12.29.06

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Novell Clings on to Its Proprietary Roots

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Novell, Red Hat at 5:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A market is considered to be in a healthy state when the needs of the client intersect with the ability and reward for the developers, as well as its company’s goals. It’s a symbiotic relationship where, ideally, everyone is pleased and all privileges are honoured.

Can you recall the days when Novell stated that it would transform into an Open Source company? That vision appears to be valid no more. According to this interview with a top executive, Novell strives to remain a “mixed source” company, i.e. one which combines proprietary and Open Source solutions. This may be no exception to what companies like Google are doing. However, it does demonstrate the difference between vendors which cherish their community and those which exploit it. Novell, due to its proprietary roots perhaps, can never truly embrace the community in the same way as Red Hat, or even Canonical and Mandriva. Linspire—maybe. Never count of Novell to escape customer imprisonment, from which it benefited and on which it capitalised over the years. Below lies the gist of the article.

Novell: We’re a ‘mixed-source’ company

Novell’s controversial pact with Microsoft reflects the desire of the number two Linux seller to position itself as a mixed-source company.

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3 Comments

  1. shane said,

    December 29, 2006 at 12:16 pm

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    This is consistent with Stafford Masie’s statements at CITI, including when he contrasted Red Hat vs Novell Philosophies:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2006/12/16/contrasting-red-hat-and-novells-philosophies/

  2. IanSVT said,

    December 29, 2006 at 11:44 pm

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    Red Hat and Novell come from different places. Novell had those proprietary products long before Red Hat even came about. Those proprietary products would have to be “fixed” to remove 3rd party code. For instance, Novell couldn’t open source eDirectory or NetWare because of it’s ties with RSA. It would be very expensive to clean out those products and others of those 3rd party bits.

    One product, however, that would benefit Novell to try and open source would be GroupWise. It’s one of the few real exchange competitors out there. But I’m not sure what it would take to do that.

  3. Hut und Hüte said,

    October 1, 2007 at 11:53 am

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    Interesting to read this article and I really enjoyed reading all of your posts.

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