name recognition ?

answering these questions to yourself *honestly* will help

A third way . . . (1)

jbengt (874751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874596)

3. Unfair competition
4. Moral/ethical pressure
5. Union actions
6. Fraud
7. Monpoly manipulation

Full Service? (3, Funny)

themoneyish (971138) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873682)

Did Novell provide Full Service? Greek? Microsoft, were you happy the encounter? If yes, I have my wallet ready.

Re:Full Service? (5, Funny)

negated (981743) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873862)

Well, if you do pay, make sure you wear a rubber. You don't want to pick up DRM or WGA from that skank.

-S

Re:Full Service? (1)

whatevah (1130459) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873954)

No they still don't provide support for the Greek language(I am from Greece).
And of course I m kidding.
BTW in Greece what you call "greek", we call turkish(actually Ottomanian)

And RedHat has lots of government contracts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21873700)

Redhat has lots of government and telco contracts, does that mean that we can't trust them either? Because who is a bigger threat Microsoft or the NSA?

Re:And RedHat has lots of government contracts. (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874038)

Because who is a bigger threat Microsoft or the NSA?

Microsoft.

  1. The reason the NSA has become a threat to individuals is because corporations like AT&T and Microsoft collaborate with them to betray their customers.
  2. The current government in the USA is driven by lobbyists from companies like Microsoft. The goals of the government and its agencies, including the NSA, are generated from corporate agendas. Threats to Microsoft profits have become threats to the nation.

Re:And RedHat has lots of government contracts. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874216)

Redhat has lobbyists too.

Re:And RedHat has lots of government contracts. (1)

Bravoc (771258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874296)

Yea, but Microsoft throws money about. There's a big difference between "here's a really cool sport water bottle with our logo on it" and "heres a big bag of money/drugs/power/cars/boats"

I know a little about the workings inside Red Hat - they won't spend anything on anything, employees, hardware, advertising, nothing. I doubt they would extend anything substantive to influence public policy.

Was blackmail involved? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21873734)

Many of us suspect that Microsoft is behind SCO. Could it be that Novell somehow has Microsoft over a barrel?

It may be that Novell hasn't sold its soul at all. It is really hard to see that Microsoft got any value for its money.

Re:Was blackmail involved? (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876434)

businesses and the press are discussing and worried about MSFT IP in Linux. Microsoft is getting what they paid for. The fact that it cost them a few hundred million is insigificant. Look, Microsoft has already been willing to spend/lose 10's of billions to just make sure the market in handheld OS's is not dominated by another( namely Palm ). They've been willing to do the same with the game console market.

Like I said, spending a few hundred million on getting businesses and the press to think Linux and OSS are dangerous options legally is like spending a dime and getting Coke. It's noise but still there is satisfaction and the expected result. IMO.

LoB

GPL (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21873742)

Novell can be trusted as long as they use the GPL, since it is mostly incorruptible by its nature. If you start seeing them stray from the GPL, then you can start worrying.

MS paying for open radeonhd driver? (1)

anonieuweling (536832) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873746)

So it is perhaps MS that is paying for our open source radeonhd driver? See http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeonhd [x.org] ...

This is looking like what happened to Corel (5, Insightful)

1mck (861167) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873800)

Years ago Corel was developing WordPerfect for Linux, and the along come Microsoft, and gave them a huge sum of cash to cease all development of WP for Linux, and now look at where they are now...Novell is going to suddenly realize years down the road that they really did sell out, and there's no going back, and it's obvious that the owners of the company don't give 2 shits, so now Microsoft will find some way to weasel Linux from the world. Yay for interoperability...whatever the hell that means, and what is involved!

Re:This is looking like what happened to Corel (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874124)

Microsoft will find some way to weasel Linux from the world.


I certainly hope not

I think Ms is going to have to hurry unless they are ready to join Old Blue, in the Out to Pasture department

and the reason I say this is simply that the under-tow of sentiment that I'm sensing now against Ms. is essentially the same as what there was against Old Blue, Back in the Day.

Dissent started as a whisper, down the Halls of Academia. And grew louder, as voices picked it up in the Computer Room. And the End Results are now clearly apparent to all. Ms won and Old Blue is out to pasture.

not everything in the change was for the better

Ms has HORRIBLE security problems or perhaps I should argue that Ms lacks security at all

And Ms tries to monopolize the market which is not in the best interests of the consumers: We the People.

And so the effort to un-horn the Monster is well underway. Part of this effort is in Linux, Fedora, Ubantu, et.al. but I think the Solaris system is also a highly viable alternative that doesn't get enough attention

sometimes ideas take a while to catch hold

one idea that has come to the front of national attention however is identity theft. while this problem is not endemic to computers, nonetheless computers are, are seen as being, a significant aspect of the identify theft problem.

this issue will have a great deal of momentum and it will take a long time for the Public View of computer processing to change

but computers aren't going away, we know that. what is more likely then will be another "sea change" like the shift from Old Blue to Ms. In that Sea Change the desired outcome was RESPONSIVENESS.

this next time the main issue will be SECURITY

Openness will remain an issue for us Computer Cats but we will always have a niche. the Sea Change will go to the Corporation that can market a product that has CONVINCING security

and this will only be obtained by addressing the question of : who is authorized to provide programming updates?

