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Novell?s Messman Aims To Fuel Linux, Smooth Channel Conflict

At Brainshare 2006 in Salt Lake City, Novell CEO Jack Messman discussed the Waltham, Mass.-based software company’s launch of Suse Linux Enterprise Server 10 and channel conflict issues with CRN Senior Writer Paula Rooney.

CRN: What are your launch plans for Suse Linux Enterprise Server 10?

MESSMAN: What we announced today [March 20] is not just about SLES but offering SLES on the desktop, server, mainframe and other hardware architectures. That's a major advancement, and the key feature is virtualization. It's what they want. CIOs want to save some money, and typically they can take hardware utilization rates from 20 percent to 90 percent using virtualization. The other component of the enterprise edition is AppArmor application-level security, which we didn't have before. And OpenOffice's support for macros is a big step for Linux. There's also new code in SLES 10 that allows us to do a better job of capturing customer data and patching.

CRN: Why do you think desktop Linux will fare better than it has?

MESSMAN: There's such innovation, and we think there are number of things happening with Microsoft [Windows] Vista that will help us. Vista will require a lot of user training, file migration and a lot of new hardware. Those factors will cause customers to look at Linux. We've improved Linux over the past year. The deficiencies have been removed, and the feature set has been expanded. We're running our company on Linux.

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