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SALT LAKE CITY—Novell Inc.’s 20th annual BrainShare tradeshow opened here Sunday with a different focus from years past. The reason: Linux.

In recent years, BrainShare had been seen by the industry as a show chronicling the slow decline of a network giant and its flagship operating system, NetWare. This year, however, Novell is focusing on its shift from NetWare to its new Linux offerings. As a result, more than 6,000 people are expected to attend BrainShare this year, according to Kevan Barney, Novell’s senior manager of press relations. Last year, only 5,200 attended the show.

“As we look back on two great decades of BrainShare, Novell couldn’t be better positioned for the future,” said Jack Messman, chairman and CEO of Novell, in a prepared statement. “With our 20 years of enterprise experience, Novell can bring together the worlds of enterprise software and open source better than anyone else. Linux is all about giving customers choice. Thanks to our Linux moves, we’ve seen incredible interest in BrainShare this year, both from customers and partners.”

Interviews on the showroom floor proved Messman was right on the money. Ten out of ten termed Novell’s move to Linux as great.

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