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Microsoft-Novell Relationship Hits the Skids 194

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the what-your-community-told-you-long-ago dept.
Anonymous writes "According to Channelweb, the bloom might be off the rose in the Novell-Microsoft relationship: the two companies didn't sign a single, solitary large customer to a Novell Linux deal during the most recent quarter. 'So Novell, one of the biggest Linux distributors in the world, and Microsoft, one of the biggest companies in world history, couldn't find a single large customer on Planet Earth to buy into Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server software. Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian has stepped up and, rather than point fingers at Microsoft for that performance, put the blame on his company and its inability to strengthen its reseller channel.'"
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Microsoft-Novell Relationship Hits the Skids

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  • Well, seriously... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 13, 2009 @05:45PM (#27186805)

    Who buys Linux in an economy like this?

  • er? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Speare (84249) on Friday March 13, 2009 @05:49PM (#27186855) Homepage Journal
    And I'm sure that all the hiring-freezes, paycuts, forced unpaid furloughs, capital freezes, capital audits, travel restrictions, quarter-by-quarter purchase order approval budget oversight procedures, executive-authorization-required-for-new-staplers, and restructurings that we see in most of the Fortune 1000 have nothing to do with this.
  • by Yfrwlf (998822) on Friday March 13, 2009 @05:51PM (#27186899)
    And even stupider, who'd want to strengthen software patents and give Microsoft leverage by caving into their FUD and paying for this "protection" racket? All efforts to invalidate all software patents should be taken by all companies and citizens.
  • by schestowitz (843559) on Friday March 13, 2009 @05:56PM (#27186983) Homepage Journal
    "Who buys Linux in an economy like this?"

    People still buy Red Hat. Check their numbers.

    Novell was warned (since the beginning of its relationship with Microsoft) that Microsoft 'partners' consistently get stabbed in the back. It took Novell a couple of years to take the toll.
  • Really, Novell doesn't do marketing. They had the most reliable server OS for connecting windows boxes, and Microsoft came and ate their lunch with an inferior (and more expensive) product. Did someone really expect that all of a sudden, Novell would discover the secret to marketing and manage to sell something? Even after striking a deal with Microsoft, they still need to be able to sell their own product - or at least make it look like they are selling their own product.

    Being as they won't likely be able to get (many of) the former Novell shops back to NetWare, if they are planning to revive their company by selling Linux, their goose is cooked.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 13, 2009 @06:05PM (#27187107)

    Who buys Linux in an economy like this?

    Who buys a proprietary operating system in any economy when you can download and use linux free. And if you need support then you can pay for linux support without ever having to pay for a license, unlike our favorite proprietary software vendors that charge for a license and for support and in in some cases for every client connection to said software. I guess you can't fix stupid.

  • Novell..?? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by MTTECHYBOY (799778) on Friday March 13, 2009 @06:15PM (#27187235)
    Novell has been clue-less since Version 3.x - If it wasn't for all the old Novell-Fanboys in the world, they would have been belly-up years ago. Not that they HAD bad products - quite the contrary - they just couldn't sell anything to save their soul...
  • Re:You get serious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday March 13, 2009 @06:15PM (#27187239)

    That's quite a violent approach to the problem. Invalidate all software patents? I don't think Apple would approve, as that would be the end of their business.

    How do you figure? Half of Apple's revenue is from their PC business where their largest differentiator is OS X, protected more by copyright than patents. Then there is their iPod business, where hardware patents are the major protection. Between hardware patents, copyright, and trademark protections, I don't see Apple being in much trouble if software patents are invalidated... even if it went to extremes and included UI's that include a mix of hardware and software, ala multi-touch.

    But you really meant invalidate all of MSFT's right?

    Why would you make such an assumption? That's not at all what he said, nor does it even make sense.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Friday March 13, 2009 @06:22PM (#27187317) Homepage

    Microsoft 'partners' consistently get stabbed in the back. It took Novell a couple of years to take the toll.

