Its fair to ask why Novell should help Microsoft by making it easier for customers running Linux to choose Exchange over Novells competing GroupWise product. Exchange is much more popular than GroupWise. This isnt going to change overnight, if ever, but plenty of opportunity remains here for Novell.
With Linux, Novell has a shot at winning some share of the client market, and theres considerable benefit to controlling the client—just ask Microsoft. By making Evolution a better overall client application, regardless of the back end, Novell would be getting its foot in the door, opening itself to the chance to sell Evolution users on migrations from Exchange to GroupWise or another Novell product without requiring any changes on the client side.
Recently, the GNOME project launched an open-source desktop "bounty hunt," with cash rewards up to $2,500 for the developer who comes up with code to solve collaboration and desktop integration problems for particular open-source applications (www.gnome.org/bounties). Evolution, which is free software, is the target of most of these bounty offers. None of the bounties relates to the closed-source Connector, nor could they.
The biggest benefit of open source for vendors and users is community participation. Novells next moves will demonstrate whether the companys leaders recognize the true value of the position into which theyve put themselves.
Senior Analyst Jason Brooks can be reached at email@example.com.
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