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Ximian The Almighty Buck

Novell Buys Ximian 478

Quite a number of people have been submitting the news that Ximian has been purchased by Novell. All I've found so far is the press release linked to above; more links as they come in. Looks like Nat & Miguel will be remaining around, and Novell's continuing to expand its Open Source commitments. Update: 08/04 17:30 GMT by S : viewstyle writes "According to an interview with Ximian's CTO Miguel de Icaza at, Ximian won't be affected at all by Novell's buyout, and will be shipping a PowerPC version of Mono (preview release in Sept)."
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Novell Buys Ximian

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  • by SirGeek ( 120712 ) <sirgeek-slashdot ... g ['uck' in gap]> on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:33AM (#6605164) Homepage
    They have the announcment [] on their main page now.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:37AM (#6605195)
      I nominate the parent for the best first post ever.
    • You know, with the tone Novell took in that letter the SCO, this doesn't surprise me at all.

      This kind of strikes me as an odd purchase though.

      Last I checked XAMIAN had two major offerings. The first being their desktop, and the second being mono. Why would Novell (primarily a networking company) want either of them?
      • by Micro$will ( 592938 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @11:36AM (#6606359) Homepage Journal
        I don't know about Mono, but Ximian + Gnome + Linux + ZenWorks = Novell Desktop OS

        It seems to me they're trying to eliminate Windows from the enterprise desktop, as well as the server end.
        • This was the first thing I thought of - a Novell Desktop OS!!

          Novell must by now realise that as long as Microsoft is in Control of the desktop, it is always going to find it hard to grow business in the server space.

          This strategy could be the one that really works for them, a Microsoft independent solution, but still with the history of compatibility that will allow their products to work with Windows.

          It would make perfect sense for Novell to build and brand their own desktop OS, it has been the missing
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ch-ch-ch-ch-changes at Ximian. You know, right before the newly expanded going out of business yard sale at Novell.
  • Aaaah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:34AM (#6605170) Homepage Journal
    I ran "Red Carpet Update" this morning. Now I know why it downloaded a copy of the Book of Mormon to my computer. Thanks, Slashdot!
  • I doubt... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Sir Haxalot ( 693401 )
    this will have any effect on Ximian though... so I'm not too bothered ;)
  • Good News! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nbarr ( 666157 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:36AM (#6605194)

    Hopefully, this will improve the development of the desktop Linux. Maybe we will see big improvements in this area, as Novell improves Gnome, causing KDE to also improve so that they dont lag behind.

    Also, Mono will probably get major improvements, becoming a good .net alternative.

    As far as I'm concerned, good news.

    • Re:Good News! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by danheskett ( 178529 )
      Hopefully, this will improve the development of the desktop Linux.
      That makes no sense. Novell has exactly ZERO experience with making desktop operating systems.

      Additionally, they have VIRTUALLY ZERO experience with development windowing systems and GUI interfaces.

      Also, Mono will probably get major improvements, becoming a good .net alternative.
      Again, ZERO sense. Xiamian has tons more experience with .NET - why would adding Novell to mix help Novell?

      Novell - all those years of nasty unbelievable
      • Re:Good News! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nbarr ( 666157 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:45AM (#6605281)
        I understand your comments, but the reason I believe it will help Mono and gnome, is not because of Novell experience, but simply because Novell has more funds to invest in full time programmers for those projects. That will make the development faster, if not better.
      • Re:Good News! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by IM6100 ( 692796 ) <> on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:51AM (#6605337)
        Yes, but Novell does have experience buying, then passing along, dying technologies. They bought the UNIX codebase, which they then passed along. They bought WordPerfect too.

        The problem is, Ximian isn't a dying technology. This doesn't fit the pattern for Novell...
      • Re:Good News! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by div_2n ( 525075 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:55AM (#6605372)
        Well, since the most major improvements to Windows in the last 8 years (Active Directory) has been available in some form or fashion in Novell for over 15 years I would say that their strength may well lie in merging that kind of functionality into Linux. I only hope they keep their development OSS. That is the only real problem I see.

