Channel Marker

September 6, 2007  3:57 PM

Cognos, Applix partner programs to merge under aquisition

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

Business intelligence software vendor Cognos’ acquisition of corporate performance management vendor Applix will unify the two companies’ partner networks, said Cognos’s vice president of product marketing Doug Barton.

VARs and system integrators (SIs) who currently sell either company’s products will be able to train for and sell both after the merger, Barton said. Although he declined to comment on the eventual partner network’s structure after the merger in detail, citing legal confidentiality agreements, Barton did say that Applix resellers will be brought into the fold of Cognos’ partner network.

“We do have a very, very strong infrastructure around partners, and we would hope they would be able to avail themselves of that infrastructure and its leadership,” he said. “It’s gotten the time and attention of our senior management.”

Barton would not comment on whether Applix partners would report to new regional managers after the acquisition, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter this year. Cognos does not expect much channel conflict as the companies’ partners merge, essentially because there will be enough demand to keep all partners in business, Barton said.

“We’re going to embrace partners to service that demand,” he said, “and for those reasons we expect that the areas of potential conflict will be minimal.”

Analysts predict a convergence of BI and CPM, and Barton said that Cognos and Applix target similar companies, those in the midmarket and large enterprise spectrum.

September 6, 2007  12:41 PM

File under ‘Duh’: Microsoft meeting to stress software

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Today is Microsoft’s big company meeting at Safeco Field. The usual occupants, the Mariners, are off doing battle on the road–not too successfully—against the Yankees. But I digress.

Insiders say that 20,000 employees have signed up—the event usually takes 14,000. The bigger number no doubt due to the fact this is seen as something of a Bill Gates swan song

Aside from Gates, COO Kevin Turner, chief software architect Ray Ozzie are on tap to yak. Steve Ballmer will go last so attendees will somehow leave fired up and drained simultaneously.

Expect a lot more of the “people ready” message and yet another “Surfaces” demo. Insiders day Gates’ prime message will be about software being at the center of Microsoft’s business.

No kidding.

(Although if he doesn’t delve into the services delivery module, expect a bunch of speculation that the whole SaaS push is being re-evaluated.)

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at 

September 6, 2007  6:16 AM

Channel news: Dell ‘unaware’ of accounting gaffes; NAC tracks malware

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Dell founder ‘unaware’ of company’s financial shenanigans Michael Dell briefly addresses accounting scandal, also answers questions about the company’s strategy in retail and consumer PC markets. [CNET]

NAC switches, appliances help track users, malware Some vendors are offering switches and appliances to monitor traffic for malware and unauthorized access, as the NAC market including Cisco NAC and Microsoft NAP sorts itself out. []

Cognos follows the CPM pack, acquires Applix With Oracle, SAP and Business Objects investing heavily to extend corporate performance management into the finance office, Cognos today responded by buying Applix. []

Continued »

September 5, 2007  10:52 PM

Sun, NetApp heading for judgement day

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Network Appliance Inc. today announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Sun Microsystems Inc. seeking damages and an injunction against Sun to prevent further distribution of Sun’s file system technology. 

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court, Lufkin, Texas, alleges that Sun violated seven NetApp patents primarily related to its ZFS technology.  In addition, NetApp is asking the court to declare that it has not infringed on three of Sun’s patents.   

In a conference call today, NetApp officials said the intellectual property spat began 18 months ago when Sun presented to NetApp a set of patents that they claimed NetApp infringed upon and requested a cross license agreement as well as “a lot of money,” David Hitz, NetApp’s founder and executive vice president explained. 

“That demand caused us to examine carefully whether we were infringing their [intellectual property] rights and also whether they might be infringing ours,” said Dan Warmenhoven, NetApps chief executive officer.  

In a blog that further sheds light on NetApp’s counter attack, Hitz said Sun’s ZFS “was a conscious reimplementation of our Write Anywhere File Layout (WAFL) file system with little regard to intellectual property rights.” 

