Novell Is Still Here?

What killed Novell? I call it greed and losing sight of the marketplace. The company called it Novell 4.0.

April 5, 2004

2 Min Read
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Novell: the denizen of my youth. Novell: where I learned much of my craft. Novell -- oh where, oh where has my Novell gone, oh where, oh where did it go?

I think we all know, at least those of us who grew up in the computer industry; when Novell was the networking software. I remember fondly and with some reverence Netware 2.11 and 2.15 and its successors, Netware 3.11 and finally 3.12. Those were operating systems!

What killed Novell? I call it greed and losing sight of the marketplace. The company called it Novell 4.0. It was the beginning of the end. The problem was that Novell didn't know that they had really created the ultimate killer app.

What a term. Netware 3.12 was a killer app, but Netware 4.x killed them.

So now, Novell is joining the Open Source community. Novell has just announced a liaison with the Linux version SuSe. It plans on integrating and porting some of their add-on programs to operate under Linux. Great idea for Linux, probably a bad idea for Novell, especially since many Linux users don't want (and usually don't need) to purchase software.One of Novell's new products will co-ordinate management of Linux and Windows 2003 Server. Now I understand why you need to manage Windows boxes with another piece of software. But Linux? You log in, you do what you need and log out.

Novell executives have made missteps in the past (they should be a B-school course studying their missteps, but I digress). Will this be another in a long line, time will only tell, but as Novell chairman and CEO Jack Messman said, "We're merely giving the community software and services to make Linux easier for the CIO to use."

Shouldn't the CIO already know how?

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