Recently, Novell Inc. has been the beneficiary of generally good news. First, Microsoft gave Novell the nod to write open source extensions to its new System Center, which signals Microsoft’s move toward greater interoperability. This will benefit all open source vendors, but Novell in particular, because these extensions are built on Novell’s ZENworks management software. Score one for Novell. Second, Novell’s SUSE Linux price cut may target Red Hat Inc.’s mainframe aspirations and make it more difficult for Red Hat to challenge SUSE’s already overwhelming lead in the open source mainframe market and creates financial incentives for businesses to consider a move to mainframes.
But the news wasn’t all good for Novell: Astrum Inc., a Texas startup now headed by two former Novell employees, for example, filed a suit against Novell for breach of contract in connection with the development of a mini-operating system appliance. The scuttlebutt is that Novell has dumped the partners in favor of a more established company.
According to blogger Roy Schestowitz of BoycottNovell.com, if Novell back-stabs its close partners like Astrum, its code-base partners like Ubuntu and Red Hat should expect similar treatment. In fact, Novell’s interoperability pact with Microsoft, which jeopardizes free software, indicates that Novell has already done so, he warned. Novell “gets no sympathy from me,” Schestowitz wrote.
Meanwhile, Red Hat launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 of its flagship operating system and Novell issued a service pack with beefed-up virtualization, clustering and other features, both on the same day.
With all this action, Linux fans may just have to keep their iPhones and BlackBerrys at the ready to keep up with all the news updates this summer.