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A Question About the Novell-Microsoft Deal
Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 07:44 AM EDT

I've been thinking about something for a few days now. It's about the latest Novell-Microsoft deal that was announced on August 20, where Microsoft agreed to buy another $100 million worth of vouchers from Novell. I was wondering: how come two public companies can make a deal that seems to me to be material and yet keep pieces of the deal secret?

We never did get all the details about the original deal from November of 2006 (Novell's 8K). And now there's this new one, which so far is only described in broad strokes. I wonder if we will be kept in the dark about some of its terms too? Isn't there supposed to be a filing within 10 days or so? How is the public to know whether to invest in either company, if we don't know what the deal's terms are with specificity? Are investors supposed to just guess?

Media accounts aren't consistent. For example, some, like Hiawatha Bray in the Boston Globe reported the new deal as a great win for Novell financially:

Microsoft resold $157 million of Novell's Linux licenses as of April, providing a major boost to Novell's revenues. In the second quarter of 2008, ended May 28, revenue for Novell's Linux business was up 31 percent from the previous year.

"Their billings are up quite a bit," said Al Gillen, an operating systems analyst at IDC Corp. in Framingham. "It's been good for Novell."

Others said it was a sign all is not well at Novell, since it has become reliant on an infusion of money from Microsoft, as Sam Varghese phrased it:

The extension of the deal indicates one thing - all the money which has been pumped into Novell so far is not yielding the returns which either company hoped for and it is now time to further subsidise SUSE Linux.

Yes, subsidise SUSE Linux. That is the main game from Microsoft's perspective - the subsidising of a GNU/Linux distribution which Microsoft is slowly infiltrating and trying to control. All this talk about interoperability is so much window (pun intended) dressing.

Which is it? I have no idea. And neither do you. Without reading the agreement, how can we know? Here's Eric Lai's description of how the deal has been playing out:

Microsoft sold $156 million worth of support vouchers within 18 months to customers such as Wal-Mart, HSBC Holdings, Renault, Southwest Airlines, BMW and others, according to Susan Hauser, general manager of strategic partnerships and licensing at Microsoft.

All told, about 100 companies have bought the subscription vouchers, with a "pretty good percentage" of them being new customers for Novell, said Susan Heystee, vice president and general manager for global strategic alliances at Novell.

Meanwhile, Hauser confirmed that some of the subscription vouchers were sold to customers for less than face value, though none were given away for free.

Though the deal has added to Novell's bottom line and helped make some inroads against market leader Red Hat Inc., Novell's revenue has risen only slightly since the deal was announced nearly two years ago, while its stock price is down slightly.

How much is "a pretty good percentage"? Is it $157 million or $158? And if the vouchers were sold for less than face value, what were they sold for? Do those figures, whichever is the correct figure, reflect the actual amount paid or the value if one ignored the sale? And who got the millions? Both Microsoft and Novell? Do they split the loot? If so, how? Do we never get to know everything? If the vouchers are being distributed in some kind of a fire sale, does Red Hat have a claim perhaps against Microsoft for deliberately destroying its market chances? At a minimum, is that not material information?

Do the new vouchers for services and support cover GPLv3 code? If they do, that's mighty significant, and in fact it could be vital to have that information if there were litigation someday. For that matter, I want to know if I can expect Microsoft to be investigated by the EU Commission or another astute regulatory body, because we've seen how penalties can affect the bottom line, even of Microsoft. Is the deal anticompetitive? For example, what if there were terms in the deal specifically targeting Red Hat, making it hard for the number one Linux distribution to survive? What if the whole point of it, in the end, is to hobble or even destroy Linux as we know it? Investors can be a cold and calculating bunch and they may not care, but they surely want to know what to expect. How can they know, if the agreement's terms are unknown and unknowable?

Datamation's Paul Rubens wonders, in fact, if the purpose of the entire deal, from Microsoft's perspective, is to scope out the enemy and to destroy Red Hat and then eventually stifle Linux itself:

But Microsoft will also get something else of value from the deal: a better idea of what its customers are up to when it comes to Linux. After all, it must dearly like to have a clear understanding of the areas in which its customers are abandoning Windows for Linux, why they are doing so, how much it costs and the difficulties they face. It's a case of heeding the advice of Chinese military strategist Sun-tzu: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."...

