Hedge Fund Offers to Take Novell Private for $1.8 Billion

hedge fund offers to take novell private for 1 8 billion suse linux enterprise 11 thumb

Hedge fund Elliott Associates has made an unsolicited $1.8 billion offer to take former software giant Novell private, in a move apparently motivated to maximize the company’s value to investors a series of strategy changes and acquisitions have failed to put Novell back into the top tier of technology companies. According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Elliott believes Novell’s stock has significantly underperformed in recent years, its experience in restructuring companies will maximize value to shareholders. Elliott is already one of those shareholders: it owned about 8.5 percent of Novell.

Novell says it will review the proposal with its financial and legal advisors.

Two decades ago, Novell was a serious rival to Microsoft, producing not only the WordPerfect line of office productivity applications but the Novell Netware operating system which was widely used by corporations, government, and enterprise. However, Novell was eventually out-maneuvered by Microsoft’s Windows NT and Windows 2000 operating systems—and Microsoft used its operating system dominance to push Office over WordPerfect. Novell eventually embraced open source software, producing SUSE Linux for corporations and enterprise and leading one of the industry’s most significant—and longest-running—intellectual property cases against SCO, which claimed to have copyrights that applied to both Unix and Linux. SCO filed for bankruptcy in 2007, but the case is still lingering.

Novell’s SUSE Linux plays an interesting role in the open source world: it’s the only Linux distribution more-or-less blessed by Microsoft, which has been threatening patent infringement action against Linux for years…but has never done anything about it. Novell and Microsoft have a broad partnership agreement (recently extended) that shields SUSE Linux users from any patent infringement claims Microsoft may one day bring against the broader Linux platform. The results is that SUSE Linux, while still a distant runner-up for corporate Linux installations compared to Red Hat Linux—is the only Linux distribution guaranteed safe from theoretical Microsoft wrath…and that makes it a less risky choice for organizations and enterprises who don’t want to be on a hypothetical hook. Microsoft’s relationship with SUSE Linux also provides a way for Microsoft to participate in the open source community…and that relationship may now be one of Novell’s most valuable assets.

Mobile

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Business

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Computing

Hackers are scoring with ransomware that attacks its previous victims

Computer viruses are always evolving. In a new one, dubbed "Ryuk," hackers are targeting PCs with ransomware that scours an infected network in order to pinpoint and attack and enterprises with big money.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Product Review

Origin's Chronos PC is no looker, but it plays games with eye-popping detail

The Chronos is Origin’s smallest PC, but while it occupies less space than most A/V receivers, it delivers the power of a much larger desktop. Its dull exterior design does the system a disservice. Once you turn it on, you won’t be…
Computing

How good are you at spotting phishing scams? Take this quiz to find out

Are you able to discern between a legitimate email and one that's a scam designed to phish for your personal information? Google created an online quiz with tips to help you better understand phishing so you don't become a victim.
Gaming

Can't stand keyboard gaming on PC? Here's how to use a PS3 controller instead

Properly connecting a PlayStation 3 Controller to a PC is no easy task, especially when you opt for third-party peripherals. Thankfully, our guide will help you through the process.
Computing

Zipping files on a Chromebook? Follow these four easy steps

Chromebooks support file compression, though they work a little differently than on Windows or Mac. Here's the step-by-step process to zipping files on a Chromebook, and then unzipping them again for extraction.
Computing

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.
Computing

Patent application reveals what’s to come after AMD’s Graphics Core Next

A published patent application from AMD has revealed a new type of graphics processor core which could make a big difference to the capabilities of its GPUs if it finds its way into them in the future.
Computing

Microsoft targets Chrome OS with $189 Windows 10 laptops for education

Microsoft announced seven new low-cost Windows 10 laptops, all priced under $300 to take on Chromebooks and iPads in the education market, along with a new Microsoft Allora stylus for students using the Surface Go tablet.
Computing

Lenovo patent hints at a future tablet with a folding screen

Folding devices are a new trend, and according to a recent patent, Lenovo is considering a foldable 2-in-1 with a hinge mechanism that would allow consumers to bend back the screen on the device. 
Computing

Wifi Porter is a high-tech block of wood that lets you share your broadband

Tired of manually connecting your guests to your home Wi-Fi network? The latest invention from the folks at Ten One Design, the WifiPorter, allow individuals to connect to your Wi-Fi with the tap of their phone, or by scanning an available…