In the meantime, the ZFS file system was donated to the open source community in April and is a key element of Sun’s OpenSolaris storage strategy.  According to NetApp executives it’s difficult to delete patented technology like a file system that has already been released to the open source community.  The best court decision, they say, is to stop Sun from developing ZFS altogether.   

“What we are interested in is getting Sun to stop developing [ZFS] and stop releasing it as a commercial product,” Hitz added.     

September 5, 2007  9:39 PM

Novell fills Microsoft Silverlight gap

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

When Microsoft announced availability of its Silverlight 1.0 multimedia building block earlier today, the big news was that Novell  would provide a Linux version of the tool.

In his blog Novell (and former Ximian) whiz kid Miguel De Icaza called this “an historical collaboration between an open source project and Microsoft. They have collaborated with other folks on the server space (Xen and PHP) but this is their first direct contribution to the open source desktop.”  

The result of the collaboration will be “a 100% compatible Silverlight runtime implementation called “Moonlight” [which] will run on all Linux distributions, and support FireFox, Konqueror, and Opera browsers,” wrotes Scott Guthrie, GM of Microsoft’s Developer  Division  in <i>his</i> blog. 

You might also wonder whether this work—which smacks contract development—is part and parcel of the earlier Microsoft-Novell era of good feeling announced last year.

Apparently not.  According to a Microsoft spokeswoman:

“The good working relationship between Microsoft and Novell  announced back on November 2nd of 2006, which was a set of agreements to collaborate on IP, business, and technical matters and based on customer desire to address the challenges of operating mixed source environments.  This paved the way for the companies to work together on multiple opportunities, including bringing Silverlight to Linux. It’s not technically part of the agreement.” 

Microsoft is not commenting on financial aspects—if any—behind Novell’s Linux work.

So here’s a rather sobering question: Has Novell, once the “A”-number-one-kingpin-of- network-operating-systems,  become little more than a contract programming house for Microsoft?

Just asking.

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at 

September 5, 2007  7:10 AM

Channel news: Cisco’s enterprise Wi-Fi; Microsoft settles patent suit

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Cisco unveils 802.11n wireless LAN access point for enterprises Cisco Tuesday jumped into the IEEE 802.11n wireless LAN market with a two-radio access point based on the draft standard and aimed squarely at its huge enterprise customer base. [Network World]

Microsoft, Eolas Settle Patent Dispute The nearly decade-long browser patent infringement dispute between Microsoft and Eolas Technologies is over. Terms of the out-of-court settlement were not disclosed. [eWeek]

Oracle Buys Networking Vendor Netsure, Eyes Others Oracle did a bit of Labor Day shopping, announcing over the weekend a deal to purchase Irish network optimization technology maker Netsure Telecom. [ChannelWeb]

Virtual PCs and SaaS force IT to rethink Windows desktop Microsoft’s Windows and Office won’t fall into the tar pits any time soon, but ideas like virtual desktops and SaaS are real threats to tradition. [SearchWinIT]

Yahoo Buying Ad Network for $300 Million Yahoo Inc. is buying online advertising network BlueLithium for $300 million in cash, building upon an expansion aimed at ending a financial malaise that has ravaged the Internet pioneer’s stock price. [Associated Press]

Google denies its Apps just a Microsoft Office add-on Google officials don’t like the suggestion that their own employees depend mostly on Microsoft Office even as Google Apps makes headway into the enterprise collaboration and e-mail market. [Network World]

Intel to quickly reply to regulators on STMicro deal Intel Corp., the world’s largest chip maker, will quickly provide information sought by U.S. regulators over its plans to merge its chip unit with STMicroelectronics, and expects a prompt response, its chairman said. [Reuters]

Confusion 2.0: Keep a Tight Grip on Personal Data In a report, Fortinet researchers warn that respected sites are lowering users’ security defenses. [eWeek]

September 4, 2007  10:32 AM

Red Hat partners offered Linux virtualization course

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Red Hat is offering new Linux virtualization training for its partners and customers.

