How Much Trouble Is

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2005-10-24 Print this article Print

Novell in?"> That said, "Blum is also correct that at least some of the businesses, such as GroupWise and Cambridge Technology Partners, arent strategic or particularly connected to (Novells) Linux and identity business." The real problem, from where Haff sits, is that while "Novell has been building up their Linux business through partnerships and other efforts. At least some of this is proper getting in position to grow. But its indisputable that there has been little enough evidence of Novell taking SUSE to the next level since its acquisition and that has to be concerning for a major investor."
Click here to read more about Novells stock buyback.
So while Haff "certainly wouldnt write Novell off yet." He also thinks that while Novell has "a lot of opportunity, but its a fair comment that there has so far not been much visible leveraging of that opportunity to date." The Aberdeen Groups research director for security solutions and services, Stacey Quandt, also sees Novell as a company in trouble. "Novells current financial troubles are symptomatic of a company that has changed its product strategy to remain competitive but still lags behind market leaders," said Quandt. "The rationale for acquiring Ximian and SuSE were designed to shift the imbalance away from declining NetWare revenue and toward a profitable Linux business." Novells resellers and partners approved of its Linux move. But, "these acquisitions face the combined challenge of an immature Linux desktop market and being the number two enterprise Linux distribution provider in North America, and number three or four in Asia Pacific and Latin America," said Quandt. At the same time, "the attempts to reposition the NetWare product line is akin to repositioning an oil tanker adrift on high seas. Novells Open Enterprise Server was designed to provide the benefits of Linux while maintaining support for NetWare services however customers can also redeploy NetWare applications such as eDirectory on Red Hat, other Linux distributions, and Microsoft Windows." In short, the analysts and investors appear to be agreeing that while Novell has made the right move in moving to Linux, it hasnt followed through as well as it should in making the right business moves with Linux Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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