        It really won't matter one bit if they start running Ximian offerings into the ground. If they are OSS, the community can take over. I thought that was the whole benefit to OSS in the first place. Don't like what the author is doing or the author gets hit by a bus (or acquisition)? DIY.
        • >> If they are OSS, the community can take over. I thought that was the whole benefit to OSS in the first place.

          That only applies within the narrow developer community. It is quite unreasonable to expect end users to start writing code just to turn an annoying piece of software into something they will use. Instead, they will simply look for a better program.

          In addition, consider a business that's evaluating Ximian. If Ximian goes bust, the fact that the code they leave behind is open source doe
      • Re:Good News! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by axxackall ( 579006 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:12AM (#6605511) Homepage Journal
        Novell has exactly ZERO experience with making desktop operating systems.

        they have VIRTUALLY ZERO experience with development windowing systems and GUI interfaces.

        Quite disagree. Novell has a VERY NEGATIVE experience with developing UI:

        1. the UI for NetWare was the worst case in the whole industry. Desktop or no desktop, but the OS must have UI. Cisco router has a better UI! It's also not a GUI, but at least it's something understandable.
        2. Novell has bought WordPerfect at the moment it was really perfect (even and especially comparing to MS Word) and killed it.
        • Cisco UI (Score:4, Informative)

          by Dom2 ( 838 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @11:00AM (#6605974) Homepage
          Don't underrate the cisco UI. It's one of the best command line experiences out there. No matter what point you're at, press "?" and you'll be told your options. Based on twenex, I believe.

          The only thing that's even remotely comparable is zsh [].


      • Re:Good News! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Hecubas ( 21451 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @12:47PM (#6607114)
        Um, have you actually used Novell or are you just trolling?

        Yes, the Netware server doesn't have a fantastic GUI, but then just like Unix or Linux, having a character based console is preferred by many sysadmins. It's fast and simple--no wasted memory on a GUI there.

        I'm thinking Novell knows a little bit about GUI apps since they've built a very important one. The ConsoleOne GUI for managing eDirectory is an interesting program, you can extend its capabilities with snapins. Maybe not the best GUI but it gets the job done. Adding the Gnome developer will only help Novell in the long run.

        Novell also has a great interest in the desktop since one of their hottest bits of software, Zenworks, is all about managing desktop PC's. If you've ever had to manage 50 or more desktops, you'll realize how handy all the Zenworks tools are. If I'm not mistaken, you'll be seeing those tools on Linux soon.

        As for .Net, it seems to make perfect sense that Novell would like .Net running on their platforms if they want to play the "embrace and extend" game that Microsoft is so good at. Give the developers no reason to avoid Novell.

        As for the licensing, I would argue that the value you get in Novell's products is well worth the cost. I have yet to see any thing else that can do a better job at managing a network for an enterprise for Novell's price.

        One last thing, Novell has certainly been good with supporting Open Source projects. Very cool, unlike the alternative that is trying to squash the GPL.

        If I had my mod points today, you sir would have not been given insightful.
    • Novell seems to have a pooorer reputation after the SCO imbroglio on copyright ownership. In fact, there seems to be little difference in the people owning Novell and SCO.

      I'd be very surprised if Novell dumps Evolution like AOL dumped Netscape AND Mozilla. IMO, this is the WORST news for Linux in recent times, worse than the fake SCO threats actually.