    Not limited to Microsoft, if "partner" implies some sort of revenue sharing then in bad times you'll find they work find hard to find solutions not involving their partners. In ways it can be more frustrating than a straight-up competitor that you know where you got.

  • Novel (Score:2, Insightful)

    by certain death (947081) on Friday March 13, 2009 @06:30PM (#27187403)
    Novel needs to pull their collective heads out of their asses if they want to live on...They haven't done a bit of successful advertising since the 2000 superbowl, and that is questionable! They just don't seem to understand the fact that you need to have your shit in front of people in order to get them to buy it. Then they canceled Brain Share, that was the only place anyone ever gets the scoop on what they are doing. Damn! Why are they so stupid?!?
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday March 13, 2009 @06:34PM (#27187451) Homepage Journal

    Novell was warned (since the beginning of its relationship with Microsoft) that Microsoft 'partners' consistently get stabbed in the back. It took Novell a couple of years to take the toll.

    Not to mention that Novell should have known damned well that Linux is the Microsoft alternative. If you tie it in with Microsoft, suddenly it's the Microsoft partner, not the Microsoft alternative. TONS of Linux customers went to Linux specifically to avoid Microsoft lock-in. They're trying to get further away! It's pretty fucking sad when Novell and Sun are both in Microsoft's back pocket.

  • by Sxooter (29722) on Friday March 13, 2009 @06:36PM (#27187495)

    I have made sure that no one I know buys Suse as long as Novell has that stupid partnership with Microsoft. If they renounce it, tear up their contract and dance a jig, I might take them back. Til then, I run RedHat, Debian and Ubuntu. No need for any of the crap Novell is peddling.

    I'll play some nice slow Irish songs about people drowning on a ferry for Novell, but I won't give them one thin dime. They're whores, and not the good kind.

  • by icebike (68054) on Friday March 13, 2009 @06:43PM (#27187575)

    > 'So Novell, one of the biggest Linux
    > distributors in the world, and Microsoft, one of
    > the biggest companies in world history, couldn't
    > find a single large customer on Planet Earth to
    > buy into Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server
    > software.

    Why can't you simply cut and paste instead of putting your own lying slant on things?

    You Imply Novell never signed any SLES customers, which is not true.

    The actual article stated:

        "During the first quarter of fiscal 2009, we did not sign any large deals, many of which have been historically fulfilled by SUSE Linux Enterprise Server ("SLES") certificates delivered through Microsoft."

    So Microsoft didn't even try to sell these certificates for SLES. Novell still sold SLES, probably to the very same customers that send Microsoft packing.

    How hard do you suppose Microsoft tried to sell these certificates?

  • The Buck Stops (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Friday March 13, 2009 @06:56PM (#27187711)

    CEO Ron Hovsepian is right; the buck stops with Novell. They're to blame. Not because their retail channel needs to be tweaked. But rather, they got in to bed with Microsoft! I mean, c'mon. Your hedging your bets on a technology that your partner is busy trying to bury. Yeah, sure... Microsoft is trying to help make Windows and Linux work together. Meanwhile, Microsoft's CEO is discussing Linux and so-called IP law like Eddy Izzard discussing the mortality of Englebert Humperdink [youtube.com]. And Novell wants people to pay for the privilege of getting in to the middle of that?

    Over the past few years, I've purchased licenses for Windows, Solaris, and Linux. Not once during these procurements did the name "Novell" come to mind.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Friday March 13, 2009 @07:05PM (#27187821) Journal

    1. IBM ("We pretend to support open source but ...

    I'd say playing "mill of the gods" and grinding SCO exceedingly fine constitutes more than just "pretend" support for open source.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday March 13, 2009 @07:08PM (#27187841) Homepage Journal

    Someone who wants to do anything in a GUI? Linux makes a powerful server, but its desktop applications (even OpenOffice) lag far behind their proprietary counterparts in features, or are non-existent (where's the Photoshop or InDesign clones?).

