Microsoft Linux is born?

Good heavens. I've just watched a webcast with Steve Ballmer not only standing next to a bunch of Novell executives quite peacefully, but... he also used the L word without spitting venom and breathing fire.

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Twisting the tubes away

- Microsoft Linux is born?

- Big bore Gattung gun opens up on critics



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Microsoft Linux is born?

Good heavens. I’ve just watched a webcast with Steve Ballmer not only standing next to a bunch of Novell executives quite peacefully, but… he also used the L word without spitting venom and breathing fire. He said it several times too. Moreover, Ballmer spoke of supporting, selling and recommending the PenguinOS, as distributed by Novell.

It’s all about intellectual property apparently, or keeping CEOs and CIOs sleeping calmly at night, without worrying about getting sued. The Open Source community didn’t see this one coming at all… 405 comments on Slashdot and counting. This is going to be talked about a lot.

- Microsoft and Novell announce groundbreaking Linux deal

- Microsoft to Announce Linux Partnership

Big bore Gattung gun opens up on critics

Has Theresa Gattung become a liability for Telecom? That question pops up when you read her speech at TUANZ in Wellington earlier this week. Gattung starts off by a decent job out of describing the progress over the past six months in the telecommunications industry – and it is fair to say that things are happening in that area, with plenty of announcements popping up every week.

There’s WiMAX coming up, the broadband brake has been taken off Telecom’s DSL, and while there are fewer surviving ISPs now than last year, the atmosphere is more positive as we wait for unbundling to happen.

Now Gattung could’ve ridden this first little feel-good wave in the business, and made the most of it, but instead she ends up angering her wholesale customers, the ones that are meant to provide up to $1 billion in revenues for Telecom over the next five years.

Currently, ISPs are hacked off because they have to pay more for the regulated UBS wholesale than what Telecom Xtra retails its entry level package for. Gattung in her speech simply shrugged this off as pricing set by the Commerce Commission, and either way, margins are tight on entry level plans for everyone according to her.

Colin Jackson, president of InternetNZ, was quick to point out parts of Gattung’s speech that he felt weren’t true, like Telecom having implemented its Wholesale Charter. According to Jackson, Principle 2 of the Charter says:

“The price for such products will be negotiated on a ‘retail minus’ basis.”

However, Jackson says Telecom didn’t negotiate on the price of the service that arrived on October 26. The prices were presented as a done deal to wholesale customers, Jackson says.

David Diprose, president of ISPANZ, questions why providers have to pay more wholesale than end-users pay Xtra for retail service, if Principle 2 of the Wholesale Charter is in effect. It’s a damaging price squeeze on other ISPs, according to Diprose.

Gattung also lashed out at critics of Telecom in her speech, saying that some in the industry make claims and allegations that get a run in the media, even if they are patently untrue. Jackson takes issue with this, and says Gattung needs to say who it is that is making untrue claims and what those claims are. The attack by Gattung on reasonable critics of Telecom’s behaviour show an unfortunate tendency by her company to shoot the messenger and use spin instead of substance when responding to legitimate criticism.

Quite. Gattung must’ve known that calling her wholesale customers liars would offend. This sort of behaviour, plus ruses like a Wholesale Charter that is said to be binding but which appears not to be worth anything in practice reinforce the need for a full separation of Telecom’s business units.

I doubt however that that was Gattung’s intention with her speech.

- Telecom could have dragged its heels: Gattung

- ISPANZ Refutes Telecom's Rosy Picture

- Flat quarter for Telecom

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