Rocky VI

M-A-D over patents; open question at Sun; Hurd in the boardroom.


Sent: Monday, April 4, 2005 12:21 AM

To: eWEEK readers

Subject: M-A-D over patents; open question at Sun; Hurd in the boardroom

"Go for it," Spencer almost imagined Novell bigwig Jack Messman saying, Rocky Balboa-like, to the Ivan Drago-like threat of Microsofts massive patent buildup. However, the Kitty actually visualized the Novell CEO and Bill Gates nose to nose in boxing trunks and decided that analogies to the movie "Rocky IV" paint a rather-unpalatable image when applied to middle-aged high-tech execs.


The cold war between the two companies could heat up if, as some have speculated, Microsoft is deliberately pumping up its patent muscles to use against Linux. And Messman, sounding very much like the head of a software superpower, is not mincing his words about how Novell would respond.

At Novells recent BrainShare conference in Salt Lake City, Messman told the Kitty that a patent war with Redmond could damage a "nuclear detente" between the two companies. Should the doctrine of mutually assured patent destruction not prevail, Messman said that Microsoft would come out on the losing end of such a stare-down, since "Novells patents read on more of Microsofts revenue than theirs do on ours because ours are bigger."

The KattPhones new ring tone, "Eye of the Tiger," broke Spences cold-war reverie. As he downed a raw egg, the Kitty answered the phone and heard from a crony who informed him that Quest Software has agreed to pay $16 million plus royalties to settle an IP dispute with Computer Associates. The lawsuit alleged that the Quest Central for DB2 line of products used proprietary info belonging to CA.

Spencer began shadowboxing around his Litter Box, as his phone crony asked if hed heard that the Las Vegas Convention Center had removed Comdex from its fall calendar. According to the Las Vegas Sun, Comdex owner MediaLive International had failed to confirm the mid-November show dates with the convention centers sales force. Oddly, MediaLives Web site is touting a November Comdex event in Athens, Greece. "Nice strategy," cackled the Kitty. "Invite tech folks to gather in a country thats outlawed computer games and the use of some handsets!"

The Furball asked his friend if he knew who is going to hold the fort at NCR, now that CEO Mark Hurd has resigned to take the reins at Hewlett-Packard. "NCR board member James Ringler, a retired vice chairman of Illinois Tool Works, will hold the interim CEO post while the board seeks a new head honcho," said the pal. "Now, whether Ringler will just follow the Hurd mentality until a candidate is chosen is the real question." "Me-ouch!" emitted the mortified Mouser.

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...