      • Re:Good News?!#@#$ (Score:5, Interesting)

        by afidel ( 530433 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:21AM (#6605592)
        WHAT??? The Novell guys origionally tried to squash the SCO lawsuit because they believed that they still owned the copyright to the source code. The origional and first amended copies of the contract spelled it out that way, it was only a second amended copy from several years later that some mid level exec signed that the copyright was signed over (somebody at SCO pulled a smart one there, it probably never even went by a lawyer for Novell). Novell doesn't even think they have a copy of the second amended copy, but they did verify that SCO's copy was legit and signed by an authorized representitive of the corporation.
  • I wonder... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by avalys ( 221114 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:37AM (#6605196)
    I wonder if this will affect Novell's behavior towards SCO - if they didn't already have an interest in defending Linux, they certainly will now. Considering that they claim to possess the copyrights that SCO is using to bully IBM, I think this may prove to be a Good Thing.
    • Re:I wonder... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Frodo420024 ( 557006 ) <(henrik) (at) (> on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:43AM (#6605256) Homepage Journal
      Considering that they claim to possess the copyrights that SCO is using to bully IBM, I think this may prove to be a Good Thing.

      Novell acknowledge that the copyrights have been transferred to SCO (*sigh*).

      Still, this looks like a Good Thing for the Novell product lineup, as well as for Open Source in general.

  • What was the amount involved ?
    • What was the amount involved ?

      "The acquisition of Ximian was an all-cash transaction and is not expected to have a material effect on Novell's financial statements in the current fiscal year"

      Linux: it's free as in speech, not free as in Ximian.
  • by jmischel ( 202344 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:38AM (#6605206) Homepage
    Let's recap some of Novell's previous purchases:

    Wordperfect - barely breathing
    Quattro Pro - dead
    Paradox - dead
    DR-DOS - dead?

    Novell, a company whose mission for the past 15 years seems to have been "Buy Microsoft's competition and run it into the ground" has purchased one of the few Linux desktops that could potentially give Microsoft a run for its money.

    Might as well cede the desktop to Microsoft.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:43AM (#6605257)
      Novell is actually a puppet corporation that was secretly taken over by Microsoft over 10 years ago. They only exist to give the illusion that Microsoft has competition in critical areas like spreadsheets and non-multitasking operating systems.

      Novell: Utah's answer to Corel.
      • Novell: Utah's answer to Corel.

        Hmmm... Nov-El, Cor-El. Can we deduce, then, that Kryptonians* are lousy at running software companies?

        (* Best known Kryptonian: Kal-El)
    • This is different, in that all of the above were doomed to begin with. WordPerfect had a fledging career, but with the monopoly woes and everything else, no one really expected it to survive (no people in IT anyways). Novell wants to use Ximian as a tool (server administration with a decent GUI), I reckon, and not use it to try to create a viable desktop alternative.

      Novell can now skip all of the time needed to build every aspect of some kind of a Linux client/desktop, and instead begin with the progress

      • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:25AM (#6605614)
        Personally I think it has more to do with Mono and Novell's attempted transformation into an ecomerce/ebusiness platform. If you can run your .Net middleware on something as stable as a Novell server (yes Novell server beat even Linux for uptime, hell they aproach mainframes, would probably be there too if the hardware was better) then why would you run it on windows =)
    • by Ominous Coward ( 106252 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:49AM (#6605315)
      I think perhaps Novell has a tendency to make poor choices in its purchases?

      I'm not sure about the rest, but there's little Novell could have done to help DR-DOS. Microsoft broke many laws to keep MS-DOS on top back then.
    • That's DR-dead to you.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:51AM (#6605336)
      Oh please. The parent should be moderated Flaimbait. The thing different from all those other companies is that Gnome is not Ximian. 99% of Ximian's technology is Open Source so Novell dieing out would not affect this. Besides they have been predicting the death of Novell for years now, just like Unix. Novell has a good stratigy behind it. Since its services are top notch and run under Linux they can sell both directly or say to IBM customers. My whole city still runs on Novel. Well instead of migrating to Windows they can now migrate to Novell running Linux. I wish this solution was out when I was doing an internship in London. The solisitors I was working for was using Novell I had to recommend a company that was switching them to NT. They wanted to stick with Novell but all the support was dropping for it. Now this comes out, coupled with the growing number of firs supporting Linux and Novell has new life. It is still a gamble for them but one I beleive will pay off.
    • by Menthos ( 25332 ) <> on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:55AM (#6605374) Homepage
      Novell [...] has purchased one of the few Linux desktops

      Novell acquired Ximian, not GNOME. Ximian is not GNOME, they're only one of the companies behind it. Other significant companies behind GNOME include Sun and Red Hat who also contribute loads of resources, and also many additional sponsors [] like HP, Mandrake, and IBM. Not to mention the huge amount of independant volunteers, that made the project even possible to begin with.

