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SALT LAKE CITY—Novell CEO Jack Messman announced on Monday at Novell’s annual tradeshow, BrainShare, the arrival of Novell Linux Small Business Suite 9.

In his morning keynote speech, Messman said that “NLSBS (Novell Linux Small Business Suite) is the first end-to-end, server-to-desktop Linux solution that offers a clear alternative for small businesses.”

For resellers, Novell is offering a package of training and sales incentives to make NLSBS an attractive alternative to Microsoft’s Small Business Server or Red Hat RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) ES.

Young pointed out that the Linux-based Novell offering is both more secure and less expensive than the Microsoft package and is more channel-friendly and easier to set up than RHEL ES.

“The availability of Novell Linux Small Business Suite and the advantages of open-source software will give our customers even more options for improving their business,” said Bill Long, owner of Integrated Network Systems, a New Orleans-based Novell channel partner.

Novell’s horizontal partners also like this new package.

“The combination of HP [Hewlett-Packard Co.] solutions and the Novell Linux Small Business Suite will provide customers a secure, reliable networking solution that can improve employee productivity, collaboration and resource sharing,” said Efrain Rovira, HP’s worldwide director of Linux marketing, in a statement.

NLSBS will be available March 31 through Novell channel partners for a suggested $475 per five new user licenses or $252 per five users upgrading from qualifying Novell or competitive products.

In this case, a competitive product is any other server-based small business server package. So, for example, companies with peer-to-peer Windows network would not be eligible, but Microsoft Small Business Server customers would be.

The suite will include support for up to 100 licensed users and three servers, plus five free technical support incidents.

It will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish.

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