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Novell Businesses SuSE

Hubert Mantel Returns to Novell 68

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the changing-of-the-guard dept.
Krondor writes "Hubert Mantel, SUSE Co-Founder, has confirmed in an interview with Data Manager Online that he has returned to employment with Novell. When asked why he left Novell to begin with, Hubert responded that he was 'burned out' and 'following unpleasant experiences with our investors needed some time off.' Slashdot had reported previously Hubert's departure from Novell approximately one year ago shortly following Novell's acquisition of SUSE and subsequent layoffs. Hubert also provides his opinions on the Novell-Microsoft Agreement, which he characterizes as 'a good thing.'"
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Hubert Mantel Returns to Novell

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  • by User 956 (568564) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @10:27PM (#17333006) Homepage
    Hubert also provides his opinions on the Novell-Microsoft Agreement, which he characterizes as 'a good thing.

    I believe the full quote was "Microsoft just paid me a few duffel bags full of money, so it really can't be anything but a good thing".
    • Re:out of context (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Scott7477 (785439) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @11:18PM (#17333298) Homepage Journal
      Mantell's comments seemed thoughtful and reasonable to me. It seems to me that it would be nice to be in a position where you could quit your job, take a year off, and then get your old job back.
      • I've done that before. Quit my job, where I was writing all the embedded code but being paid as a tech, worked for a nice long summer at a brainless job doing component-level troubleshooting in a board rework shop, then got rehired back to continue to write all the embedded code with the new title of 'software engineer' and a decent raise.
    • by mha (1305)
      Why is something that stupid modded funny? Oh I forgot, it's Slashdot.

      He did not get anything from Microsoft. He got (lots of) money from Novell - when they purchased SuSE. After that H.Mantel, like everyone else who had owned SuSE shares, he had no shares of either company any more - so there was/is no reason to care. Besides, it is VERY stupid to accuse H.Mantel, of all people, of being a capitalist (know him personally as former SUSE employee - former because I started my own [small and non-IT] biz).
  • by Salvance (1014001) * on Thursday December 21, 2006 @10:35PM (#17333050) Homepage Journal
    He'll at least have a front row seat to watch as all the people he didn't like before walk out the door.
    • by hey! (33014)

      He'll at least have a front row seat to watch as all the people he didn't like before walk out the door.

      A bit OT, but doesn't "Hubert Mantel" sound like the name of a baron in a medieval history?

      And then to the King's dismay, many of his knights and paladins forsook him, holding him forsworn and no Christian sovereign. And indeed many had sworn to hold neither truce nor parley with the paynim, and declared that any gentleman who should face an infidel, yet fail take relieve him of his head, would be named

  • You know, when I skimmed over this I thought "I'm sure this is a repost. Wait... it's a repost saying the exact opposite of what the other post said? Did they miss out a lot of 'not's in the original press release?"

    I need more sleep.
  • Hubert also provides his opinions on the Novell-Microsoft Agreement, which he characterizes as 'a good thing.'"
    What's wrong with these people?! This guy is supposed to know that nothing good will ever come out of this "deal"
    • Why so negative? MS pumping money into a Linux distribution can only be good. Note that MS has a death grip on all North American government IT shops. The only way that Linux is going to get a meaningful share of the pie, is if MS can provide support.
  • by KWTm (808824) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @10:52PM (#17333142) Journal
    I anticipate some derisive comments about how Mantel is a bad guy, and Jeremy Allison is a good guy for quitting. If this does happen, it would start to become a mudslingfest like the name calling at the start of the Iraq war.

    I had been hoping to hear Mantel's views on the MS/Novell deal, seeing what further insight he could provide. Disappointingly, he only points to the good side of the deal, and doesn't explain why this outweighs the bad side. We already know the good part: that MS has acknowledged the importance of Linux. No one is arguing with that. But the point is, MS is poisoning the waters, as pointed out by Allison's statement, and that is definitely a bad thing.

    It's like some small Pacific island country who has just acquired nuclear weapons, and now the USA is going to come invade them with two navy fleets. The island country's president says: "I see this as a good thing: the USA is now taking us seriously." Yeah, right.

