Novell's New Spin

McAllister, Neil
July 2004
InfoWorld;7/12/2004, Vol. 26 Issue 28, p32
Trade Publication
Novell, the former undisputed leader in proprietary networking software, is banking on Linux and open source to rescue its business from years of decline. Where once it seemed fated for obscurity, Novell is determined to regain its former status by transforming itself into one of the industry's leading open source vendors. Novell first aligned itself with the open source community when it launched its collaborative development site in early 2003. But it was not until Novell purchased open source desktop software vendor Ximian in August 2003 that the company's new direction began to solidify in the public eye. Then in January 2004, Novell acquired SuSE, the leading Linux vendor in Europe and the number 2 player worldwide, after Red Hat. But even though it seems to be holding all the right cards, Novell faces tough odds. Tough competition from Microsoft and dwindling support from third-party developers have caused Novell's once loyal base to look elsewhere for infrastructure needs. Unless it can win back the loyalty of the industry, Novell's Linux-centric message could fall on deaf ears. Novell's fortunes were not always so dire. At one time, its name was synonymous with personal computer networking. INSET: The End of the Line for NetWare?.


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