Cool Solutions

More Microsoft misdirection


November 17, 2005 10:26 am





A new Microsoft-sponsored report that is being picked up in the press aims to confuse the market about the value of Linux and downplay the various reliability, security and TCO issues Windows users are facing. Independent studies regularly credit Linux in general, and SUSE Linux in particular, as secure, reliable, supported platforms that customers can leverage today to gain greater flexibility, performance and value in the IT infrastructure. A couple of quick points about the study: – Linux customers who use Novell-certified solutions do not have the interoperability problems suggested by study author Security Innovation (a Microsoft certified partner). Novell is continually adding to its list of more than 700 ISVs with more than 1,800 products certified and ready. It is just a matter of time until the issue of Linux interoperability with third-party proprietary applications disappears. But Windows will continue to face major security problems (and customers will suffer the financial consequences) as long as Windows is not re-architected and made more modular. – The number of patches to fix security vulnerabilities and other bugs can’t reliably be compared between operating systems as different as Microsoft Windows and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. In contrast to Windows, Linux distributions come with a vast number of packages for services, middleware and software, not just with the operating system and its management framework. – Security Innovation talks about Microsoft’s “integrated innovation” philosophy. That philosophy is widely regarded as the primary reason Windows is an inherently insecure operating system allowing intruders to attack Windows through applications such as Internet Explorer, IIS, etc. This integration with strong dependencies makes it possible for an intruder/worm to bring down an entire system. Integrated innovation is also generally cited as the primary reason for Microsoft’s schedule slips for Windows Vista and Windows Longhorn Server. The lack of modularity means all developers have to be concerned with all dependencies in each part of the system.Those are just a few initial observations. SUSE Linux has achieved the highest level of security of any Linux distribution, and Novell’s additional Linux application security and identity management offerings give customers a powerful, comprehensive security framework for Linux and mixed environments.

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Categories: Expert Views, General, PR Blog


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  1. By:Anonymous

    Ah, the irony…Just adding to Kevan’s blog above…. Just as Microsoft is pushing out a study on how secure Windows is vs. SUSE Linux, we get this article from CNET on the lastest Windows vulnerability. Maybe Microsoft should spend more money on security and less on studies.

  2. By:John

    Who needs misdirection when one of your Developer partners (avanti) feel that they have to post the following on their product support forums

    As of this date, Novell has not informed Avanti, neither as a registered Developer (since 1989) nor as a Silver PartnerNet participant of any plans to “kill off the NetWare kernel” for ANY reason… In fact, we have not even been informed of an End Of Life (EOL) date having been announced for the NetWare platform, much less the OES NetWare kernel.

    Obviously, as a Developer which has supported the Novell NetWare platform exclusively since 1989, there would be a major impact on our business. Unfortunately, Novell has long shown its propensity to change directions based upon the whims of the market without any regard to the impact such unannounced and often wholesale changes have on Developers. And then Novell expresses surprise as its base of committed commercial Developers continues to dwindle.

    Candidly, nothing Novell does seems surprising anymore. Novell has been self-imploding for quite some time going from a Matador controlling the Bull of the networking industry to a Milk Maiden trying to convince the market that their flavor of open source and readily available product is the best. All the chocolate syrup in the world will not flavor the product to the point that Novell can restore its previous market dominance.

    Novell was built upon great technology and aggressive vision. While you may not have always agreed with Ray Noorda, you knew he was driven and that NetWare was his vehicle of choice, and the employees were confident in and inspired by his drive. The train of Executives which have followed have either been bean counters more interested in short term balance sheet results or those with an NMI (Not My Invention) attitude who have felt they could best make their mark on Novell through change. To date, the marks left have been the footprints of the rest of the market trampling Novell as they run past, driving away a once hugely loyal installed based and sending the stock to previously unimagined lows.

    If Novell closed shop tomorrow, the market might blink and there would be an exodus by the part of the installed base which has been sitting on the fence for some time. However, there would also remain a large contingent of users who recognize and respect the technology in NetWare who would try to continue relying upon that superior platform as long as feasible. Novell has installed sites which count their NetWare Servers in the hundreds, not pairs, which will recognize the need to transition from an abandoned platform but also cannot afford to take the reliability for granted and try to migrate overnight.

    It is unfortunate that Novell does not spend as much effort trying to promote and advance the technology that once ruled the market as they do reading industry press releases and listening to analysts who are considered experts if they can merely spell TCP/IP, much less provide the definition for the acronym.