The deal has a darker side to it as well. Subsidies have a habit of distorting the market, and in this case it's Red Hat and other competitors to SLES that have to struggle against the advantage Microsoft's greenbacks give Novell. If Microsoft tries to use the knowledge it gains from customers to stifle the growth of Linux in the longer term then that's altogether more sinister.

Albeit not exactly surprising.

Obviously Novell must think, like so much Microsoft road kill before it, that it can prevail against Microsoft instead, once it gets a foot in the door to access Microsoft's customers and potential customers. Isn't it sad that the whole world expects Microsoft to play sinister games? But we do. On the other hand, an investor might not care at all about that, but might very much like to read the agreement's terms to quantify the likely benefits to each party to the agreement and to estimate the ultimate victor so as to know who to invest in, if either.

Here's a bizarre story, about the Lincolnshire County Council in the UK migrating from Novell Netware and Groupwise to Microsoft Windows and Exchange, because they purportedly want to save money and need to work faster:

The revamp will see the council migrate 5,500 staff from Novell Netware and Groupwise to Microsoft Windows and Exchange, as well as build a new wide area network and expand its range of thin clients, as it seeks to cut costs and make its IT easier to maintain and manage.

John Ward, programme manager at the council, said in a statement: "We realised that we needed a faster, more reliable IT infrastructure."

So, Novell, how's that partnership working out for you? I read an article like that and I ask myself: why not SUSE Linux? Linux saves money, it's known for its reliability, and it's faster than Windows, in my experience, and I haven't even tried Vista yet, which I hear is slower than XP. How could a customer choose Windows for speed, cost savings, and reliability when Linux is here? Isn't Microsoft explaining the benefits of SUSE? Did they tell the Council about that? With Microsoft's money and marketing know-how, how is a tagalong partner going to win?

As an investor, I want to consider all possibilities, which means having all material facts available. If I am missing material pieces, it's just guessing. I read conflicting reports about the deal, and I have no way to know which is true. You would need details. For example, we read that Microsoft bought certificates, for which it paid Novell now. So it looks like Novell just made $100 million. But once the vouchers are obtained by customers, then Microsoft gets some of the money the customer pays for the services and support, I'm thinking, or why would they do it? So exactly what is the figure that Novell really gets in the end? I have no idea, and I have no way to find out, unless they file the agreement with the SEC and let me read it.

So, what are the regulations? I had no idea, so I went to look. I hoped to be able to do some research and get a firm understanding, but the truth is, this is a subject that is, for starters, a little squishy in the wording of the regulation and a deep enough subject that lawyers and accountants who specialize in such matters go to conferences to try to keep up with latest developments in this area of speciality, so the odds of me figuring it all out in a couple of days are somewhere between slim to none. So I'll just show you the regulation, and the exception, and let those who understand all this better than I do figure out the answer to my question: why doesn't Novell have to reveal the terms of this agreement in a filing with the SEC? Or Microsoft? I may not know the answer, but I know it's the right question.

Here's the Securities Act of 1933 [PDF]. It's the regulation requiring disclosure of material information. Here's how the SEC describes it:

Securities Act of 1933 Often referred to as the "truth in securities" law, the Securities Act of 1933 has two basic objectives:
  • require that investors receive financial and other significant information concerning securities being offered for public sale; and
  • prohibit deceit, misrepresentations, and other fraud in the sale of securities.

The full text of this Act is available at:
http://www.sec.gov/about/laws/sa33.pdf.

Purpose of Registration

A primary means of accomplishing these goals is the disclosure of important financial information through the registration of securities. This information enables investors, not the government, to make informed judgments about whether to purchase a company's securities. While the SEC requires that the information provided be accurate, it does not guarantee it. Investors who purchase securities and suffer losses have important recovery rights if they can prove that there was incomplete or inaccurate disclosure of important information.

That last sentence would worry me, if I were a public company that was withholding "important financial information".