      So there seems to be a huge difference with GNOME compared to the examples you mentioned -- this one will undoubtly survive even without Novell, should they decide to leave it for some reason.

    • by buysse ( 5473 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:06AM (#6605471) Homepage
      Well, DR-DOS was basically dead by the time Novell bought it. I think they decided to buy it a) because it let them sue Microsoft, and b) because Netware uses DOS as a boot-loader.

      WordPerfect, Quattro Pro, and Paradox are a different story. Novell never owned Paradox (and I don't they owned Quattro) -- that was a Borland product that was licensed and bundled as part of PerfectOffice -- Novell's competition to Microsoft Office. Novell also had a thin-client/kill-Microsoft strategy at about the same time... this eventually became Caldera OpenLinux.

      The real story is the Ray Noorda wanted to be the David to Microsoft's Goliath. After the disasterous acquisition of WordPerfect (and one of the many near-deaths of Novell), Noorda was ejected from the company and started Caldera. Novell became much more sane after that point.

      So, don't count out Novell because of WP -- that was a different company than now. They could be getting the megalomaniacal urge to kill Microsoft again, but all the code in this case is GPL'd. Improvements made by Novell in this fools errand will be given to the community and will continue after Novell is gone... or maybe, just maybe, it'll work. (But I'd be selling my Novell stock, if you know what I'm saying.)

      • Novell had another huge issue at the time. The had two different development camps. One wanted to move to TCP/IP and off the NetWare kernel, the other (Corporate) wanted to stay with NetWare. Corporate had most of the power at the time. So Novell at the time was sending out two different messages. Ray Noorda seemed to want to take the company to a Unix kernel for the server specifically Unixware. He also had a MAJOR battle going on with Microsoft at the time and probably focused too much attention to
    • by dudle ( 93939 )

      The real answer for Unix on the desktop is Mac OS X. Linux is a pain in the ass on the desktop, with or without Ximian.

      I would know, I've recently switched to Apple after Using Linux (all distribs) for > 6 years.
    • purchased one of the few Linux desktops that could potentially give Microsoft a run for its money.

      I really like the Ximian Desktop. It's just want Linux needs to get into enterprise environments.

      However, Ximian is a pretty small company, and on their own I doubt that they could give anyone a run for their money. Left on their own, Ximian probably would have gone out of business soon.

      If the founders of Ximian were confident about the future of their company, they wouldn't have sold it to Novell.

      In the l
  • by His name cannot be s ( 16831 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:38AM (#6605210) Journal

    That's the damn strangest acquisition I've ever heard of.

    Hell, Novell's purchase of WordPerfect seems to make sense under this veil.

    Weird, weird, weird...
    • by McShazbot ( 570442 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:32AM (#6605655)

      Everybody keeps comparing this to Novell's "disatrous" purchase of WordPerfect -- but that was no disaster. They never wanted WordPerfect; they wanted Groupwise. Wordperfect wasn't interested in selling just Groupwise, so Novell bought the whole she-bang, stripped out Groupwise, then unloaded the rest of it on those poor chumps at Corel. The whole thing actually made a lot of sense for Novell . . .

  • Money (Score:4, Informative)

    by Xner ( 96363 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:38AM (#6605212) Homepage
    The acquisition of Ximian was an all-cash transaction and is not expected to have a material effect on Novell's financial statements in the current fiscal year. No further details as to the specific terms of the transaction are being disclosed.

