09.17.07

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Novell’s Microsoft Deal — The “Advantage” That Wasn’t

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Novell, Red Hat at 6:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

With some concrete figures at hand, one can finally accept Novell’s dependence on Microsoft and declining growth, which is limited by Microsoft’s involvement (or lack thereof). From the news:

One year after Microsoft deal, Novell’s Linux sales growth slows

Nearly a year after shocking the open-source community by cutting a deal with Microsoft Corp., a primary spike to Linux sales at Novell Inc. has slowed and the company has yet to win market share from rival Red Hat Inc.

Initially, Novell officials emphasized the importance of that first-quarter rise in Linux orders and its ties to that Microsoft deal. As Linux sales slowed in subsequent quarters — from year-over-year growth of 659 percent to 114 percent to 95 percent — executives have backed away from espousing the importance of Linux orders to Novell’s overall business strategy.

It wasn’t long ago that Alfresco raised concerns because, judging by its own figures, Novell’s attraction stayed relatively flat whereas Red Hat demand was up sharply. Novell’s bragging about patents and interoperability as a competitive advantage no longer sits right. To cite one who was a self-confessed Novell fan:

“Once I bought into the community, I became community-oriented. That’s Red Hat’s strength, and that’s where Novell falls short. To me, it looks like Novell just uses Linux as an entry to selling proprietary products to put on top of it. As for open source, it looks like Novell tosses its dead products out to the community.”

It very much aligns with Novell’s vision of a ‘mixed source’ future.

This is just another reminder which not only provides the insight of people, but also gives number to support the claims that Novell gained no advantage from its deal with Microsoft. Worse — it was left further behind Red Hat or had its growth slowed. The honeymoon did not last forever. In the long term, Novell will get stung along with the rest of Linux.

Novell thinks about Novell, not Linux. But without Linux, there are no prospects for Novell, which falls right into Microsoft’s hands.

I'm Linux
Novell’s vision of GNU/Linux

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