The list of required information in a registration statement begins on page 15, and on page 17, I see that the SEC can take action if it notices information is missing to rectify the matter, subject to court review. On page 21, there begins the list of required information in a prospectus, and on page 22 it tells who a member of the public can sue, if it feels material information was withheld with resulting damage, if within one year of discovery of the omission of information, and subject to some limitations of remedies and directions given on pages 27 and 28. I note on page 52 that the SEC tells us how to know if a contract is material and thus necessary to put on Schedule A:

(24) dates of and parties to, and the general effect concisely stated of every material contract made, not in the ordinary course of business, which contract is to be executed in whole or in part at or after the filing of the registration statement or which contract has been made not more than two years before such filing. Any management contract or contract providing for special bonuses or profit-sharing arrangements, and every material patent or contract for a material patent right, and every contract by or with a public utility company or an affiliate thereof, providing for the giving or receiving of technical or financial advice or service (if such contract may involve a charge to any party thereto at a rate in excess of $2,500 per year in cash or securities or anything else of value), shall be deemed a material contract;

So, how come these deals are so vague as far as what the public gets to know? I do see on page 49 that the SEC can exempt any entity or transaction it wishes to exempt "to the extent that such exemption is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, and is consistent with the protection of investors", but that seems a bit of a stretch here. On page 53, it says to attach a copy of any such material contract, but it also shows where the wiggle room might be:

(30) a copy of all material contracts referred to in paragraph (24) of this schedule, but no disclosure shall be required of any portion of any such contract if the Commission determines that disclosure of such portion would impair the value of the contract and would not be necessary for the protection of the investors;

How would you interpret that language in the particular fact pattern here? I have no idea. But clearly you can ask for confidential treatment. Probably if you investigated litigation on such topics, you could make a reasonable guess as to how such things are decided normally. Here's the page on SEC enforcement actions, but of course that is only part of the story, since individuals and certain classes can also sue. And here's a book, The Securities Lawyer Handbook, for those who'd like to dig a bit more.


  


A Question About the Novell-Microsoft Deal | 406 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
A Question About the Novell-Microsoft Deal
Authored by: garry bloke on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 07:57 AM EDT
On Lincolnshire Constabulary context is all.

While you are right to invite Novell to consider whether
it's good news for them, here, I think it is dominated tby
he wider issue is the UK public sector preference for
Microsoft despite its attendant baggage.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here please
Authored by: tiger99 on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 07:57 AM EDT
If any, to assist PJ.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic here please
Authored by: tiger99 on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 08:00 AM EDT
Please remember to make clickable links, and post in HTML mode if you have done so. And remember, preview will show whether your links are correct.

Oh, and no on-topic stuff in this thread please!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspicks discussions here please
Authored by: tiger99 on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 08:01 AM EDT
Please mention which Groklaw newspick you are referring to in teh title of your
post.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Another fine can of worms opened by PJ
Authored by: complex_number on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 08:18 AM EDT
I've been wondering about this as well.
AFAIK, IANAL etc, Microsoft has virtually given a cash injection to Novell. In
return for what exactly in reality?
Well, we know it is not equity in the company otherwise that would should
visible in the filings of both companies to the SEC and in other places like the
Annual Reports.
They are supposedly buying a huge amount of service vouchers. Not real goods to
ship off the dock. so where would that leave Microsoft if Novell were to apply
for Chapter 11?
Is it possible that without these cash injections, Novell is insolvent? Without
knowing the T's & C's it is really impossible to tell.
Are these just hiding the real truth from the investors? I'm not one but if I
were, I'd be more than slightly worried about the financial hold that Microsoft
has over Novell.
Perhaps they are relying on the fuzziness of the law to hide exactly what is
going on.(and the pending US elections?)

I, for one am very suspicious about this type of deal. I get the same sort of
feeling here as with the SNCP/York/SCO possible deals. Something sorta smells in
the state of Novell.
So many questions without answers.




---

Ubuntu & 'apt-get' are not the answer to Life, The Universe & Everything which
is of course, "42"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Publicly Tiraded Companies and Secret Deals
Authored by: DannyB on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 08:18 AM EDT
If the deal is, *ahem*, shall we politely say, shady, then it would be in the
best interest of the shareholders to keep it secret.

The directors have a fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value. Nothing else
matters.

If more people die, but you can increase profits by pricing a lifesaving drug
somewhat higher, while not lowering demand, then it's in the best interest of
shareholders.

If it is more profitable to settle than to recall a faulty gasoline tank, . . .
etc.

If it is more profitable to strip mine . . . etc.


---
The price of freedom is eternal litigation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

A Question About the Novell-Microsoft Deal
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 08:27 AM EDT
You know that IBM is selling huge quantities of processor chips to Microsoft for
their XBox360's too; but you don't know the price of them.

The fact of the deal is public. The price is confidential. That's business.

