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Novell's Stone Stumps For Business Viability Of Open Source

Novell Vice Chairman Chris Stone stumped for the viability of an open-source business model to kick off the Open Source Business Conference Tuesday, emphasizing a theme that will likely be repeated at Novell's BrainShare next week.

Stone defended Novell's choice to support Linux by investing over $250 million to buy Linux vendors Ximian and SUSE Linux. He said the move was not intended to replace Novell's longstanding investment in the NetWare operating system, but rather complement it.

"We still support NetWare; we still sell it," he said during his talk at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. "Linux is complementary to NetWare because it gives customers [a] choice."

In fact, Stone said vendors need to carefully weigh what their company's core business value is and see what kind of open-source technology complements and/or substitutes software integral to their business models. Only then can the company decide if it wants to invest in open source and what technologies would be the best investment, he said.

Stone also said companies like Novell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM would not be pouring millions into Linux and open-source software if they didn't think it would be a good investment.

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