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Opinions Abound on Novell/SUSE Deal

Nov 05, 2003, 17:00 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Charles Cooper, Glenn Stone)

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CNET: The Linux Factor

"The end was predictable: Noorda was sent packing, and management rid itself of all his handicraft--at fire sale prices, to boot. Novell never recovered from its stumble, and the pink slips multiplied as losses mounted. Bob Frankenberg, Joe Marengi and Eric Schmidt all took turns trying to revive the company, but it was largely viewed as another piece of roadkill crushed by Microsoft.

"But current CEO Jack Messman has come up with an unconventional strategy that can be summed up in one word: Linux..."

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Linux Journal: View from the Trenches: Goodbye SuSE?

"But wait a minute. What does this really mean, for us ordinary folk? Well, for starters, let's read the third paragraph of the press release:

"Novell today also announced that IBM intends to make a $50 million investment in Novell convertible preferred stock. In addition, Novell and IBM are negotiating extensions to the current commercial agreements between IBM and SUSE LINUX for the continued support of SUSE LINUX on IBM's eServer products and middleware products to provide for product and marketing support arrangements related to SUSE LINUX. Both of these agreements will be effective when the acquisition of SUSE LINUX by Novell is completed.

"Now, think about that. Novell paid $210 million for SuSE, cash on the barrel-head. It had way more money than that figure in the bank, and the company is debt-free, despite having bought Ximian earlier this year. Novell easily could have completed the acquisition without IBM's help. And it's not like either transaction was anything less than amicable. SuSE admitted in the post-sale press conference that they wanted to partner, and the fact that the IBM transaction is preferred stock has 'approval' written on the face of it. So, in essence, this is a friendly three-way partnering..."

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