    Look at Novell’s history… Most of the major acquisitions which analysts applauded either have been divested or are rumored to be under consideration for such, and many at the recommendation of analysts who once hailed the moves as properly equipping Novell for the future. How many of those deals ever returned even the original investment, much less a profit?

    It is well known and widely joked about that Novell has always lacked marketing direction. Unfortunately, they seem too easily influenced by the latest travelling salesman with his new and improved snake oil scheme for regaining market dominance.

  3. By:John D (CNE)

    I think Novell needs to respond to MS every chance it gets. I find it interesting that MS is still targeting Novell even after all these years. Could it be because they haven’t successfully run Novell into the ground like so many other companies? Novell technology is the best available, but they still haven’t figured out the marketing problem. Marketing is how MS succeeds and other fail. Novell needs to get the word out to everyone, not just tech people, that they are still alive and kicking. Novell needs to target the SMB market (notice that this is the market MS is focusing on now?) with product pricing and offers that they can’t refuse. Novell needs to be in the news at least once a week with positive result stories. Team with colleges and schools to promote your products and get people talking about Novell. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t see a MS ad somewhere – Novell needs to follow suit. As far as the comment about Avanti – perhaps they should re-read Novell’s press announcements – they have committed to Netware and Linux support and development many times in several articles. What more can they say? Maybe Avanti should take a look at the long list of MS vaporware before they get too upset with Novell.

  4. By:Robert Zondervan

    I really don’t understand why John moves the discussion to NetWare.
    NetWare is as strategical as Linux, Identity Management, ZENworks and GroupWise. The new Novell marketing focus is on solutions for the Data Center, SIM, Resource Management, Workgroups and Desktops.

    Novell has recently opened a web site to make clear that NetWare and every other product has a future:

    With every release the OS gets an extra 7 years of support:
    – NetWare 6.5 till Aug 1, 2010
    – OES (including NetWare!) till March 2012, and further ….


  5. By:Mark

    Your assertations on security assume that it is possible for a system, (in this case Linux), to be essentially secure, or ‘more secure’ (how on earth you expect to measure that I have no idea), ‘out of the box’.

    This is a fundamentally flawed and dangerous assumption. Speaking as an administrator, it is far better to start off with the assumption that a systenm is insecure, and that it is your job as the admin to defend and secure that system. This assumption applies equally to both Linux and Windows systems, and I can assure you that both platforms present an equal ‘challenge’ (headache?) for those people on the ground who have to maintain computer networks.

    Rather than banging on about which platform is more secure, why not help simplify the job an admin HAS to do by default? That is to set about finding good tools and configuration guides to help toughen up a deployment and defend it against attack. This is something Microsoft is doing very well right now.

  6. RE: Your assertations on security assume that it is possible for a system, (in this case Linux), to be essentially secure, or ‘more secure’ (how on earth you expect to measure that I have no idea), ‘out of the box’.

    I call BS … openbsd has widely been known to, at each version release, ship with zero known security vulnerabilities in its default configuration. Period. Do some homework before you post like that.

  7. By:TuCents

    Microsoft vs Linux: More Secure?
    In a convoluted fashion, I happened upon this blog post as a refutation of this study funded by microsoft, thanks to Slashdot.
    While reading the above blog post, I was struck by the comments stating that “…it is far better to start off wi…

  8. Sometimes I think Microsoft’s sole purpose in life is to corrupt the truth. Now I know that to be true.

  9. By:Jakob

    A little more detailed critisism of the original study would be greatly appreciated:
    – What are the major points you think why the study is not valid? Explain, cite…
    – Show some self-critisism and use the valid points in the study in order to improve your product. Nobody is perfect!
    Just my 2 cents how to deal with critical studies


  10. Novell has a pool of Veterans, enthusiasts who invested in Training, Ventures and hobbies in creating associations, clubs etc. Novell Marketing is quite shy and timid on the OS market, inter-alia, whereas M$ has all the artillery and battery to motivate its troups. There is not enough communications between Novell and its troups. We are here, we are dedicated to a philosophy and are just waiting to be used! However, some of us are quite far from the Americas and speak another language, and despite that far from the distance, do rest assured that in our endeavors, we aim at one thing the success of Novell and that we did not make a mistake in believing and trusting Novell. Sadly, we can only do with the resources that we have, our own time, but we are not complaining, just sharing our experience. I am totally bilingual, in case anybody wants to further this, I can call, no problem.

  11. By:Matt

    Comon Microsoft paid for it, of course it would side towards Microsoft. You see the same thing in other big business funded tests.