Monday, November 13, 2006

Divide and Conquer: The Microsoft/Novell deal is more about disruption than cooperation.

We saw this happen before when 3Com tied its fortunes to Microsoft in the late 1980s with the lamented 3Com-Microsoft LAN Manager network operating system, which was ironically Microsoft's answer to Novell at that time. Then 3Com CEO Bill Krause felt the only way to compete with Novell was through an alliance with Microsoft. So 3Com bought its way into the relationship, ended up doing all the work (MORE THAN all the work if you count recoding Microsoft blunders), then had to BUY ITS WAY BACK OUT when the product failed.

After that deal was over and the blood had dried, 3Com founder Bob Metcalfe claims that a Microsoft exec told him, "You made a fatal error, you trusted us."

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