"Novell on Mar. 1 announced preliminary financial results for its 2007 fiscal year first quarter, showing net revenue of USD 230 million. The first quarter's revenue represented a decline of USD 12 million, or about 5 percent, from the prior year's first quarter revenue of USD 242 million. Despite the unexceptional overall results during the first fiscal quarter 2007, however, Novell reported USD 15 million of revenue from Linux Platform Products, up 46 percent year-over-year, and USD 91 million of invoicing, up a whopping 659 percent year-over-year. Linux - make no doubt about it - is Novell's future."
Novell and Ximian Archive
Novell will continue its march against Microsoft and any uptake of Vista despite a recent alliance with the software giant. "We're excited by the muted reaction to Vista," Ron Hovsepian, Novell president and CEO, told the media at a breakfast meeting in Sydney today. "We're going to attack vigorously and go after their footprint as much as we can," Hovsepian said.
The Free Software Foundation is reviewing Novell's right to sell new versions of Linux operating system software after the open-source community criticized Novell for teaming up with Microsoft. "The community of people wants to do anything they can to interfere with this deal and all deals like it. They have every reason to be deeply concerned that this is the beginning of a significant patent aggression by Microsoft," Eben Moglen, the Foundation's general counsel, said on Friday. Update: The FSF claims this is being hyped.
When Novell and Microsoft announced their unlikely partnership, a part of the arrangement that got little attention at the time was that they'd create a joint research facility, where both company's technical experts would collaborate on new joint software solutions. Now, they're staffing up.
Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores is contracting with Microsoft and Novell - Microsoft's preferred Linux partner - to build out the company's Web operations, according to a Wal-Mart executive. On Tuesday, Microsoft and Novell are expected to announce that Wal-Mart is the latest customer to purchase both Microsoft software and support certificates for Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server.
Novell might have signed a patent and interoperability deal with Microsoft Corp but it is not about to give up competing with the software giant and last week released a study that suggests its Linux desktop product is better value than Windows Vista. The company's competitive guide compares SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop with Windows Vista and claims that the Linux product provides 90% of Vista's functionality and 10% of the price.
Novell has begun a new element of a years-long effort to coax people away from Windows and toward Linux. It unveiled a Web site Friday that touts purported advantages that Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 has over Windows Vista. The site includes a white paper making the case, a variety of customers who have opted to use the software, and a video arguing that SLED has good usability and a built-in office suite but not Windows' lock-in and high licensing costs.
"Did the Microsoft-Novell deal really have anything in it to promote interoperability? What's next for Samba? Should we call it "GNU/Solaris"? What's the first rule of Google? And what goes in your .burritorc file? We ask the only person who can answer all." Note that the first linked page starts playing the podcast immediately.
Novell's controversial pact with Microsoft reflects the desire of the number two Linux seller to position itself as a mixed-source company. Speaking to ZDNet Asia last week, Maarten Koster, the newly-appointed president of Novell Asia-Pacific, noted that the company positions itself in the market differently from its rivals. "You've got Red Hat as a pure open source company, and you've got Microsoft as a license-based company," Koster said. "The reality is, most Novell customers run a mixed-source IT environment."
Jeremy Allison (of Samba fame) has resigned from Novell in protest over the Microsoft-Novell patent agreement, which he calls 'a mistake' which will be 'damaging to Novell's success in the future'. His main issue with the deal, though, is "that even if it does not violate the letter of the licence, it violates the intent of the GPL licence the Samba code is released under, which is to treat all recipients of the code equally." He leaves the company at the end of this month.
"I had more than 1 year of time to think about my future and came to the conclusion that the thing I'm most interested in still is Linux." During an exclusive interview to Data Manager Online and pc-facile, SuSe co-founder confirms, after he left one year ago, he's back at Novell since early December.
The first fruit of the recently announced Novell/Microsoft interoperability agreement arrived on Dec. 4, with Novell's announcement that its version of the OpenOffice productivity suite will now support the Microsoft Office Open XML format. The release candidate of Novell's modified version of OpenOffice.org 2.02 is now available for Windows for free download by registered Novell users.
"OrangeCrate is pleased to announce an interview with Justin Steinman, Director of Marketing for Novell. Novell has announced a major deal with Microsoft in the last few weeks that has caused some in the community to question the validity of the deal announced, and has already been characterized by Microsoft as somehow verifying that Linux violates Microsoft's intellectual property. While I disagree with that statement from Steve Ballmer, I do understand that it is only fitting to offer Novell the chance to speak directly to the questions we all want addressed."
Novell on Nov. 30 announced its latest NetWare upgrade operating system, the Linux-powered Novell Open Enterprise Server 2. OES, which will be based on Novell's SLES 10, is designed to be a drop-in replacement for Novell NetWare servers, and a direct competitor to Microsoft's Server 2003.
In a posting to the Hula mailing list, Novell has stated that it is no longer providing full-time developers to work on Hula. Hula was unleashed in February 2005 to much fanfare. Things seem to have been quite recently, despite the news that iFolder and Hula would be combined into something called Maui.
Novell and Microsoft recently entered into an agreement regarding software patents (really?) that betrays the rest of the Free Software community, including the very people who wrote Novell's own system, for Novell's sole financial beneift, according to Bruce Perens. Join Perens in signing an open letter to Novell's CEO Ron Hovsepian. "As the agreement stands today, it betrays the authors of the software you re-market and their users worldwide for Novell's sole commercial benefit."
Novell's CEO on Monday issued a letter to the open-source community disputing Microsoft's contention that Linux infringes on Microsoft patents.
"Novell is not SCO. Novell is not the great anti-GPL. Get over it. I'm getting a little tired of the constant Novell-bashing. Do I think that Novell made a smart long term move by partnering up with Microsoft? No, I don't. For the record, the only software company that I can think of that has ever partnered with Microsoft and done well is Citix Systems. And, they did it by acting as if they were a branch of Microsoft. That is not, I repeat not, the case with Novell. What Novell is doing is a smart, short-term move. Novell makes a great Linux, but it's not been making great gains to go with it."
Microsoft will pay Novell USD 348 million up front, but Novell will return USD 200 million of that amount over five years. The specific numbers came in an a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made by Novell late Tuesday. "The financial commitments Microsoft is making as part of this agreement are significant," company CEO Ron Hovsepian said in a statement. In related news, Microsoft has denied that its patent deal with Novell is in breach of the GPL or will automatically spread Microsoft's patent protection to other Linux distributions.
"Often cast as the peacemaker in free software disputes, Bruce Perens is on the warpath. When we caught up with him, he wasn't in a mood to be charitable to Novell. On Friday the Utah company, which markets the SuSE Linux distribution, revealed that it was entering into a partnership with Microsoft. Redmond would pay Novell an undisclosed sum in return for Novell recognizing Microsoft's intellectual property claims. Novell received a 'Covenant' promising that it wouldn't be sued by Microsoft."It's a case of 'Damn the people who write the software'", he told us. "Novell is in a desperate position - it has a smaller share of the market than Debian,"" he told The Register. Update: Novell responds to community's questions: here, here and here. Update 2: Havoc Pennington's take.