==> Only the software OEM and only to their own products.

All software updates will have to be signed with registered digital signatures. we don't need x.509 certificates, just a digital PGP signature that can be verified with a trusted Authority will do the trick.

Re:This is looking like what happened to Corel (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876494)

you forgot that Corel was also paid off to dump their Corel Linux OS. That was sold to and/or became Xandros. Microsoft has a history of using its wealth to eliminate competitors and no government anti-trust cases have done anything to stop that. one would have thought that how Microsoft was found to be stuffing the ISO boards to get its proprietary MS OOXML file format passed as a standard, would have sparked some big anti-trust uproar. Nada, just a bunch of bloggers got noticed and a few articles were written on it. Same old One Microsoft Way and nothing being done to fight it but from the Linux/OSS crowd. Luckily, that crowd is growing quite large. Even with Microsoft's many attempts to shrink it.

LoB

So much for progress... (2, Interesting)

the saltydog (450856) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873818)

I thought that, in the IT world, progress was supposed to lower costs - witness many technology items that have gotten cheaper over the years. However, when it comes to anti-Linux FUD, it seems the price keeps going *up*.

Why is that?

"Future Periods"? (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873830)

Major Customers

No single customer accounted for more than 10% of our revenue in fiscal 2007, 2006, or 2005. During fiscal 2007, we received $355.6 million from Microsoft related to the Microsoft agreements discussed above, which is being recognized over future periods.
They received it but aren't recognizing it until later?! What does that mean exactly? Will it be passed on as bonuses to top execs and board members? It sounds like some sort of trick in reporting requirements. "We received a bunch of money, but we don't want to show that we're giving it to the people who made the deal... until later when no one is looking."

Can someone explain this wallstreet-ese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21873940)

ie received vs. recognized (see parent)

Re:Can someone explain this wallstreet-ese (3, Informative)

bgat (123664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874044)

There are many ways of accounting for income. Most individuals use "cash" accounting, which among other things means you pay taxes on your income in real-time, as you receive it. In contrast, many businesses use "accrual" accounting which is slightly more complicated but in summary gives them more flexibility on when to pay taxes on monies received--- and also prevents them from using one-off events to sway their tax burden unfairly. Standard stuff for corporations, nothing nefarious here.

In layman's terms, all Novell is saying is that "We received this huge influx of cash all at once, but the money doesn't represent income in the traditional sense. Thus, to prevent us using this number to misrepresent our actual earnings, we have to spread it out over several years."

It's not a tax trick - it's required by the SEC (3, Informative)

donutello (88309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875132)

Accrual accounting isn't a trick used to balance out taxes or any of the other stuff you mentioned. Accrual accounting is part of the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) and is required by the SEC. You don't recognize revenue until you actually expend the effort required to earn that revenue.

If you sell someone a 3-year contract which they pay you for upfront, you don't declare the money they gave you as income on this years balance sheet because you haven't incurred all the costs associated with that revenue yet. You prorate the income over the period of the contract and each year or quarter you recognize both the revenue and the cost associated with that contract on that year or quarters balance sheet. It's the only way to keep your balance sheet from grossly misstating your business situation.

Re:"Future Periods"? (2, Informative)

slashchuck (617840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873948)

Since it does not represent current year income, the income will be allocated over the number of years represented. Expenditures such as bonuses and other compensation, which may or may not be monetary, are never tied to specific income items. They could be recorded or buried as ordinary expenditures at any time.

Re:"Future Periods"? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874356)

It may be so that their stock doesn't do a rollercoaster as the show a 50% increase this year and then a ~50% decrease next year. If they spread it out over 10 years, then it just pads their bottom line a few percent.

Re:"Future Periods"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21874664)

I really miss the old days when those that commented on /. knew something, even anything at all, about that upon which they spoke.

Go back and read the MS agreement documents that were publically filed. Most of that money from MS was for certificates that MS can sell to customers. Those certificates are for subscriptions to SUSE Linux maintenance and support from Novell for either 1 or 3 years. Pretty much any software company that is public now accounts for subscription revenues by recognizing them over the life of the subscription. Hence, when MS sells a certificate to the customer, revenue recognition begins. Based on subscription length, the revenue is recognized at 1/12 or 1/36 of the value per month for the term of the subscription.

The "owners of the company" phrase in another post is another great example of comment without thought. Novell is a public company. It is "owned" by its shareholders.

Maybe /. needs an disclaimer acronym like Groklaw's IANAL (I am not a lawyer). Any ideas on how to shorten "I don't really know what I'm talking about but I like to see my comments online" to something practical?

Re:"Future Periods"? (1)

Mr. Sanity (1161283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874754)

Maybe /. needs an disclaimer acronym like Groklaw's IANAL (I am not a lawyer). Any ideas on how to shorten "I don't really know what I'm talking about but I like to see my comments online" to something practical?


