Bonum Certa Men Certa

“Novell Is Bleeding to Death”

Hardcore tattoos not the cause

Novell tattoo



ONE of the regulars from LinuxToday has just published a talkback saying that "Novell is bleeding to death." This was pretty much said there before and the layoffs which are coming confirm that there are issues. Anyway, here is the body of the message:

Novell Is Bleeding to Death



Novell was never going to die in one big go (these companies never do) but it is gradually bleeding to death and is not in a great position to ride out the current climate. I know everyone has been laying people off, but Novell have been having large rounds of layoffs for several years now and the situation hasn't improved.

From their deal with Microsoft that puts Microsoft in the driving seat, their complete inability to make anything out of the open source software that has dropped into their lap to the bleeding of their Netware, eDirectory and Groupwise businesses in favour of Windows Server, AD and Exchange - that other posters have pointed out here for years - the prognosis is looking terminal.


Over here in the United Kingdom, Novell is obviously suffering quite badly. The country's affairs with Microsoft (statistically much higher than the rest of the world) might have something to do with it.

Siruis, a UK-based company, had previously defeated Novell and it did this again thanks to Debian GNU/Linux, the poster child which was conceived by a Brit, Ian Murdock. Here is a new report about it.

"We had one client who moved from a Novell/Microsoft-based environment to a Debian-based one and they saved something like 80 percent of the cost in the first year - they couldn't have done that moving to Red Hat - not when their licences cost €£1000," Callway said. He added that Sirius was set to announce a major educational project that would show the extent to which open source software was becoming more accepted.


Novell UK is in ruins, based on our sources. Jacqueline de Rojas still works around Novell in the vicinity of Europe (in the Operation side) and she was responsible for this role until recently (she has run the UK/Ireland operations since 2007). Novell's business in UK/Ireland is now considered a total failure, however, as Microsoft has taken a lot of municipal projects, deployments, and contracts from Novell (GroupWise, Netware, etc). This could easily be seen across various UK news outlets and Groklaw pointed this out at least once in 2008. We gave many examples over the past couple of years, so there is extensive solid evidence.

This week's news serves as a reminder of Ray Noorda's newly-coined term, "co-opetition". It's truly a shame that Novell's new management is doing such co-opetition with a company that Noorda could not stand.

The late Ray Noorda, founder of Novell, coined the word "co-opetition" to describe these sorts of deals, where competitors sometimes find it sensible to actually work closely together for the common good. Sometimes, as in this case, customers seem to win as well.


How has Novell gained from the Microsoft patent deal? Have its customers benefited? Red Hat did it right, without any patent tax.

"I've heard from Novell sales representatives that Microsoft sales executives have started calling the Suse Linux Enterprise Server coupons "royalty payments"..."

--Matt Asay, April 21st, 2008

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