Enterprise Linux Log

May 27 2008   12:39PM GMT

Novell hopping with news, but it’s not all good

Don Rosenburg Profile: Dkr

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.

2  Comments on this Post

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  • joshuadf
    I don't particularly like the attitude that the Computerworld editorial "Retraining IT staff slows business change" revealed, either: Ron Hovsepian, the CEO of Novell. Hovsepian said that in the past year, he has had to replace 24% of his workers to gain the skills Novell needs. "One thousand of our 4,000 employees are new to Novell," he said. "Candidly, among all the good revenue stories and the profit improving, people don't realize how much we've really gone in and changed our workforce to get the right skills here."
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  • ewriter
    Roy should get over his flame-throwing self and try the facts out. From all accounts I've read, Novell and Astrum flirted. So did Novell and rpath. Novell surely also responsibly assessed it ability to do an appliance program on its own rather than license from others. In the end, it chose the most market promising combination. Roy makes it sound like Novell and Astrum dated, got engaged and were either at the altar or on their honeymoon. That just isn't so.
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