    Maybe Mantel hasn't had time to formulate his thoughts and reactions to the negative aspects of the deal yet. But you can't make something good just by pointing out the positive aspects and ignoring the negative. You might try it on those populace of those states whose IQ's are in the lower half, but it's not going to work here on Slashdot.
    • by kjart (941720) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @11:45PM (#17333434)

      I don't know, his answer is fairly comprehensive to me. FTFA:

      6. What do you think about the Microsoft/Novell deal? I think it is a good thing especially for the users. If you think some years back, Linux was not taken seriously. Now even Microsoft acknowledges that it exists and will not go away. I understand that many people don't like it as Novell is collaborating with the "evil empire". But I don't like this way of thinking; we are not working against somebody, but we are working FOR Linux. Fundamentalism always leads to pain. What's important is that Linux is free and will remain to be free. The source code is open to everybody, this is what counts for me. Some people seem to be torn in an interesting way: On one hand they want "world domination", at the same time they don't like the feeling that Linux has grown up and needs to deal with the real business world out there. We have a saying here in Germany that goes along the lines of "wash me, but do not make me wet". If you want Linux to succeed, you cannot live in your own separate universe.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The problem is not that Novell is making business deals with Microsoft over Linux, but that Novell made a specific deal whereby Microsoft would agree not to enforce its patents and other IP - but *only* for the commercial SUSE distro marketed and sold by Novell. At the same time Novell announced some projects for increasing interoperability with Microsoft's products. In effect, they're taking free software and making it non-free, because if someone forks the code, they will be in danger of being sued by M
        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          It's hard to believe that after hashing this over endlessly on Slashdot, some here still don't understand that this agreement says nothing about MS not suing Novell. It's all about Novell's customers. MS can sue any distro maker it wants to, including Novell, exactly as it could of before the agreement.
      • 6. What do you think about the Microsoft/Novell deal? I think it is a good thing especially for the users. If you think some years back, Linux was not taken seriously. Now even Microsoft acknowledges that it exists and will not go away.

        they didn't say this. i think this is what this naive or "incentivized" person wishes he had heard. even if they said that (they didn't), their vision of "linux not going away" has microsoft effectively owning and monetizing linux, if not controlling it outright, and re

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kripkenstein (913150)
        His explanation seems very weak to me:

        "What's important is that Linux is free and will remain to be free. The source code is open to everybody, this is what counts for me."

        'Open' source code that is under Microsoft patents, and therefore isn't free-to-use - or, more to the point, is free-to-be-sued-for-using - isn't really 'free', I would say. And how is Linux "still free", if Novell needs to pay Microsoft to keep it that way?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by WilliamSChips (793741)
      Gaius Baltar: The Cylon occupation of New Caprica is a good thing. The Cylons are now taking us seriously.
    • by tokul (682258)
      It's like some small Pacific island country who has just acquired nuclear weapons, and now the USA is going to come invade them with two navy fleets. The island country's president says: "I see this as a good thing: the USA is now taking us seriously." Yeah, right.
      I think we've already learned that part in Korea and Mid East. The USA does not invade countries with nuclear weapons.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mha (1305)
      What negative side? The only negative side I've heared so far - and I try reading most of the articles and comments out of personal interest, since I still know some of the people involved personally - is fears and words. I could not discover a single FACT. The same thing Microsoft is so often accused of ("FUD") is presented here instead of evidence. Test: If you had never HEARD about that MS-Novell deal, what influence on your life would it have now? So far the answer seems to be "none" by all the posters.
    • 'it would start to become a mudslingfest like the name calling at the start of the Iraq war.'

      Yeah, just like that. Suse cofounder leaves. rejoins vs the Iraq war. *just* like that.
  • Explanation, please (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @11:52PM (#17333474) Homepage Journal
    Some please explain the controversy over the MS/Novell deal to me. It seems that in everyone's rush to bemoan the fate of all mankind, the actual specifics of the problem have been lost. So after several weeks of trying to sort it out, I now humbly ask clarification. No snarky comments please, I'm being serious.

