Stories by Don Tennant

Novell CEO on the Microsoft deal

The landmark technology collaboration agreement between Microsoft and Novell that was announced earlier this month took a controversial twist when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer later proclaimed that Linux customers have "an undisclosed balance sheet liability" because Linux "uses our intellectual property." Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian provided his views on the ensuing controversy, along with a behind-the-scenes account of how the agreement was reached, in an interview Tuesday with Don Tennant.

Takin' care of business

You're probably as disinclined as I am to admit it, but chances are you remember the Bachman-Turner Overdrive song "Takin' Care of Business." In fact, you probably remember the song by BTO so well that you won't be able to get it out of your head when you're finished reading this column.

Beyond a pulse, message to the over 50s

In recent times, I've seen a lot of baby boomer IT professionals who appear to be slipping quietly into geezer mode. They look tired and act tired, and it's as if they've acquiesced to being sidelined by Generation X or Y or Z or whatever generation is getting the buzz now. That's unfortunate, because the skills that these IT professionals have honed over the course of a quarter century or so are too critical to the health of the industry to be allowed to atrophy.

Rotten effort to intimidate users

It's bad enough when Microsoft strong-arms other software vendors into submission as a means of thwarting competition. But when it engages in underhanded tactics to intimidate users in order to land a software deal, we have a very disturbing situation on our hands. And someone needs to have the guts to speak out about it.

Hyperion CEO eyes ethics, governance

Godfrey Sullivan is approaching his two-year anniversary as CEO of Hyperion Solutions, a business performance management software vendor, following a three-year stint as the company's president and chief operating officer. On Monday at Hyperion's Solutions 2006 user and partner conference in Las Vegas, Sullivan spoke at length with Computerworld about a range of issues, including his take on Scott McNealy stepping down as Sun Microsystems's CEO, former CA CEO Sanjay Kumar's guilty plea and the H-1B visa controversy.

SNW - Alternative lifestyle

If the rumblings of the attendees at Storage Networking World conference are any indication, the IT community -- users and vendors alike -- is so desperate for alternatives that exploring them has become something of a professional lifestyle.

Vendor listening better than vendor speak

I've made no secret of my aversion to vendorspeak. The reason is simple: vendorspeak muddies rather than clarifies the vendor's message, and deciphering it wastes way too much of your time and ours.

Looking out for no. 1

It was quintessential Larry Ellison. "In a single step, Oracle becomes the No. 1 CRM applications company in the world," Oracle's flamboyant CEO trumpeted in the recent announcement of his US$5.85 billion acquisition of Siebel Systems. The buyout will "strengthen our No. 1 position in applications in North America", he proclaimed, "and move us closer to the No. 1 position in applications globally."

Why-Fi?

Disclaimer: I have no personal, professional or financial interest in Verizon Wireless. To my knowledge, I have no friends, acquaintances or relatives who are employed by Verizon. I have no opinion about the merit of Verizon's services compared to those of its competitors. No one at Verizon or any of its representative agencies is aware that I'm writing anything about the company or its services.

Axing the axis

Last April, during a four-day official visit to India, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao sent shivers through many IT pros in the West. He proclaimed that a combination of Indian software skills and Chinese hardware expertise will propel the two countries to a leadership position in global IT.

Just imagine

Last week Northrop Grumman Ship Systems CIO Jan Rideout cautioned against expectations of big maintenance cost savings by moving applications off a mainframe.

Opinion: AMD: All my disgust

It was only a matter of time before Advanced Micro Devices filed an antitrust lawsuit against Intel, alleging that its nemesis for years has engaged in anticompetitive practices that bullied hardware vendors into shunning AMD's processors. Dare to use AMD processors, and you'll pay dearly by losing those sweet pricing deals.

Certifiably Mad?

Whoa. You just never know what's going to touch a nerve. My "Certifiably Concerned" editorial, in which I argued against a de-emphasis of IT certifications created quite a stir. A lot of IT pros think I'm mad (in the crazy sense) for suggesting that certifications have any real bearing on career advancement and compensation. And they're mad (in the angry sense) that people like me are perpetuating what they believe to be the myth that "certs" deliver any real value to an IT organization.