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The news this week was not "news" in the classic sense -- something that happened that you didn't know about beforehand -- but it was news nonetheless.
Novell and Intel both had plenty going on, and come to think of it, Novell's decision to replace CEO Jack Messman with Ron Hovsepian does qualify as news under that definition. It looks as if Hovsepian will continue Messman's push to develop Linux as the company's core focus and enable the channel to move SUSE Linux more simply to you-the-customer, and that part at least is no surprise.

Neither is the pre-release of SUSE Linux 10 that you can test-drive free from the Novell website. You knew version 10 was on the way and that you might be able to get your hands on a working version ahead of time, so no surprises there. Nor was Intel's batch of announcements a major shock. We've known about the Woodcrest update to the Xeon family of processors, and likewise for Montecito, the first dual-core Itanium 2 for the high-end market. But what all these anticipated announcements can tell us is that each company is pressing forward in a way that could indicate future health and growth in markets that are highly competitive for both -- server hardware market share against AMD in the case of Intel, and the software competition against other flavors of Linux as well as Windows for Novell.

That'd be a good thing; I'm not one who likes to see companies wither when they can offer a valuable product that advances your business aims. These are certainly cases where that applies. The health of SUSE Linux surely matters to the thousands of enterprises who have it deployed as their server OS base. And because "faster, more efficient, and cooler is always better" is a rule that generally applies to server hardware, Intel's advances likewise continue to have a benefit to you as you make decisions on your hardware looking outward. The news doesn't always have to be a surprise to be welcome to you and your decision-making processes.