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Novell General Manager: Microsoft Won't Bid for Novell, But You Can Never Say Never

Movell and Nicrosoft



Summary: Novell senior cannot deny Microsoft takeover, but she thinks it is unlikely. What about Dell?

MORE rumours about Red Hat longing to be bought by Oracle are still circulating, but this has been heard for quite some time and nothing ever happened. In fact, Red Hat talks about hiring more people because its sales are increasing as an independent company. But meanwhile, there are also a couple of new Novell interviews that are worth attention. The first is with Novell's Heystee, who is working very closely with Microsoft. These are marketing people. Asked about the possibility that Microsoft would acquire Novell, she replied frankly:

Heystee does not expect Microsoft to make a bid for Novell.

"You can never say never, but it's certainly not something that I would see,["] she told iTnews.


Let us assume that Microsoft may never buy Novell. But how about one of Microsoft's close allies? How about Dell for example? Dell is supporting Novell's SLE and it also joined the Microsoft/Novell deal just under 2 years ago. It was never made clear what it means exactly (in practical terms). A respected writer from CRN is now putting out there the possibility that Dell, a hardware company for the most part, may buy Novell.

Novell Novell's market cap right now stands at about $1.3 billion. Dell could offer double that, in cash, and walk off with an interesting partner channel and a very strategic Linux distribution business. Dell rival HP has shown signs of building some nice offerings using Novell's SUSE Linux; this would throw a cute little monkey wrench into that.


That would be a bizarre deal which might not interact quite so well with IBM and also have Dell inherit the WordPerfect lawsuit against Microsoft, not to mention UNIX.

Looking at Novell, it's in bad shape, financially speaking at the very least. Its last quarterly report was exceptionally poor and the only good news was that the CEO received a massive bonus. Ron Hovsepian has actually just spoken to NECN, but it's a video. Here is the summary (one among at least two).

Every week on CEO Corner we go one on one with New England's top CEO's to learn the secrets to their success. This week Maryanne Kane is joined by Ron Hovsepian, CEO of Novell.

In this segment, Hovsepian talks about why the company chose to move from Utah to Massachusetts. Hovsepian talks about his priorities as the company moves forward during the recession. He's expecting many exciting inventions down the road.


Here is another advertised analysis of Novell (NOVL) and here is the preparation for Novell's next report, which should not be terribly impressive. Novell has not struck a single major SUSE contract since its last report back in January.



Unless Novell can pull some major deal, it won't be pleasant. But Novell is probably preparing its report already, so it's inevitably grim. Those layoffs which Novell's CFO recently hinted at might just come into effect, just like those over at Novell's partner. Novell's expenses massively outweigh the revenue, i.e. it still operates at a significant loss without foreseeable prospects of reversal.

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