"It has in it a number of different components, from file components to print, messaging, directory and identity management components, as well as some overall management capabilities. We tried to wrap it up and bring a nice user experience forward for users as they deploy this product in their environments," he said. A closed beta program will begin soon and involve some 100 to 150 of Novells customers and partners. The product target market is the Linux early adopter, which ranges from large enterprises to small and medium-sized businesses.While Hawkins declined to comment on the legal dispute between IBM and The SCO Group, which also claims that Linux is an unauthorized derivative of Unix, he did say that "you can clearly see that we are moving forward with regard to Linux." Novell on Tuesday will also announce that it has struck agreements with three major hardware vendorsDell, HP and IBMwho endorsed its Linux offerings and strategy and will offer these Novell solutions to customers going forward. Full training and support will also be offered under these partnership agreements, Hawkins said, declining to say how this would be implemented by the OEMs. "Were still working through a lot of the details at the moment as to how these products will be offered to their customers. But they are embracing and endorsing what were doing and do intend to sell our products to their customers," he said.
"We hope we can overcome some of the technical barriers around Linux by bringing our entire ecosystem to play. This is not just about the product suite but also about the technical support and education infrastructure that accompanies it," he said.