Why put a disclaimer? 99.9% or more of all /. posts would need to include it.

Re:"Future Periods"? (2, Funny)

slashchuck (617840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876490)

Maybe /. needs an disclaimer acronym like Groklaw's IANAL (I am not a lawyer). Any ideas on how to shorten "I don't really know what I'm talking about but I like to see my comments online" to something practical?
"Anonymous Coward"

640k (4, Funny)

rgravina (520410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21873860)

Microsoft paid Novell $355.6 million last year

I would have thought 640k would be enough for anyone.

half baked, all boned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21873920)

that marijuana is illegal in the same country Microsoft is legally allowed to do whatever they want is pathetic. if your justice system is so high why can't I be?

Re:half baked, all boned (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875234)

Thats easy

You dont have enough $ to pay for your own laws.

I belive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21873956)

...it's called "blood money" in the Holy Bible.
The funny part is that Novell is fighting SCO who are/were financed by MS.

Patents? (2, Interesting)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874172)

Okay, so Microsoft tells that GNU/Linux (or is it just Linux?) has 253 (?) Microsoft patents and companies should pay for Microsoft for using that technology. BUT, Microsoft pays for Novell big amount of cash and it looks so silly, like Microsoft would be the one who is using 253 ideas of technology and is paying for those companies for using it ;-)

Re:Patents? (2, Interesting)

Locutus (9039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876798)

but they made sure that Novell also paid them some for each Suse Linux coupon Microsoft sells. But you got the just of it, Microsoft pays Novell because Microsoft says Linux has Microsofts IP. It's because it is all a plan to scare away business from Linux and just a step in the process.

In the 90's, Microsoft paid a UNIX company to do a port of MS Internet Explorer to HP and/or Solaris and they paid them well. Nobody wanted IE on UNIX but the reason for this was that this one company was a licensee of Microsofts Win32 source and Microsoft just quadrupled that fee to crush the other licensees. It was all part of a plan to get UNIX software companies to port their applications to Microsofts API's(Win32). Microsoft led them all to believe by moving to Win32, they could run their apps on both UNIX and Windows and therefore increase their customer base while only having one source code base. But once enough UNIX apps were ported, Microsoft ended that capability by massively increasing the fees it charged for the Win32 source. They just made sure that one company would still afford to license it so that monopoly anti-trust cases could not be brought against it. It worked.

Novell is but a pawn in Microsofts plan to stop progress of Linux and OSS in the marketplace. Good eye.

LoB

Hush-money (1)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874512)

This is hush-money to make sure Novell doesn't drag MS to court to find out what went on behind the curtains of the SCO show.

Where do I collect the money? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874542)

OK, I am willing enter into a non compete agreement with MSFT. Bill, where do I collect my money?

Oh, this is SO going on the list (1)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874606)

I've got a list of all the reasons Novell sucks now. I'm making a note here: "Huge success".

Re:Oh, this is SO going on the list (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876854)

For the good of all of us.
Except the ones who are dead.

Here's what Microsoft bought .... (2, Insightful)

Jerry (6400) | more than 6 years ago | (#21874692)

A "confession" by Ron Hovsepian that "Linux" contains Microsoft IP, even though Microsoft has yet to prove any infringements exist.

How? By paying Microsoft a ROYALTY for each copy of SLES that it sells Novell is making an implied statement that its distro contains MS IP.

Ballmer called the payments "an IP bridge". He could have said the payments were an admission of guilt.

Microsoft has a problem though. They've been claiming that Linux violates their IPs for several years now. The law requires that they inform infringers of the exact infringements so that damages can be mitigated. Microsoft has not done that.

 

Finally, an OSS house turns a profit (1)

ribond (149811) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875010)

Thanks MS!

Re:Finally, an OSS house turns a profit (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875462)

Interesting troll

Re:Finally, an OSS house turns a profit (1)

ribond (149811) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875490)

...was shooting for funny... :)

Maybe we have it all wrong? UNIX? (1)

RandomStyuf (1158481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21875150)

I am not an expert when it comes to the Novell-MS deal, and I am not an expert on the SCO case either, but what if they are connected? What I mean is this: maybe Microsoft aren't interested in Linux all that much, but they might have some IP that they licensed from SCO, and to avoid any problems with that they contacted Novell with the IP protection idea, seeing as they knew Novell was gonna win. Then the agreement could have evolved to also include other things, such as the whole Linux part that gets all the attention these days. Anyone have more details?

Microsoft's New Strategy? (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21876460)

Press Release

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has stated that he believes the Microsoft-Novell relationship has been a success for both parties but is just part one of a grand strategy to further cement Microsoft's dominance. Building on that success, Microsoft will now take that strategy to a whole new level: instead of just paying software vendors to not develop for Linux, Microsoft will now pay consumers to use Windows Vista. "It's a win-win for all of us." said CEO Ballmer.

Gardener analyst Robert Thompson agrees, "You want people to downgrade? You must pay."
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