SuSE Acquisition Leads Novell Down New Path

By Peter Galli  |  Print this article Print


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Novell Inc.'s planned $210 million acquisition of SuSE Linux AG raises many questions, especially about the future of NetWare.

Novell Inc.'s planned $210 million acquisition of SuSE Linux AG raises many questions, especially about the future of the network services company's NetWare operating system.

Novell CEO and Chairman Jack Messman maintains that the Provo, Utah, company has no plans to phase out NetWare as an operating system, saying that it is simply adding Linux to the mix.

But some customers and resellers are not convinced. John Kretz, president of Enlightened Point Consulting Group LLC, in Phoenix, said he expects the next version of NetWare to be the last true release.

"If Linux is Novell's future, then it's time to pull the life-support plug on NetWare and start dedicating serious resources to SuSE," Kretz said. "Everyone knows NetWare has already become irrelevant. It's really sad, too, since the core NetWare technology is still today far, far better than anything Microsoft [Corp.] has ever sold."

But Donald Barber, a senior technical support specialist with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Enterprise IT Delivery group, believes differently, saying SuSE does not point to the end of the road for NetWare but rather adds an option for customers.

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Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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