    My understanding is that this is an indemnity deal. Microsoft says it won't sue Novell over patents. While this may be interpreted as a statement of intent to sue non-Novell distros, that still doesn't explain attitude towards Novell. Shouldn't they be considered equivalent to shopkeepers who knuckle under and pay protection fees to the mob? At most they should be treated as cowards, and not as traitors who have sold out the future of Linux.

    And what's the big deal with the GPL? I've turned it upside down and inside out, and I can find no restriction against entering into indemnity deals. Not even in spirit. Microsoft may not sue Novell if it incorporates patented code into GPL sources, but the GPL licensors certainly will! So again, what's the problem?

    I'm coming to the conclusion that this is merely MDS. Microsoft Derangement Syndrome. It's the mere mention of the name "Microsoft" that has everyone foaming at the mouth. I greatly suspect that if the exact same deal had been made with IBM (who owns more patents than Microsoft ever will) no one would even be batting an eye. It's for these reason I've not asked this question before, out of dread that I would be flamed to oblivion. So please take a step back, count to ten, and calmy explain why Novell is so evil for entering into this agreement.
    • by Arker (91948) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:04AM (#17333562) Homepage
      Yes, they've cut a separate peace with MS, essentially. The GPL doesn't allow this, it has the 'live free or die' clause. There's a saying, we must all hang together, for if we do not, we shall assuredly hang separately. Novell has attempted to find a sneaky way to subvert the live free or die clause. This may not make them evil, but it certainly isn't behaviour to be rewarded. And it won't be. They just destroyed their own credibility with the community that develops the software they've bet their future on. In the process, they've converted themselves from a major player to a bit player, whether they realise it or not.
      • And now we know why when marketing gurus were researching cults, they interviewed several Linux users and movers in the industry.

        It is called being the part of a Club and following the leaders over the cliff if asked.

        Linux is freaking technology, not a me too, or I'm a geek club. Sadly it is the people that use MS, Apple, Linux, and BSD in whatever ways work best that are now the rebels, and the hardcore Linux only or BSD only or Apple only or OSS only users are the cult members and part of the new estabish
        • by asuffield (111848)

          Linux has a lot of great things, and OSS and GPL has a lot of great things, but there are also flies in the ointment, and to ignore them is becoming part of a cult.

          Show me an OS without flies in the ointment, and I'll show you which cult you belong to. That's not a meaningful objection to any of them.

          You can find lots of stuff that is in Linux distributions that are on shaking ground from Xerox technology to even Fat32, and there are tons of people that do own these technologies and could potential ask they

          • Only in the US do people seriously think that you can "own technologies". The rest of the world has, so far, rejected the notion of software patents (despite much effort from the US to get them more widely accepted).

            Have you ever been to this little place called Europe?

            Software patents are troll material anyway. There is no such thing as a piece of software that does not violate numerous software patents without a license. That includes Windows; Microsoft get sued for patent violations two or three times a
            • by asuffield (111848)

              Only in the US do people seriously think that you can "own technologies". The rest of the world has, so far, rejected the notion of software patents (despite much effort from the US to get them more widely accepted).

              Have you ever been to this little place called Europe?

              The US has tried, twice, to push software patents onto Europe. They have failed, twice (right now they're trying again). Software patents are not legal anywhere in Europe. Strangely, the European Patent Office rubber-stamps them anyway (perh

      • they've cut a separate peace with MS

        So? Back to my post, why does that make them backstabbing traitors instead of merely testicularly challenged cowards?

        The GPL doesn't allow this, it has the 'live free or die' clause.

        I am not finding this 'live free or die' clause. Not even in spirit. Please point it out to me.

        There's a saying, we must all hang together, for if we do not, we shall assuredly hang separately.

        Please dispense with the hyperbole. That's the core of my problem with this issue, that everyone is g
        • by Arker (91948)

          This is the live free or die clause:

          7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues), conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequenc

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by sjbcfh (611594)
      My understanding is that this is an indemnity deal. Microsoft says it won't sue Novell over patents.

