The Wizard Moved Out - Page 3


Theres No Place Like Home The one constant through Novells good times and the its recent struggles has been Major.

Longtime associates say creative freedom, rather than money, is what drives Major. "He has plenty of money and I dont think a financial upside motivates him much," says Novell veteran King. "He wants to have free rein to develop his technology."

Plenty of companies have courted Major over the years. Sources say Microsoft wanted to recruit him after merger discussions between it and Novell fell apart in the early 1990s. Under the proposed deal, Major would have worked closely with Banyan Vines veteran Jim Allchin and Digital VMS pioneer David Cutler, according to a former Windows NT developer at Microsoft. Major ultimately stayed at Novell, while Allchin and Cutler went on to lead major portions of Micro- softs Windows NT initiative.

"Sure, I know Drew Major," says Microsoft group VP Allchin, via e-mail. "Unfortunately, I typically dont comment on people in the industry. Sorry."

Major shifted his focus away from NetWare in 1997—around the same time that Microsoft overtook Novell in the server arena. "Caching has been my baby for about four years," says Major.

Ironically, one of Novells iffy acquisitions, the 1993 purchase of Fluent for $17.5 million, played a small but important role in Novells caching push.

Fluent specialized in video servers for PC networks, but the companys software never gained widespread use. Even so, Major believed that caching systems and video services would be a killer combo on the Internet. "[Fluent] was part of what originally got me interested in caching," says Major. "Volera wont be the Web server or the video server. But well be the infrastructure that stores the data and replicates it."