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Novell Tried to Buy SUSE, Sources Say

Novell Tried to Buy SUSE, Sources Say

Well, well, well, well, well. We have it on very good authority that Novell just tried and failed to buy SuSE to add to its Ximian acquisition. Apparently $120 million for such a thing is a little rich for its taste. The German government, which reportedly owns something like 30% of SuSE ($30 million worth), is supposed to be the speed bump. It wants twice SuSE's run rate, which is said to be $31 million a year. IBM, which - in trying to prevent Red Hat from turning into Microsoft 2 - reportedly owns 20% of SuSE, is supposed to be funding the company.

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Most Recent Comments
David Michael Harris 11/13/04 11:37:43 AM EST

It happened, they sold, so would have I if millions was shuved in my face and I wanted to cut loose. SuSE sold out and thats it. Novell are a business and no true business in worldly terms can be moral, they are in it to make cash, they dont give a jack daniels about community spirit.

Mike Calder 11/06/03 07:49:18 AM EST

Let's look on the bright side.
There's now a major opportunity for a new, technically proficient, professional, independent, Linux distro.
Suse has proved the market is there and that it can be done, with Novell they will lose/destroy their market within the next 12 to 18 months.
That's an ideal start-up timescale; who's going to grab it?

Hazem 11/05/03 02:18:48 PM EST

I agree completely with Jack. Sadly, it seems Novell and SuSE owners have finalized the deal. No matter how much i try to see the bright side to this, i can't.

Why would a successful company like SuSE sell out at this time? probably because of self-centric greedy capitalist owners of SuSE think it is better for their pockets.

This world is heading for concentration of power into proportionally fewer and fewer hands, and all these acquisitions are just one symptom of that. I was hoping that SuSE, because of their success on their own, and because of their concentration on, and support by the open source movememnt, would be an exception.

This is very bad news indeed. :(


Derek 11/05/03 10:47:56 AM EST



Some think it's a good thing

Jack Alderson 11/04/03 09:10:38 PM EST

The acquisition of SUSE by "ANY" U.S. company is very B-A-D!. All companies in the U.S. fear Microsoft. Their business decisions, strategies, and implemented and marketed technologies are too heavily influenced by what Microsoft does or they think they will do. European companies have no fear of Microsoft and do not allow their businesses to be controlled by them. One of the main reasons SUSE has done well is because they are "NOT" a U.S. - based or owned company.

Novel's focus is only on surviving. They are floundering in the surf and are grabbing for life preservers. SUSE, to them, is nothing more than one of many of these. They will hang on to SUSE until they find a bigger one and then it will be tossed aside like any other useless object. They have been trying for years to find a way out of their archaic technology base and they see Linux as the vehicle to do that. Let them buy Red Hat to squander.

SCO is Microsoft bought and paid for. These lawsuits against Linux is nothing more than Microsoft up to their old tricks. Microsoft has laid out the game plan, provided the strategies, and provided funding with their so-called "license purchase" from SCO.

SCO is dying and they know it. Their last technology conference showed their "new" technology which was two years old by current standards. The senario for them is to create as much FUD in the Linux market as possible and then file for bankruptcy, then be bought out by Microsoft, along with all of their technology rights. And if the stupid courts rule in SCO's favor, guess what technology and property rights they will own?!?

This is the only line of attack that Microsoft has. There is too much momentum behind Linux and no one single entity for them to attach or squash.

IBM and Novel are like surfers, waiting for that next, big wave. Right now, Linux is that wave. IBM has adopted and discarded more "great" technology over the years than any other company in the world. Linux for them is nothing more than the current new toy. When the momentum dies down, they will toss it aside just like they did PS/2, OS/2, and a host of other technologies. Novel will do the same.

Linux is SUSE's livelyhood. SUSE, as a single entity, will fight much harder to keep Linux alive than any of the big U.S. companies. If the U.S. companies want to help the Linux movement, they should leave SUSE as an individual company and provide R & D funds and support, and aid in the marketing of the SUSE product. SUSE is our best shot at a Linux distribution that reaches from the home user to the corporate IT department. Leave it alone and support it as it stands. The only thing that will keep Linux alive is Linux, and the great people behind it that want to have and provide an alternative to the Microsoft monopoly.

SUSE has a good history of listening to its consumers. If you are opposed to this acquisition let them know. Send e-mails to SUSE protesting this acquisition. Also send the protest to Novell. They do not listen to their consumers as well as SUSE does but every little bit helps. I plan to do both.