    Uh, the photoshop clone is called the gimp. Whether you think it's a valid replacement or not, it has all the same features, except the most important one: Adobe plugin support. You can do the things you can do in InDesign in Scribus or Inkscape, but neither one is much of a contender.

    On the other hand, since less than 1% of the world's population needs to use those two programs to get their work done (graphic artists are a severe minority in computer professionals - a term pretty loosely applied there, since most of them are about as computer-savvy as a pygmy warrior from ubangme) this is probably not a big deal. Most people need an office suite that will let them write papers and letters, and a web browser, and a media player. Since any operating system offers all of these, Linux will work for most people. Kind of like Electric cars... they can only meet the needs of what, 95% of the population? How terrible!

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday March 13, 2009 @07:10PM (#27187863)
    Look, for most people who A) Don't need the "obscure" features of Office B) Don't need MS server support (such as Exchange) C) Don't game or D) Don't need photoshop, Linux is the obvious choice. There are many, many, many businesses and most homes that fall into these categories. There are some people who obviously *need* Photoshop, there are a lot more that *think* they need Photoshop when The GIMP (or a more basic image editor) can do exactly what they want albeit with a different UI. Sure, there are some features of Office that OOo doesn't have yet, but these features aren't the "everyday" features, its the obscure stuff, secondly, the argument of a lower learning curve goes down the drain when you show the UI of 2007 to a user of a previous version of Office, and then show them the familiar interface of OOo. Sure, there will be people who can't switch to Linux because of a program that is crucial to their business doesn't run on Linux (or isn't emulated well in WINE). But for all others,(and that is a large amount of people), Linux does just fine.

    Someone who wants to do anything in a GUI?

    What are you talking about? Installing? Almost all distros have a GUI for installing. Changing settings? For any day-to-day settings, there is a GUI for that. Etc. About the only time you don't have a GUI (assuming of course that this is on Ubuntu or similar, not Gentoo or Arch) is when you change a setting that to do the approximate Windows setting you would edit the registry.

  • by sloanster (213766) <ringfan@@@mainphrame...com> on Friday March 13, 2009 @07:50PM (#27188355) Journal

    Who buys Linux in an economy like this?

    Lots of people, including the fortune 100 company i work for. In fact, the linux demand has gotten much stronger, as my employer is dumping old school platforms and moving to linux in the server room.

    The tough times motivate them to maximize their bang for the buck.

    Oh, and trust me, big companies want the official paid support - so that basically means Novell or Redhat, though debian/ubuntu are there in some cases now too, since you can purchase support for either one from HP now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 13, 2009 @07:53PM (#27188391)
    So you guys are feeling the pressure [blogspot.com] these days? You missed the 1400, you're wondering if you're in the next 3600?
  • by sjames (1099) on Friday March 13, 2009 @07:54PM (#27188401) Homepage

    Netware was good in it's day but Novell rested on it's laurels for too long and became a legacy solutions provider. They've had over a decade to come up with the next new 'thing' and the best they managed was to buy Suse and make an unpopular deal with MS only to find out that businesses that are going with Linux don't really want MS to put it's fingers in it (shocking I tell you!).

  • Red Hat (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Friday March 13, 2009 @08:01PM (#27188479) Journal
    Anybody have any figures for how Red Hat (and Canonical) are doing?
  • Re:Muddled Issues (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bertok (226922) on Friday March 13, 2009 @08:20PM (#27188677)

    Another issue is the core of the Novell-MS partnership: interoperability. AFAIK, that part is working well.

    Not so much.

    The last time I played with SLES/SLED was about a year ago, and interoperability was not hugely better than any other generic Linux. They just don't have the manpower now to rewrite core stuff themselves. They do have a nice distro with well chosen components, and a default desktop that is very "Windows-Like", which is nice. They even had the start-bar at the bottom!