      Incorrect. This is the part everyone around here keeps getting wrong, either willfully or because the fact that Microsoft is involved gets them so crosseyed-mad that they can't read. The agreement is that Microsoft won't sue Novell's customers should Novell be found to be violating any of Microsoft's patents, nor will Novell sue Microsoft's customers if Microsoft is found to be violating Novell's patent

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The subtext of this deal is "If Novell and/or Microsoft decide to modify a GPLed product then you will be in danger of being sued by Microsoft if you do anything with their version." So if YOU write something and release it under GPL and Novell modifies it then you can't use the changes without the threat of being sued by Microsoft. This is every bit as bad or even worse than releasing binaries containing GPL code without releasing the changes you have made. The code could find its way into another produ
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ClosedSource (238333)
        What do you base this intrepretation on? Unless Novell modifies your code in such a way that it violates a MS patent when your original code did not, the scenario you outline is false. Of course, even if this agreement didn't exist, if Novell did add code that violated a MS patent then you couldn't redistribute the code without the threat of being sued by MS. Nothing in this agreement changes the patent realities for someone who wants to modify and redistribute GPL'd code from Novell or from anyone else.
    • by killjoe (766577)
      "My understanding is that this is an indemnity deal. Microsoft says it won't sue Novell over patents."

      No the agreement doesn't say that at all. It says MS will not sue Novell CUSTOMERS. It can still sue novell anytime it wants. The agreement is only good for five years. After the five years are up MS can (and probably will) sue novell customers.

      MS claims that it has patents on unspecified technologies that in linux (that's probably true because they have patents of lots of silly stuff). Before this deal if
      • MS is now free to sue anybody that USES linux and novell will not come to their aid.

        That does not follow. Microsoft can sue Redhat users anyway, regardless of any deal they have with Novell. This is still analogous to a Mafia protection racket. If Bob's Flower Shop down the street doesn't pay his "insurance", Vito is going to break his kneecaps. It doesn't matter if you pay *your* insurance or not, Vito is STILL going to break Bob's kneecaps.

        Novell's actions do not in any way affect Microsoft's relationship
        • by killjoe (766577)
          "That does not follow. Microsoft can sue Redhat users anyway, regardless of any deal they have with Novell."

          That's true. Before this deal Novell had made a promise to the open source community that if anybody filed a patent suit for anything in linux they would assert their patents against the aggressor. Novell has now reneged on that promise but only for MS. MS can sue redhad without any fear that novell would come to the aid of red hat.

          "Novell's actions do not in any way affect Microsoft's relationship to
    • The problem with this MS/Novell deal is mostly on the MS side. Ballmer went off with the ink barely dried about how those *other* distro's were potential litigation targets because of possible MS patent violations in Linux, but Novell users were fine because of The Deal. He didn't go into details, but FUD isn't about details. This plays perfectly into MS' campaigns against Linux.

      And with the cooperative development between the companies, you now have to wonder if any contributions by Novell will be seize
  • by tulare (244053) on Friday December 22, 2006 @12:43AM (#17333770) Journal
    Maybe (hopefully, please, PLEASE let it be so) this means SuSE will return to its roots as a kickass KDE desktop distribution... as someone who for various reasons has preferred KDE for many years now, SuSE's looming turn toward Gnome was a real bummer for me.
  • Let's face it, the Novell-MS deal is probably about divide and conquer as much as anything else. Cut the deal, divide the FOSS world into "Free Software" and "Open Source" then try and bring them down one at a time, ideally using one against the other.

    Perhaps MS has found a way to bring "Open Source" into the fold, making it impossible for "Free Software" to work with "Open Source" without compromising principles?

  • by LM741N (258038) on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:21AM (#17333944)
    Wow, I need to cut down on my EtOh consumption. I thought it said "Howie Mandell Returns to Novell."
    • by deanoaz (843940)
      The offer is now $250,000,000. Your geeky friends are saying "NO!", but if you stay in the game there's a 50 percent chance you'll end up with a one-way ticket to palookaville.

          Deal, or No Deal?

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