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Novell for Sale: Portfolio of Proprietary Software and Fog Computing

Posted in GNU/Linux, Mail, Novell, SLES/SLED at 3:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

For sale signs

Summary: A look at the items that Novell is marketing nowadays, including a critical look into its characterisation as a “Linux company”

NOVELL is still waiting for a buyer and based on the lack of Novell news, it is likely that it negotiates with potential buyers (about 20 of them were reported) behind the scenes. Such negotiations would keep the company busy and distracted, as well as unwilling to launch new products or make acquisitions. It is at times like these that the Microsoft-sympathetic press points out:

Speaking of Linux, you may have noticed that SUSE Linux vendor Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) put itself on the sales block.

Novell’s main business is not SUSE though (just days ago Novell staff got quoted for a print issue of Processor magazine, but as usual they never mention GNU/Linux or SUSE). Novell is stuck in the middle of nowhere because legacy that sustained it to some degree is fading away as time goes by. Novell certification therefore loses its value and IDG made public some Novell exams this week [1, 2].

One might say that Novell left its legacy business behind and is now betting on GNU/Linux and “Open Source”. That was probably true some years ago, but as we showed repeatedly in recent months (and analysts agreed), Novell changed its course and it is back to promoting proprietary software along with Fog Computing. Novell is mentioned in a couple of new articles about Google’s Fog Computing [1, 2], which competes against some of Novell’s proprietary software, namely GroupWise in this case:

The letter noted that a working group to test the pilot program convened to discuss its findings. Many users were disappointed at the lack of features similar to the ones in the city’s old Novell GroupWise system. Users also said they experienced less than acceptable speeds in certain areas of the city.

Another proprietary software product which Novell markets heavily these days handles identity management. Here are examples from the past couple of days alone [1, 2]:

“There are vertical industries, such as healthcare and manufacturing, where we would partner with third-party service providers,” Gardiner says, adding specific announcements around CA’s cloud strategy will be forthcoming later this summer.CA’s moves could put it on a similar path as Novell, which during the past year has made an aggressive push to adapt some of its fundamental technologies in identity management to work in cloud-based environments.

And also:

There are other vendors attempting this sort integration, such as Oracle and Novell, who focus on linking GRC to identity access. But Tero says Oracle and Novell lack the breadth and depth that the SAP and CA partnership will offer. “They’re going to be pushing a lot of information — security and compliance — up to SAP GRC Manager, which goes beyond just an identity attribute,” she said.

The first article says that Novell “during the past year has made an aggressive push to adapt some of its fundamental technologies in identity management to work in cloud-based environments.”

That means proprietary software and Fog Computing. That’s what Novell is about.

Well, as we pointed out a short while ago (and the press continues to cover this [1, 2], even IDG), Novell also helps sell Microsoft Visual Studio.

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  1. Agent_Smith said,

    August 1, 2010 at 4:05 pm


    Mr. Matt Asay is advising Micro$oft to buy Novell


    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    For background, you ought to understand that Asay used to work for Novell and he almost went to work for Microsoft too (he admitted this in his CNET blog).

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