Bonum Certa Men Certa

What's in it for Novell?

Emmett Dulaney wonders, what is in it for Novell?. "Their last chance at survival as a company has been to become the Microsoft alternative as opposed to the Microsoft complement they once were."

First of all, Novell should know the feeling of Microsoft's embrace better than anyone, as he reminds us:

The bigger issue I have, though, is the whole concept of including support for Novell products in Windows. A little over a decade ago, Microsoft included NetWare support in Windows by reverse-engineering the IPX/SPX protocol, calling it NWLink, and including it with every version of Windows that shipped. That move marked the beginning of the end for NetWare --no longer did you need to license the proprietary IPX/SPX protocol to talk to the network, you already had it. While this looked like Microsoft's bridge to interoperability at the time, it also opened the door to building entire networks without using anything from Novell -- once you didn't need it for the desktop, you learned that NT could be the server and Windows could do it all.

Tom Yager the other day postulated that Novell was the party of advantage in the deal, but apart from the fact that Novell's sworn enemy is now their biggest reseller (Dulaney likens it to Ford paying GM to do their advertising), what does Novell really expect to gain?

But what's in it for Novell? Are they so desperate that they need Microsoft to promise to deliver 70,000 coupons a year for them to names they are too lazy to acquire on their own? Have they reached a point with SUSE Linux that they are frustrated with the slow adoption rate and have no idea what else to do with the product? Are they clutching at straws, reaching for a lifeline, or seeing something that I am missing completely?


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Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer