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Novell Goes Fishing

Novell Goes Fishing

Novell is paying $210 million for SUSE and is going to treat the operating system as a commodity once the acquisition is completed, according to what Nathan Friedman, Ximian co-founder and now VP of R&D in Novell's Ximian Services business unit, said in a speech at the Linux Desktop confab in Boston this week.

Apparently Novell is going to charge for everything above the operating system and apparently there might be a difference of opinion about what exactly should go into the operating system.

Otherwise, Novell is reportedly on the threshold of spinning out the project that up until now has been known by the code name Hamachi, which is young Yellowtail to sushi lovers.

It's supposed to be parts of Novell's flagging NetWare functionality on Linux. It's previously been described as including Novell's directory, file, print, web, install, admin, messaging and mail.

The rest of the Novell widgetry is supposed to be swept up next year as part of a follow-on project, due late next year - or maybe later - reportedly code named Maguro, Japanese for tuna. It's previously been described as adding search and an extensible file system.

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Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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Most Recent Comments
Ed Hurst 11/17/03 05:38:26 PM EST

Thank you, Jay. By now, I've looked it up and read a handful of specific articles regarding commoditizing software. In this case, Ms. O'Gara may be correct, in that making SUSE a commodity may not be possible without carving it up from how we now know it. A commodity is generic, and in software that means too often "lowest common denominator".

However, I really know less than most folks about Novell's plans; only what I read. Then again, I am highly skeptical about corporate PR folks telling the truth, and sometimes knowing the truth. This is all in flux, since the deal hasn't even been approved by all the various government agencies involved. Who's to say the powers-that-be won't change their minds about the accomodation of the average user in the future?

Jay Toups 11/17/03 10:02:02 AM EST

"Commodity" as commonly defined means the exact opposite, as in inexpensive, as in almost free or even free. Novell will make its money on enterprise net solutions (directory, messaging, security, etc.) that run on top of SuSe and RHEL. Which means you made an excellent choice in SuSE.


Ed Hurst 11/14/03 07:55:44 PM EST

"Commodity" as in "expensive"? I was wondering how this would play out. Maybe I should have stayed with FreeBSD after all...

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