Novell boss in semi-apology over Microsoft pact
Lost in the moment
OSBC It was a short presentation that focused dryly on "opportunities" for open source in something he called the "service-driven data center."
But when he turned to the need for Linux to inter-operate with Windows in this service-driven data center, Novell's chief executive Ron Hovsepian delivered an apology - of sorts - for his company's controversial marriage to Microsoft in 2006.
Speaking at the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC), Hovsepian said he could have done a "better job" of communicating about the deal and suggested he got caught up in thinking about customers, instead of the perception and possible fallout from dealing with Microsoft.
Hovsepian insisted he remained fully committed to taking business away from Windows and .NET and putting it on open source and Java.
In exchange for an agreement on interoperability engineering between Windows and SuSE Linux in 2006, Novell also accepted an indemnification agreement.
Additionally, under the deal, Microsoft paid Novell $240m to distribute 350,000 SuSE Linux Enterprise Server subscription coupons.
Unsurprisingly, Novell was immediately blasted by members of the open-source and Linux communities. Novell's willingness to swallow Microsoft's indemnification clause was recently called into question again, when Red Hat signed its own interoperability deal on Windows, minus Microsoft's patent protection clause - as far as we know, at least.
"I know the deal we did with Microsoft caused a lot of noise and flack in the market," Hovsepian told OSBC on Tuesday. "And I wish I'd done a better job of communicating that. But the thing that caught in my head was the customer.
"Ninety eight per cent of customers said they would have Windows in their environment. My view was embrace it. I still want to put everything on JEE [Java Enterprise Edition] and a full open-source stack, but at the end of the day we have to listen to the customer." ®
Linux flamers can't understand
The Linux zealots who instantly flamed this whole deal between Novell and Microsoft don't want to face the realities of the business world. If a company wants to stay in business, they have to listen to their customers.
Doing any kind of deal with Microsoft is like making a bargain with Satan. The devil is in the details. I think Novell has learned that lesson over the years because of Microsoft's history of stabbing their partners in the back when they find it inconvenient to be honest. It was a risk that Novell was willing to take in order to please their customer base.
Customer needs to be guided(told)
The customer only knows best when they are led to believe that what was said to them in the pass still holds true with today. If open-source and linux are to be accepted they need to be marketed in the correct and current venue. Todays visual market media is still TV, and like in realestate it is location, location, location. There needs to be a major campaign to bring opensource and linux out of the dark and into the spot light.
speaks with forked tongue says Tonto.