    Does not sound to me like Miguel will be rolling in cash though ...

    • Re:Money (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Uart ( 29577 )
      Ximian wasn't exactly rolling in cash either. However, just because it won't have a "material effect" doesn't mean that the amount isn't what you and I would consider large. Its just not what Novell would consider large.
  • by revividus ( 643168 ) <phil.crissman@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:40AM (#6605224) Homepage
    I wonder what will happen with Ximian's Exchange connector [] for Evolution? I hope Novell keeps it around, because it's probably my sole hope of getting a boss-approved Linux box at work...
  • by bc90021 ( 43730 ) <bc90021.bc90021@net> on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:40AM (#6605227) Homepage
    I am not hawking NOVL, and I do own less than 100 shares (disclosure complete, post commencing) but I'm glad I re-evaluated them. With their recent release of their products for Linux (which seem to be doing reasonably well []), and now with this purchase, it seems that they are serious about Linux. Since they were always great in the directory space, it seems like they just might be positioning themselves to try and contend in directory services again.
    • Actually I think not - everyone I know is heading reluctantly but inevitably to Active Directory and is ditching Netware.

      We have NDS *and* AD simply because some/many apps don't speak NDS but integrate directly with AD. So we buy both - NDS cos it's easier to manager and link/sync to AD for app integration.

      Thing is ... what a waste so the next step is simply to bin NDS.

      It's not what we want to do but what is happening none the less.

  • Good for them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mao che minh ( 611166 ) * on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:41AM (#6605234) Journal
    I want to see Novell survive. My first two years in the IT business was supporting a huge Netware environment, and I have always liked it (Netware) since. With Novell's planned shipment of Linux products, it would also make sense to build a strong Netware client for Linux. Aqcuiring Ximian and all of it's tools is a good start.
  • Grumble... (Score:4, Redundant)

    by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:43AM (#6605264)
    Usually it's not a good idea to attach a lifeboat to a sinking ship. Novel should be selling off/spinning off divisions that have a chance of surviving, not acquiring more units to pull under.
  • by ChiefGeneralManager ( 600991 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:43AM (#6605267)
    Novell produce some really nice software -- Netware seems solid, secure and provides a more useful and workable system out of the box than windows.

    My biggest problem with Novell is that to get any of the great benefits that Netware provides, I have to buy a slew of stuff -- like ZenWorks and BorderWare. To get a complete network OS, I have to either shell out, or make some kludges to get things to work together, using olde batch files, for example.

    In all, this means it's better to start of with something that only claims to be the hub of an NOS and build other software on to it -- like SME Server [] -- and its at no cost.

    In buying Ximian, I hope Novell will be able to offer SMEs a workable, useful, solution that gives everyting a NOS should be capable of for the same price (rather than just the core) so desktop management (over Windows, Linux and Mac), e-mail, and firewalling would all come together at a Microsoft-beating price.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Two-faced dumb plug Sen. Orin Hatch is now faced with a dilemma. Which constituency will he support -
    Novell & open source, *or* SCO and the forces of evil. Hard choices for such an honorable man.
  • Tug - O - War (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jmkaza ( 173878 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:47AM (#6605297)
    First there was IBM. But IBM made a deal with a guy named Bill and slowly saw their computer monopoly erode, as this thing called Windows allowed anyone to operate any PC. But then it was decided to link computers together, and up came a new software company, Novell, and now someone other than Bill was making money off of software, and Bill didn't like that, so out came Windows NT, and Novell saw their brief monopoly collapse. IBM and Novell weren't happy, so IBM hooked up with another guy, named Linus, and slowly started taking back what Microsoft had taken away, in the datacenter, at least. So here's Novell, looking at IBM and realizing hey, it brought them back, it can bring us back too. And now the community has a big player putting Linux on the corporate desktop. Right on, Novell. Best of luck to ya.
  • Mixed Feelings (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Silwenae ( 514138 ) * on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:47AM (#6605302) Homepage
    I'm of mixed feelings on this.

