Novell's IRC session on the Microsoft deal
Posted Nov 28, 2006 15:49 UTC (Tue) by pzb
In reply to: Novell's IRC session on the Microsoft deal
Parent article: Novell's IRC session on the Microsoft deal
> Is it correct that the $350M payment from Microsoft is a one-time payment?
> In that case the $40M royalty (that's Novell's words, not mine) per year
> in the opposite direction is very significant. Is this to be regarded
> as a loan, or does Novell simply not count on lasting more than 8 years?
The terms, as published in a SEC filing by Novell, say that Microsoft will pay:
- $240 million for SLES subscription "certificates". Novell has suggested that there will be approximately 70,000 certificates per year over five years. This is about $686 per certificate. The normal cost for a one year subscription to SLES on non-mainframe hardware, including support, is either $799 or $1499. So this seems like a faily good deal, especially if they are for the higher level of support
- Microsoft will make an up-front net payment to Novell of $108 million [...] under the Patent Cooperation Agreement. My understanding of this is that the $108M is an up front payment of the payments Microsoft would have made over the 5 year terms for percentages of their revenue on some of their products. If you use a conservative discount for prepayment, this is worth at least $120M.
According to the same SEC filing, Microsoft has agreed to spend:
- $12 million annually for marketing Linux and Windows virtualization scenarios ($60M over five years)
- $34 million over the term of the agreement for a Microsoft sales force devoted primarily to marketing the combined offering
Although Novell will not directly see this money, as Microsoft is spending their own money, it is about $94M over five years being spent to help market and sell Linux, specifically SLES.
As for payments and expenditures from Novell, the only amount listed in the filing is:
- Novell will make ongoing payments of at least $40 million over five years to Microsoft based on percentages of Novell's Open Platform Solutions and Open Enterprise Server revenues. This means that Novell will pay at least approximately $8 million per pear, based on their revenues from NetWare and SUSE Linux products. (OPS is the Novell name for Linux, and OES contains NetWare and SLES)
So, only focusing on the patent agreement, this is almost guaranteed cash-positive for Novell. Add to that the $240 million of "certificates" that Microsoft is buying, and Novell is getting lots of money. They only way that this would signficantly change would be if Novell suddenly saw a huge uptick in NetWare and Linux revenues, which means they would pay more to Microsoft. I think Novell would be very happy with this, as it means sales are way up, which makes Wall Street happy, and allows more money to be spent on product development.
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