Novell Tightens Linux Embrace

After snapping up Ximian, Novell showed its open-source colors at LinuxWorld with groupware announcements and new vendor relationships.

SAN FRANCISCO—Following its acquisition of Ximian Inc. Monday, Novell Inc. continued to show its commitment to Linux with new announcements around groupware and relationships with Linux distributors.

Novell, of Provo, Utah, announced at the LinuxWorld conference here, that Novell GroupWise for Linux will include GroupWise client and server services running on Linux. The product, which is scheduled for release in the first half of 2004, will handle e-mail, calendaring, instant messaging, contact management, document management and workflow services, and will add Linux support to existing support for Windows and Novell NetWare.

Just a few months ago, in April, Novell announced plans to deliver a Java-based version of the GroupWise client for Linux. The newly announced server version will complement that. While the Novell GroupWise client is now in beta, the server will not enter beta until late next month, company officials said. Meanwhile, Novell said GroupWise would integrate with the Ximian Evolution collaboration client the company acquired Monday.

In addition, Novell today announced Red Hat Inc.s Enterprise Linux AS and SuSE Linux AGs SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 support in the next version of Novell eDirectory. The next version will include expanded Linux support, and advanced authentication features, such as smart card, token and biometric authentication, the company said.

Also, to assuage concerns of Linux buyers in a climate of legal uncertainties, Novell Tuesday announced that it and SuSE Linux AG have signed an agreement to ensure that Novell customers running solutions on SuSE Linux will receive complete enterprise-level support for their Linux applications running using Novell software. The technical support extends to both Novell and SuSE software, the company said.

Speaking of the Novell moves, David Thomas, chief information officer at the Electric Power Board in Chattanooga, Tenn., said he welcomes Novells embrace of Linux. "As experienced GroupWise users, we are pleased to see Novells solution for enterprise collaboration on Linux. We see Linux as a viable platform path, and Novells move to deliver all of its network services on Linux makes every Novell product we use more valuable because of the options it gives us to do whats best for our organization," Thomas said in a statement.

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