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Novell to get 10 per cent of MS-Caldera settlement?

Or so we're led to believe...

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Novell is to receive around 10 per cent of the Caldera v Microsoft settlement - enough to add perhaps $25 to $30 million of sunshine to the quarter, but not enough to get out the bathing togs. It will be interesting to see if Novell identifies the payment which would then give confirmation of the precise settlement amount, or buries it in its revenue. The SEC has been stricter recently in requiring the identification of revenue from lines of business, as well as from extraordinary items (Cisco recently had to resubmit its accounts appropriately broken down). Ironically, Novell would have received more had it not had to renegotiate its arrangement with Caldera for an unrelated reason. As a consequence of the settlement, Caldera Inc shareholders are receiving a handy dividend of $11 per share in cash, with an option to have $7 in cash and 1.5 shares of Lineo. Since it is believed that they only paid 15 cents/share, they have done rather well. The unrewarded heroes are the Brits who developed DR-DOS, the subject of the MS v Caldera case, in the first place - originally in Hungerford, Hampshire, and then in Andover where Roger Gross ran the Caldera thin client operation that became Lineo - but they are now dispersed following the closure of the UK operation last year, with just the remnant of a reunion website from last September marking their passage. When Sun, Novell, Citrix, SCO and others invested in Caldera Systems last year, Intel was notably absent - in order not to upset its Wintel partner of course - but there's nothing to stop it trying to do so now, especially with Caldera Systems' IPO expected to be priced this month. ®

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