[ Reply to This | # ]

On topic news report
Authored by: TiddlyPom on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 08:32 AM EDT
Having followed up this link on Linux.org, I was dismayed to find that it was on MSNBC (that well known bastion of truth and objectivity :( )

What annoyed me most was this quote on the page:
Of course, much of the company's success in Linux appears to be the result of its nearly two-year-old deal with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT). Under that agreement, Mr. Softy purchased $240 million of prepaid certificates, which are given to customers who can then deploy Novell's operating system for free.
What! I don't think so!

Linux is free anyway and if you don't want support then you can deploy openSUSE. whereas if you want full backup and support then you pay for SUSE Linux Enterprise. Ironically if you try and select http://www.novell.com/linux at the moment you get an error page (Bad Gateway) and yet this page comes up fine.

Perhaps that says it all and perhaps their continued success (and survival) is due to Microsoft.

This is what comes of making deals with Linux's worst enemy.

---
Open Source Software - Unpicking the Microsoft monopoly piece-by-piece.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Sales slowing? - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 05:32 PM EDT
What About the Novell-Microsoft Lawsuit?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 08:44 AM EDT
So, where do the original deal and the subsequent "cash infusions"
leave the most recent (2004??) lawsuit that Novell brought against Microsoft?
If I remember correctly, it sought several hundred million in damages over MS's
anti competitive actions regarding WordPerfect. If I remember correctly, it was
filed right after a big settlement against MS. I've frequently thought that the
whole deal was MS trying to get by on the cheap -- buy into the company with
which you've just settled a lawsuit in order to undercut a second one.

msfisher @ work so not logged in.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Could this phrase be a clue?
Authored by: talldad on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 09:10 AM EDT
"...material contract made, not in the ordinary course of
business..."
So if the deal is a contract in the ordinary course of business, it does not
require disclosure.

Novell's Ordinary Course of Business is the sale and support of software
licences, including SUSE Linux.

Despite its size, I dare say MS and Novell could be saying "It's just bread
and butter folks, merely the regular ebb and flow of the software
business", and thus airily dismiss any attempt to force disclosure.


---
John Angelico
Down Under fan &
OS/2 SIG Co-Ordinator

[ Reply to This | # ]

payback?
Authored by: kh on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 10:03 AM EDT
Perhaps Novell knows something about Microsoft's involvement in the SCO lawsuits
and this is their hush money?

Or perhaps it's to pay for that dodgy license deal between SCO and Microsoft the
payment for which should have gone to Novell.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • payback? - Authored by: alanjshea on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 12:09 PM EDT
  • Works for me - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 12:12 PM EDT
Windows over Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 10:11 AM EDT
"How could a customer choose Windows for speed, cost savings, and
reliability when Linux is here?"

I'm a strong supporter of Linux, however even I've recently been using Windows
far more - and it is solely for one reason, C# and .NET.
C# is 10x faster to develop in than C++, .NET is much better/nicer than Java.
Mono is doing a great job of making C# cross-platform, however they are still at
the .NET 2.0 stage, with no concrete plans as to when .NET 3.0 or 3.5 will be
supported. As such, if I want to use the latest .NET technologies, I cannot use
Mono. This forces me to use Windows for development (Visual Studio is the BEST
IDE I've ever used), and forces me to run applications on Windows.
Yes, I use open tehnologies on Windows (OpenAL, OpenGL), but this is because
Microsoft decided to end Managed DirectX support for DX10, and instead either
force me to use XNA (which is limited by Xbox 360 hardware), or SlimDX (an
opensource wrapper).

I think that the next step for Linux/OSS to take needs to be a rival to C#/.NET
... and Java does not count, we need something designed for the ground up to
work with the OS (as .NET was to work with Windows).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who inside Novell pushed to buy SuSE?
Authored by: SpaceLifeForm on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 10:30 AM EDT
That move is what allowed the subsequent actions
to occur. The current situation could not have
come about if SuSE had remained an independent
German company.


---

You are being MICROattacked, from various angles, in a SOFT manner.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Non-Disclosure vs. Disclosure
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 10:46 AM EDT
Business deals are handled like this between public companies all of the time
without the details of the deals ever being made public.

It is my understanding that publicly traded companies must disclose through SEC
filings enough information about their various dealings to allow the investing
public to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to invest in
the company's stock.