    I am of the belief that Novell bought Ximian more for Ximian Connector than anything else, Mono second, and oh yeah, Ximian Desktop / Gnome Development is thrown in.

    I have a hard time believing Novell has a vested interest in a Linux desktop like Gnome. Out of the three software apps Ximian works with, Gnome is the only one that isn't so much a cross-platform application (Gnome development for Sun / *BSD aside).

    It's probably good for Mono as well. But does Novell have the cash to continue development of all these?

    I just hope Novell doesn't let them die on the vine.
    • "It's probably good for Mono as well. But does Novell have the cash to continue development of all these?"

      I think the question should rather be "does Novell have any interest and/or strategic advantages in continuing the development of all of them?". I say this because Novell certainly has more revenue and excess funds then Ximian did (or at least I hope hope so, it would be rather bleak for Novell if they didn't).

    • Re:Mixed Feelings (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      My guess is that Mono interested them as well - Novell would love to take eDirectory (NDS) and make add-on components like ZenWorks truly cross-platform. Imagine having a Linux/Windows/Solaris network, with single sign-on and a unified directory, and being able to deploy apps to any workstation with a few clicks, after installing a .NET runtime (Mono on the *nix hosts). If you've never used Netware in a larger environment, you don't understand. I'm sitting in an academic position right now.. and really,
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:37AM (#6605716)
      There are three areas where GNOME is of value to them:

      * Evolution -- since they control the direction of it, they can integrate Novell services

      * RedCarpet (which is popular and linked to Evolution and Ximian GNOME's success) -- able to ship Novell products to several distributions and to Sun and HP.

      * Ximian GNOME (which standardizes the UI and RPMs/DEBs of several desktops) -- allows Novell services to install easier because the have a common install environment (it's basically like UnitedLinux, but broader). This environment also allows them to use RedCarpet to distribute and install other corporate products from other companies (much like Lindows does with their "clip-and-run").

      So every facet of Ximian is perfect for Novell. They made a good choice. I hope that they're able to deliver on even half the potential.
  • At last! (Score:3, Funny)

    by khaine ( 260889 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:50AM (#6605319)
    All that useful software I've always wanted on my Linux desktop! Wonderful software sch as:

    * Groupwise connector for Evolution.
    * Directory Services for Linux.
    * ZenWorks for Gnome

    I can't wait! ;-)
  • by RevMike ( 632002 ) <> on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:51AM (#6605335) Journal
    Novell is a name recognizable (and respectable) to the PHBs of the world. Sure they got trounced by MS, and their licensing structure may have sucked, but they are still a known name.

    It would be easy for Novell to put together a nice bundle of Linux technologies, then sell it under their own name. The PHBs who don't trust OSS wouldn't have to know any better.

    I'd personally like to see Novell hire the SAMBA team. It would be pretty cool to see them take back the file and print server space from MS using their name on OSS.

  • by GerardM ( 535367 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:53AM (#6605350)
    With Novell being great as a directory company and Ximian great as a desktop company, I would expect to see security and ease of administration for Linux desktops to be the great beneficiary. This could become available as a proprietary solution or as an open source solution. In either the quality and ease of administring Linux application will improve.

    What I am happy with is that Novell first proved itself as a good member of the community before they bought Ximian.
  • One more involved (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ptaff ( 165113 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:54AM (#6605360) Homepage
    Do you realize the sheer number of major companies, one after the other, helping the community in some way or another?

    • Sun: SuSE distribution
    • Novell: Ximian
    • IBM: Kernel
    • Apple: KHTML
    • HP: XFree86

    Are they all wanting the success of GNU/Linux or is it a case of against-Microsoft-anything-will-do?

    These companies, which on certain fields compete against each other, are willing to go in the same direction, isn't it weird? ...can't wait to add Microsoft/SCO to the list - or simply remove them from the other list :)
    • Re:One more involved (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gosand ( 234100 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:21AM (#6605591)
      Are they all wanting the success of GNU/Linux or is it a case of against-Microsoft-anything-will-do?

