Bruce Lowry has posted a new entry on the Novell PR blog, responding to comments and criticisms of his "cavalier" attitude regarding the latest GPLv3 draft.
Lowry sticks to the party line regarding the deal, that it was to foster Linux adoption in the enterprise and improve Linux-Windows interoperability, and that the IP aspects of the deal are just for additional "comfort" for Novell customers.
Third, we don’t see intellectual property, in general, as big impediment to Linux adoption. That’s been our position for a number of years now. Go back and look at statements we made during the SCO debate, or when we launched our indemnification program. We’ve consistently argued that customers should not avoid Linux because of intellectual property concerns. At the same time, we’ve provided a level of comfort (via indemnification, our patent policy and, now, with the Microsoft agreement) to those customers who do have concerns about the issue. We certainly aren’t out in the market telling customers to use our Linux because it has patent protection from Microsoft. We’re out there telling them to use SUSE Linux Enterprise because it’s a strong distribution that will integrate well into their mixed environments. If the patent agreement with Microsoft means a few more customers than before are willing to take the plunge with Linux, that’s a good thing. But we don’t think patent concerns are driving Linux adoption one way or the other. The deal with Microsoft simply removes the issue from the table for customers.
Of course, Stafford Masie is on record as stating that the patent covenant is indeed a competitive advantage for Novell, and Ron Hovsepian also stated that IP concerns were costing Novell deals, and the patent covenant addresses those concerns for Novell customers.
Did anyone at Novell wonder why these IP concerns weren’t affecting Red Hat adoption rates? This just sounds like weak salespeople, honestly, who are accepting the clients excuses instead of working through them. It reminds me of a quote from Boiler Room
And there is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can’t. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him? Now be relentless.
That’s it, I’m done.