Novell buying SuSE may be the smartest thing either company ever did. Yes, Im serious.
Think about it. Novell had great stuff all down the enterprise line: first-class directory services with eDirectory; rock-solid groupware with GroupWise; the exteND suite is as good a Web services and application server platform thats out there today; the list goes on and on. There was only one thing missing: an operating system.
Listen, I liked NetWare as much as anyone did, but its been a long, long time since NetWare 3.11 was the local area network operating system of choice. Slowly, but at an ever-increasing rate, NetWare customers were turning to Unix, Linux or (oh, the agony of it all!) Windows operating systems. And, nothing, but nothing, was ever going to bring NetWare back.
So, what did Novell do? Well, first it hitched its wagon to Linux back last spring. But Novell is not an IBM. For Novell to prosper, it needed to do more than just heartily support Linux with its network-service offerings; it needed a closer connection. Novell needed what it got: a Linux of its own.
And what did SuSE need? The German Linux giant needed several things. It needed capital, and it needed a way to jump from being a big company in the still relatively small Linux-business world to being a global company in the enterprise-business world. Guess what? SuSE got what it wanted, too.
Together, Novell and SuSE can deliver top-of-the-line enterprise programs on a best of breed operating system from the desktop to the server. Whats not to like?