They are not required to publish details of business deals that would provide
competitors an advantage. They are not required to publish information that is
considered a trade secret. They are not required to provide details of deals,
especially if a confidentiality agreement is part of the deal.

They do have to provide a broad overview of large deals like the Novell-MS deal,
but they don't have to provide the deep details, as that could harm the long
term value of the deal itself to the shareholders.

PJ, a lot of the questions that you are asking are about the "confidential
details" of the deal, and are probably covered by some sort of
confidentiality agreement included within the contract for the deal itself.

Redhat did not disclose the details of the deal where they purchased JBoss, only
the generalities of the deal.

Sun did not disclose the details of the deal where they purchased MySQL, only
the generalities of the deal.

SCO, Sun and MS never disclosed the details of their 2003 licensing agreements,
only the generalities of the deals.

[ Reply to This | # ]

general effect
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 01:59 PM EDT
A quote from the SEC rules on what needs to be reported, from PJ's article:
dates of and parties to, and the general effect concisely stated of every material contract made
The phrase "the general effect concisely stated" does not, to me (IANAL), mean a full listing of all of the details of the contract's terms. What Novell and Microsoft have provided does seem to be a description of the general effect of the contract.

[ Reply to This | # ]

RedHat is also a public company.
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 02:19 PM EDT
And it also kept the public in the dark about that patent deal it did.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Vouchers cover GPLv3 Code?
Authored by: jss on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 02:29 PM EDT
Do the new vouchers for services and support cover GPLv3 code? If they do, that's mighty significant, and in fact it could be vital to have that information if there were litigation someday.
Here is Microsoft's position and here is Novell's rebuttal. Perhaps, this is just another instance where they agree to disagree. As Microsoft is distributing the Support Vouchers and Novell is stating that the Vouchers apply to the entire distribution (which includes GPLv3), I don't know if this makes Microsoft a party to the GPLv3.

---
- jss

[ Reply to This | # ]

A Question About the Novell-Microsoft Deal
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 02:59 PM EDT
Go get 'em girl.

No accolade is possible for the work you have done.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IS Mircrosoft replacing SCO?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 04:13 PM EDT
IS Mircrosoft replacing SCO?

This deal looks that way, don't it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

A Question About the Novell-Microsoft Deal
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, September 04 2008 @ 10:43 PM EDT
Microsoft would not have agreed to this deal unless it believed it would be to
the benefit of its business. So the question is what is that anticipated
benefit.

Now the problem is that Microsoft has not offered a plausible answer to that
question. The only conclusion I can reach is that it doesn't want to reveal the
anticipated benefit, because it would be seen as illegitimate.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Grooming
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 12:54 AM EDT
Underlying the deal between Novell and Microsoft is a need-meets-need
situation.

Novell bought SUSE, most likely to have a successor to their fading Netware
product with roots in the days of DOS. Buying a well-established and highly
respected Linux distribution saved them time and money, while giving them a
re-entry vehicle into the markets they had lost when their Netware customers
sought more up-to-date solutions. Unfortunately, Novell has a track record of
not realizing the full potential of their acquisitions and they face a
formidable competitor in Red Hat, the rock-star of commercial Linux.

Microsoft, on their side, had seen the dangers of the Linux phenomenon, and were
relentless in their attempts at stopping the threat to their core business. Most
people here will be all too aware of the TOC studies, the 'Tell the Truth' tour,
the 'IP liability' threats, and their indirect support of SCO's litigation.
Add to this the fact that it is becoming increasingly hard to gloss over the
fundamental architectural flaws in the Windows OS and the spiraling costs of
development on this platform.

The deal struck between Novell and Microsoft makes a lot of sense from a
business (and shareholder value) perspective.

Novell gets to sell their Linux as 'Microsoft integrated', a good argument with
cost conscious CTOs, and access to Microsoft's customers. (This, by the way is
where I think they've miscalculated).

Microsoft gets access to a Linux they can prime for their proprietary
technologies and licensing model, whether it be as a complement to Windows or as
a potential MS Linux in some not too distant future. The fact that Windows 7
increasingly looks like a Vista make-over could support this hypothesis, in that
Microsoft better than anybody know their NT code base is past it's due date.