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux Virtualization course is aimed at getting value-added resellers (VARs), systems integrators (SIs) and customers familiar with virtualization and teaching them how it can make them money, spokesman Peter Hnath said. Red Hat has included XenSource virtualization technology in the latest version of its operating system, Enterprise Linux 5.

“Xen is a substantial body of new technology,” Hnath said.

The offering marks a departure for Red Hat, whose past non-certification-based courses have been on “very high-level” topics, Hnath said. Red Hat made the Enterprise Linux Virtualization course at a more intermediate level so it would be more accessible to partners and customers, he added. The intended audience for the course is “Red Hat certified professionals” and “experienced Linux system administrators,” according to a press release.

Red Hat has so far scheduled the two-day, $1,500 course in 13 U.S. locations and plans to announce more within the next two weeks. Attendees must have a Red Hat Certified Technician certification or the equivalent knowledge and skills to participate in the course.

If you work with Red Hat, check out the desktop Linux and Linux server resources at You can also learn more about desktop virtualization and server virtualization while you’re there.

September 4, 2007  7:24 AM

Channel news: OOXML rejected; Microsoft moves into cloud

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

ISO votes to reject Microsoft’s OOXML as standard Microsoft Corp. has failed in its attempt to have its Office Open XML document format fast-tracked straight to the status of an international standard by the International Organization for Standardization. [Network World]

Software via the Internet: Microsoft in ‘Cloud’ Computing The empire is preparing to strike back — again. In 1995, Microsoft added a free Web browser to its operating system in an attempt to fend off new rivals, an effort ultimately blocked by the courts. This week, it plans to turn that strategy upside down, making available free software that connects its Windows operating system to software services delivered on the Internet, a practice increasingly referred to as “cloud” computing. [New York Times]

Custom-built botnet steals eBay accounts Online auction site eBay has been targeted by identity thieves, who are wielding a botnet that uses brute force to uncover valid account login info, an Israeli security company said Monday. [Computerworld]

Trademark plaintiff drops suit vs. Google over ads The plaintiff in a long-running trademark infringement lawsuit against Google Inc agreed on Friday to drop its case targeting the Web search advertising leader’s core business, according to court filings. [Reuters]

VMware IPO puts spotlight on rival firms The success of VMware Inc.’s public stock offering earlier this month was good news for parent company EMC Corp. But VMware competitor John Thibault is almost as glad. “It’s a little awkward to actually be happy for a competitor,” Thibault admitted. But his company, Virtual Iron Inc., is riding the wave of free publicity generated by the VMware offering, and by Citrix Systems Inc.’s $500 million purchase of the virtualization software company XenSource the following day. [The Boston Globe]

Virtual Iron Preps Latest Virtualization Release Virtual Iron, which has been working to position itself as the low-cost, open-source alternative to VMware, is releasing the fourth version of its namesake virtualization suite. The Lowell, Mass., company will release Virtual Iron Version 4 on Sept. 10, just before the start of the VMworld conference in San Francisco, executives announced Sept. 4. [eWeek]

Faster Wi-Fi in Works to Transfer Data With a wave of his hand over a homemade receiver, Georgia Tech professor Joy Laskar shows how easily – and quickly – large data files could someday be transferred from a portable media player to a TV. Poof! “You just moved a movie onto your device,” Laskar says. [Associated Press]

August 31, 2007  10:21 AM

Channel news: Microsoft monopoly news; EMC buys VAR

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Microsoft Still a Monopoly, 7 State Attorneys Say Seven states are pushing back against the Department of Justice’s assessment that the landmark antitrust settlement between the United States and Microsoft has removed the anticompetitive obstacles created by the software maker and resulted in more competition in the middleware market. [eWeek]

