Bonum Certa Men Certa

Novell Brought Back to Court, Long-term Financial Uncertainty Looming

The headline is admittedly more alarming than it ought to be. Novell is already in court (Groklaw covers this), but Darl McBride has finalised his decision to file an appeal on the court's latest decision. He wants UNIX back. He wants that litigious weapon. As for the latter part of the headline, Novell posted positive financial figures (more on this tomorrow) and got itself contracts, but in order to maintain its scale, Novell must do more. It is also financially-dependent on Microsoftl.

Let's begin with SCO. Yesterday, only intent to appeal was mentioned in the press. It now appears to have come through and confirmed.

On Wednesday, SCO filed an appeal challenging an Aug. 10 ruling by a federal judge in Utah that Novell Inc., McBride's former employer, owns the rights to Unix operating system software. SCO sued Novell in 2004 over Unix, which has been SCO's lifeblood.


Here is the take on Novell's financial prospects.

Novell has been on this Linux kick for a while, but less than 10 percent of its revenue comes from Linux so far. Linux is a fast growing market, but Novell trails Red Hat, a company that simply executes better. For instance, Citigroup analyst Brent Thill notes Novell is a serial restructurer and plans to change its go-to-marketing strategy again. He calls Novell’s execution uneven.

To be sure, Novell has some time to build its Linux business and there’s more gravy to come. So far, Microsoft-related Linux revenue has totaled $105 million out of a $240 million expected.

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