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MS-Novell Communication Breakdown: It’s Always the Same

If I signed a massive multiyear contract under which millions of dollars changed hands and the eyes of the world were upon me, I'd probably read it first. I'm not sure how carefully Steve Ballmer and Ron Hovsepian of Novell scrutinized their cooperation agreement, as only a week or so later the two are fighting over what it all means.

The rub is just who needs patent protection from whom (copy editors in the audience will tell me if this sentence is correct, parentheses aside). Ballmer apparently believes that Linux violates myriad Microsoft patents, which is why Novell was interested in patent protection. Novell's Hovsepian blasted back that he had more than enough patents and more money is flowing from Redmond to Waltham (which is where Novell is now headquartered) than vice versa. (Read Redmond's interview with Hovsepian here.)

If two grown men can’t get along, how can their software?

Posted by Doug Barney on November 27, 2006 at 11:52 AM


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