This acquisition is "NOT" good for the Linux movement. SUSE is soon to be the biggest player in the Linux world. Red Hat is bailing out of the consumer market and Mandrake is still trying to find funding. SUSE is the best shot we have, but only if it remains as it is and continues to grow as a single, non - U.S. held entity.

SUSE stick to your roots!!!

Jack A.

COlesen 10/28/03 01:25:05 AM EST

For God's sake I hope not. That SuSE leaves Europe. And then just because of some money. Software and hardware is one of the few area's where Europe is not ahead and letting SuSE go is the wrong direction. I'm not sure it would not have a defusing and negative impact on European intiatives such as MySQL,Qt,Opera,KDE,Reiserfs,Knoppix,etc. SuSE is probably a very small company today (as opposed to SAP) but who knows what the next 10 years could bring? In an opensource friendly Europe. http://news.com.com/2100-7344_3-5097569.html?tag=nefd_top.
On the contrary. BusinessWeek predicted recently that AMD is doomed on its current track. AMD already has a factory in Dresden. Now, if Europe (the Germans) bought AMD ... with government aid if that's what it takes. The incentive would be Intels current 50% profitmargin, jobs and the benefits from co-leading tech (someday the chinese will join). Consumers would not have one but 2 choices. Wintel and Linamd (doesn't sound good). And if you were to choose an American company as support then what comes to mind? IBM. Who already supports AMD. And SuSE. Ideally the market should have more than one strong player. Just as on the GPU market with ATI and NVidia. How the canadians did that the Europeans could learn from. But that Chrysler turned out to be a money blackhole for Mercedes-Benz does not help.

Texas George 10/27/03 07:05:03 PM EST

Well, after the way Germany & France have made the United Nations almost meaningless, and proved they can't take a little Arizona-style heat, I figure someone over here in the old "US of A" had better grab SuSE while it's still worth something and then *do* something with it. What's with making parts of OpenExchange *proprietary*??? What's with not making iso images of the OS available for free download? At least RedHat - over here in The Land of the Free - knows how to truly support the open source community!

We try, and we try, but Germany & France still don't understand the concept of FREEDOM! (And yes, you can make money selling and supporting *free* software)


Relax guys, I'm just trying to raise your blood pressure. Looks like it worked too.


- Texas George

Yakov Densky 10/27/03 06:29:13 PM EST

SuSE needs to get sold like Germany needs a hole in the
head. SuSE is a German company and it needs to remain so.
A good German need only remember the words of the national
anthem, 'Die Wacht Am Rhein', to know the reason why.
SuSE is part and parcel of the German Nation and its loss
to a plethora of purchasers, subsequent acquisitions,
perversions, patent maraises, etc. would be felt. Really
felt. Not only the German People, but all Linux users
would lose. Suppose, for example, that SCO/Microsoft by
way of Paul Allen, major stockholder in both SCO/Caldera
and also of Microsoft, would get hold of control of SuSE.
Would they then try to profitize all the parts of SuSE's
distribution that they could? Would they also then try
to squeeze money out of current and past SuSE customers.
Could they also sell products made from it to defense
industries in some countries while selling the opposing
products to enemies of those countries and make money of
however much blood flows?
Or would they just be content to close down the operation
after transfering all the work out of Germany to low wage
slave states like China or Indonesia, or just really low
wage states like India. AND THEN CHANGE THE NAME OF SUSE

Barry Voeten 10/27/03 03:11:55 PM EST

> Patrick: nope, Core SuSE tools such as Yast are NOT free software. You need a special $$ licence to have your modicications distributable.

Hi Slash 10/27/03 01:43:00 PM EST

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!

Oh wait, sorry. Wrong topic. Okay...

It's not Novell, it's really SCO and Microsoft behind this!

Oh wait, sorry. Wrong site. Where's Slashdot?

Anonymous 10/27/03 12:39:43 PM EST

The German government is not among the SuSE investors - this news seems like a big hoax. For a list of investors:


IBM is among them, but IIRC does not own a big share in the company.

Patrick 10/27/03 12:13:08 PM EST

Perhaps it's a knowledge grab as well. Sure you can get the source and become a distributor, but that doesn't bring along the knowledge and experience that an acquisition of Suse would bring.

Quentin 10/25/03 12:52:27 AM EDT

Why you ask... have a look at:
If you need more info than that.... ask on slashdot... someone will answer :-)

Mark 10/25/03 12:19:42 AM EDT

Why would Novell want to buy a company to distribute Linux when they can become a distributor themselves by getting the source code and bundle it like everyone else does? (I know it isn't as simple as that.) But, the real answer to their motive may be in the answer. One reason may be that shrinking the pool ensures a market share that also has an installed profit base. Hopefully thats all it is, but other motives may be out there.

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