EMC Buys VAR, Beefs Up Services EMC has acquired its fourth solution provider in under two years with an aim to beefing up its services business, but it says other solution providers should not be concerned the company is lessening its channel focus. [ChannelWeb]

Monster data theft also hit U.S. job site About 146,000 people using a U.S. government jobs Web site had their personal information stolen by hackers who broke into computers at Monster Worldwide, a government spokesman said on Thursday. [CNET]

Microsoft third-party licensing and activation server set to RTM In July, Microsoft announced its intentions to deliver a number of licensing technologies to third-party vendors interesting in deploying Microsoft-like activation and licensing in their products. One of those components, the Software Licensing and Protection Server (SLP), is likely to be released to manufacturing (RTM) on August 31, according to a Microsoft blog entry by a member of the SLP team. [All About Microsoft]

Cisco Turns to Trend Micro for Router Security Cisco Systems Thursday unveiled plans to add content security services to its routers via an extended partnership with Trend Micro. [ChannelWeb]

Sun seeks developer help to make Solaris ubiquitous Sun Microsystems Inc. has ambitious plans for the commercial and open-source versions of its Solaris operating system, hoping to achieve for Solaris the kind of ubiquity already enjoyed by Java. [Computerworld]

Sony pleads innocent in latest rootkit fiasco Sony claims the rootkit-like behavior of a device driver used to run its biometric Micro Vault USM-F thumb drive was unintentional. [CNET]

I.B.M. Researchers Advancing Computer Processing Ability Researchers at I.B.M. laboratories say they have made progress toward storing information and computing at the level of individual atoms. [New York Times]

August 31, 2007  9:38 AM

Microsoft’s slow-motion train wreck

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Microsoft’s acknowledgement this week that Windows Server 2008 (Longhorn) won’t   release to manufacturing till early next year  surprised very few people.

The company started the RTM/ship wiggle last year when the official word went from the server would be generally available by year’s end to the server would be released to manufacturing by year’s end.

Anyone who’s watched the company for more than a month knows that’s the beginning of the drip, drip, drip of a bad news being prepped and leaked bit by bit. Only it’s not really bad news for customers, who hate upgrades. It is, however, bad news for beleaguered Microsoft partners who always want new bits to sell and may be sick of talking about upcoming wares to customers only to not have anything new to sell or implement.

Face it, the Longhorn launch has been a slow-motion train wreck going back well on four  years. Remember all the PDC 2003 promises? Microsoft hopes you don’t.

Since that time the promised WinFS storage-unification-extravaganza has been promised, repromised, nuked, and reborn as a more incremental vision; the server and client were split up, the client ended up as a big-fat-tub-o’-goo albeit with a nice interface. And the server? Well the server still ain’t here.

One long-time New York area database-and-tools partner sounds weary when he discusses it. He chalks the mega-if-phantom launches to marketing realities. “They need to get the most out of their marketing buck,” says he. Who really cares if what they’re trying to market has been discussed to death for the previous three years? (Ok, that last bit is from me.)

The really funny thing is that, as some expectedthe company may actually have very little to launch at its super-duper-mega-big-bang launch February 27.

Back in July, COO Kevin Turner promised “the biggest enterprise launch” in company history from the stage at the worldwide partners conference. That would be SQL Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008, and Windows Server 2008. All to sally forth from the same
Los Angeles stage. Only even then it wasn’t true. Follow up interviews quickly uncovered that not even Microsoft was promising that SQL Server would be available at that time

For the record, Microsoft says SQL Server 2008 is still on for GA in the second quarter of next year. Let’s just say June. The official word on Visual Studio 2008 (Orcas) still seems to be availability at the end of this calendar year, although it’s been pretty quiet (TOO quiet) on that front for a while now.

So, it’s conceivable that on its “biggest ever enterprise launch” day Microsoft will actually have nothing to launch. “That’s pretty low, even by their standards,” says one long-time industry watcher.

Oh well. Maybe next launch.

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at 

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