CyberTech Rambler

May 15, 2007

Oh what a deal…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 7:12 pm

Have you seen a deal, any deal for that matter, that is signed by two willing partners, but with one partners feels the need to issue “clarifications” when the other party starts to talk about the deal?

Yes, the Novell-Microsoft agreement. For the second time, Novell felt necessary to issue a Press Release clarifying its position after Microsoft talks about the deal in public.

The only reason why Novell is still clinging on to the deal is it feels that it has more to gain for the deal. It had set its sight to be the champion of mixed Linux-Windows environment and obviously felt that the need to peek into Microsoft product source code can give it the edge. If you ask me, the sooner Novell realize although supporting EU’s effort to force interoperability information out from Microsoft is the harder route and working hard on providing the better product based on these information is a more difficult solution, in the long run Novell benefits by amassing a wealth of knowledge on interoperation between two operating systems that can be extended to other operating systems, rather than taking shortcuts made possible by signing controversial agreements like this one, the better it is for Novell.

Is it a deal between two equal partners? No, otherwise Novell will be successful in persuading Microsoft to at least not pour any more oil on to the fire. Novell is very much the junior partner here, …, or at least Microsoft thinks it is.

Will “trash-talking” partners serve Microsoft any favour in the long run? No. A lot of companies will be extremely wary about getting into any deals with Microsoft. Trash-talking competition is nothing new, the reigning champion is not even Steve Ballmer, but Larry Ellison of Oracle. But the champion of “trash-talking one’s partner” is Steve Ballmer. If Microsoft cannot even respect a big company like Novell, what chances do the majority of the companies out there have? What morale fibre a company has when it trash-talk the very companies that it considers as partner?

May be Novell should consider including a “gag” order on commenting on the deal by Microsoft senior management in general, Steve Ballmer in particular ,in any rejig of the deal.

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