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Novell Elaborates on Linux - page 2

Novell: Here to Help or Help Themselves?

  • April 16, 2003
  • By Jacqueline Emigh

In another interview at Brainshare, Carl Ledbetter, senior VP and CTO, said all eight services will be available for Linux by a still unspecified NetWare 7.0 timeframe. Novell expects to release NetWare 6.5 this July. Over the interim, many of the Linux services will ship as separate service packs.

Novell has already released iFolder on Linux, for instance. Before going ahead with services like iPrint, though, Novell will first build an abstraction layer, Ledbetter said. "That's because iPrint digs deeper into the OS."

The Novell brass thinks it's well worth the trouble. "We believe we can earn revenue by selling services for Linux," Messman told LinuxPlanet.

According to Debra Bergevine, chief marketing officer, Novell's decision to migrate the NetWare services was driven mainly by requests by CTO members of Novell's new Customer Council.

"Customers today are concerned about reducing the costs of administration and security. Some of them asked if we could bring our in-depth knowledge in these areas to Linux. It wasn't the first time we'd heard this. It was really something we'd considered. People are looking for choice," Bergevine said, during another meeting with LinuxPlanet.

Novell hasn't yet looked at how to segment its new and unusual expanded market. In answer to a question on that topic, Bergevine replied, "How would you segment it? By operating system? By hardware platform? By vertical? It's very early yet, anyway."

Novell's involvement in the open source community could be one of the best forms of outreach. Novell first got started on open source development two years ago, and now employs an open source team consisting of 14 engineers and an attorney.

Before releasing UDDI to open source this week, Novell had already released open source code for Apache, MySQL, and Perl-PNP.

Alan Nugent, Novell's senior VP and CTO, told LinuxPlanet that he meets regularly with customers--"generally at the 'C' level, meaning CEO, CIO, CTO."

Aside from Novell's customers, Novell's open source partners are glad about the move to open source. "This is a great, symbiotic relationship," according to MySQL Co-Founder and OpenSorcerer David Axmark. Azmark said Novell benefits by getting another database for the NetWare platform, which was previously limited to only a couple of choices, including "an old version of Oracle."

Late last year, Novell reached a deal to ship MySQL with NetWare. MySQL is particularly happy over Novell's suggestion to forego the complexities of open source licensing by selling commercial licenses for MySQL .

"We're a new breed of cat--A hybrid company that is part open source, and part commercial," according to Axmark.

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