Their target right now is Red Hat and Microsoft seems to be grooming Novell to
step up once Red Hat is disposed of. In this sense, PJ may be right on the money
when she speculates that Novell-Microsoft may be trying to lure Red Hat into
litigation, using the legal system to bleed them out of their market position.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Maybe it is just preparation for Plan-B: MS Linux
Authored by: macrorodent on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 01:20 AM EDT
Possibly the reason for MS to seemingly pour money to Novell is getting experience about the Linux business, in case it itself wants to enter it. Scoping out the place, so to say.

If some large customers want Linux in preference to Vista, it might be a good idea for Microsoft itself start offering it. From its point of view, if customers really want Linux, it is better they buy MS Linux, not something else. Half a loaf better than none. Legally, nothing prevents MS from starting its own distro (provided they obey the GPL), and it would be pretty easy and cheap to do if they base it on some existing one. (That's what Oracle did). Maybe this is why they are interested in SUSE. The main obstacle would be MS corporate culture.

One can say this would not even be unprecendented. It is very common for large companies entering a new technology to first buy services or co-operate with a smaller firm already there, then turn around and do their own thing, cutting out the junior partner (or buying it if junior is lucky). Microsoft itself has done this a number of times before.

And, I'm sorry to say, there would be a large market for MS Linux. Corporate types, comfortable with buying Microsoft this and that, would instantly give it preference over other distributions, even if MS Linux would initially be inferior. It would be the same thing as with PCs. Before IBM entered the market, most serious IT people dismissed them (then usually called "microcomputers") as toys. But if IBM makes them, they must be OK. (And the original IBM PC was clearly inferior to many of its competitors).

Novell, watch out!

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS likes money more than they dislike Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 05:29 AM EDT

MS wants a slice of the virtualization pie. They have a much better chance at that if they provide a one-stop source for a complete solution: server to run the virtualization software (Windows), plus the virtualization software itself, plus the operating systems to run in the virtual machines (Windows and SUSE).

Buying a bunch more SUSE vouchers fits right in with this.

There is one thing confusing me about their virtualization effort, though. Next week they are holding a big one day shindig to announce new virtualization products, new licensing terms, give presentations on their technology, offer technical training, and so on (there's even a concert). At the bottom of the invitation I received, it listed "Platinum Sponsors". Among the Platinum Sponsors are IBM and Sun. What are they doing there? I thought they both had ties with Xen and/or VMWare? Just covering all their bases by backing MS, too? (I shan't be going to check it out--it conflicts with the release of Spore. I know my priorities!)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is Vista Slower than XP? - A Question About the Novell-Microsoft Deal
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 09:14 AM EDT
"and I haven't even tried Vista yet, which I hear is slower than XP."

PJ,

I am going to have to grant you the prize for the most conservative statement
ever published. I had to smile. It demonstrates that you absolutely adhere to
the truth.

Not having used Vista yourself, you refuse to feed the flames that Vista is a
dog. Three points to you!!!

However saying that they are building a new faster wide area network.

I'm willing to bet they wanted to upgrade the network, and the sales rep said
that to do this they needed to switch to Windows because the new equipment
doesn't support Novell Netware because it is such small market. That may not be
true, but the sales rep didn't know any better.

Besides, there's the commission. You get no commission for re-selling a
Linux solution. (Unless you are IBM and really know how to market the Redhat
product as part or your solution.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is it a full moon tonight, again?
Authored by: reiisi on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 09:27 AM EDT
The trolls definitely seem to be out in force.

Well, actually, I think that there is a huge /. crowd that has severe envy, and

serious fixations on seeing the entire Macintosh software stack opened up.
Maybe not so much trolls as people who have loved unwisely.

(Egged on by possibly professional trolls, perhaps. There are definitely trolls
in
abundance on /. .)

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What of RedHat?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 03:41 PM EDT
Can it be demonstrated that RedHat or any other distributor has lost sales
because of Microsoft's actions? I wonder if there is some sort of restrictions
placed on the folks receiving these certificates? Can these folks discuss what
they paid, for instance?

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  • What of RedHat? - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 04:05 PM EDT
SCOXQ.pk Sometins afoot
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 04:52 PM EDT
<NOTICE> Do *not* clickify this link!

http://www.investorvillage.com/smbd.asp?mb=1911&mn=71213&pt=msg&mid=
5539467

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Why isn't there any interoperability alliances with any of the BSDs?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 11:26 PM EDT
Microsoft supposedly prefers the BSD license over the GPL, don't they?

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