    However, in the environment where I worked, it all broke down in testing. For example, joining a domain was painful, broken, and flat out didn't work in my client's environment (multi-domain, multi-forest, with users and machines all over the place). It could talk to one domain, most of the time, until you removed a domain controller, which would break it.

    A note to Linux devs working on Active Directory compatibility: When 'joining' an AD domain, a Linux desktop is allowed to ask exactly 3 questions:

    - The name of the domain (either the 'short NT4 name' or 'long DNS name')
    - A user name to connect with
    - A password

    Lets compare this to instructions I randomly found on Ubuntu's support site:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=91510 [ubuntuforums.org]

    That's about 2 pages of config files! NO. Just NO. It's not even slightly correct. I have nothing against config files as such, but "hard coding" parameters that MUST be looked up dynamically is WRONG. You can't state "compatible with Active Directory" when it is clearly NOT COMPATIBLE.

    What happens when the machine and the user are in different domains? What happens if domain controllers move? Why doesn't it automatically locate the nearest servers using Sites & Services?

    Correct behavior isn't even one of those Microsoft secret proprietary things. The API for dynamically obtaining configuration data for a desktop's AD connection is well documented:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms684291(VS.85).aspx [microsoft.com]

  • Re:You get serious (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ozphx (1061292) on Friday March 13, 2009 @08:48PM (#27188899) Homepage

    I hope you enjoy "open-source" pharmaceuticals...

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday March 13, 2009 @09:18PM (#27189155)

    As for GUIs I can safely say my Ubuntu install is far less consistent than the Windows install I have in a VM.

    What are you on? Just take a look at most Windows programs, different looks everywhere. (there used to be a nice screenshot that someone took highlighting this fact, but I can't seem to find it on google at the moment) Just look at Office 2007, it has a different look then XP's native toolkit, that looks different then Windows Live Messenger, that looks different then Visual Studio, etc. Mix MS's own inconsistency (remember that aside from the base GNU toolkits, almost all the software is from different people/organizations) with programs almost every Windows user uses (iTunes, etc) and you get tons of interfaces. On the other hand, most Linux software is either QT or GTK.

  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Saturday March 14, 2009 @07:11AM (#27191427) Homepage

    What examples? Posts like that are made by Microsoft marketing people.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:03AM (#27192133) Homepage Journal

    You underestimate the importance of games.

    No, I don't. You overestimate the importance of big-ticket games.

    Gamers are forced to keep Windows installed, and it's a pain to dual-boot.

    "Gamers" are a tiny minority. While over 70% of the American public plays video games, most of those aren't Crysis players. They're playing games on their cellphone, or they play freecell or some other solitaire game, which you can get a better implementation of for Linux... or they play flash games, which work fine on x86 and x86_64 Linux.

    There are of course lots of middle aged people who don't play games or who are satisfied with simple ones, but they won't start any great migration.

    What do you mean "great migration"? Ever heard of a concept called the "tipping point"?

    Youths are the key, and the gamers especially.

    Understanding the makeup of the population of video gamers [dmwmedia.com]? YOU FAIL IT! The average age of the U.S. gamer is 35. Those of us who buy multiple big-ticket games a year are far in the minority. Actually, now that I think of it, let me just be anecdotal; I'm 31, and while I did reinstall Windows XP so that I could replay some old games I owned (mostly Mechwarrior IV which doesn't support arbitrary resolutions anyway to match my display, so I'm over it again - fucking amateurs) the only new game I've bought I think in the last COUPLE of years was Twilight Princess... which I bought when I bought a Wii. The next one will likely be Wii Fit... if my gigantic ass will fit on the thing. I'm (barely) under the weight limit, but I wear size 16 shoes and have a very broad stance to match my height.

    Sorry, but people like you and me are now in the minority of gamers. And people like me don't care so much about computer games any more. I have a Wii, an Xbox, and a PS2. The only game I play on Windows any more is Civilization 2, which runs fine in vmware.

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