      Or maybe they have come to realize that this Open Source thing is pretty cool. Maybe it has nothing to do with making GNU/Linux as an entity succeed, or about sticking it to Microsoft. Maybe it is just quality software into which it is worthwhile to invest a small amount of their time/money.

    • by MyHair ( 589485 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @11:15AM (#6606118) Journal
      These companies, which on certain fields compete against each other, are willing to go in the same direction, isn't it weird?

      It's not weird at all. What these companies have done is embraced a piece of software that can't be forcibly pulled out from under them. For an x86 example, Microsoft has consistently been ulitmately destructive to the more successful vendors that run on it (WP, Lotus 1-2-3, Citrix, Quicken, Netscape, co-dev deal with IBM OS/2, etc.). With open source they simultaneously cut costs, improve their PR image, retain control over the code as used for them and have public code review/debugging/contributions.
  • This is good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by johnnyb ( 4816 ) <> on Monday August 04, 2003 @09:59AM (#6605402) Homepage
    Previously, Novell had an excellent product - their directory services. In addition, it would run on more Microsoft operating systems than NT. For example, you could authenticate and use Novell resources from DOS, not so with NT, at least not without a LOT of help. Novell is the product everyone wanted to use, because it made your life easier, it's just that noone wanted to run their operating system.

    Now they have a chance to go in with the operating system that EVERYONE is wanting to run (a lot of people _want_ to run Linux, but are unable to do so because of their Windows machines). Novell is the king of getting their software to play nicely with Windows. I can see Novell going into Linux, and then being able to replace Active Directory with the click of a button.

    And this purchase means that their server will be incredibly easy-to-use.
    • Re:This is good (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bwalling ( 195998 )
      Novell is the king of getting their software to play nicely with Windows. I can see Novell going into Linux, and then being able to replace Active Directory with the click of a button.

      You make me laugh. Ever try to migrate NT to NDS or vice versa? What a pain in the ass! NDS for NT was anything but the "click of a button"!
  • by MyRuger ( 443241 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:01AM (#6605419)
    1) Start a company

    2) Sell it

    Like teaching a new dog old tricks
  • by thepacketmaster ( 574632 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:12AM (#6605506) Homepage Journal
    Let's just hope they don't turn around and sell Ximian to SCO!
  • by BobTheLawyer ( 692026 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:14AM (#6605529)
    Statements like:

    "The acquisition of Ximian was an all-cash transaction and is not expected to have a material effect on Novell's financial statements"

    imply the amount of money involved was peanuts. Does anybody have figures on this?
  • by oPless ( 63249 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:15AM (#6605543) Journal

    Congrats on the Novell takeover! :)
  • Novell is dying (Score:3, Redundant)

    by swb ( 14022 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:49AM (#6605860)
    AFAICT Novell is dying, doomed to become another company like Banyan. NDS is a superior technology, but Novell fumbled it with NW 5; we had to switch to Win2k for the sake of our Mac clients, which Novell walked away from.

    All the resellers I talk to say nobody buys Netware new, virtually all of the Novell sales they do are upgrades for a few loyalists that won't switch to anything else.

    I won't argue the superiority of Win2k in any sense; NW4.11 NDS was vastly better, especially when dealing with multi-site and distributed security setups. But Novell became just impossible for us if we wanted to keep our Macs reasonably integrated with the PCs.

    IMHO Novell's purchase of Cambridge Tech Partners was an acknowledgement that their days are numbered. Perhaps purchasing Ximian will enable them to get into the Linux consulting world.
    • Well put (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bogie ( 31020 )
      As probably one of the few people here who actually knows what Banyan was I'd have to agree completely. Novell simply didn't transition to ANYTHING since 4.11. When the world went app server crazy in the mid 90's they left Novell behind. Look at how shitty NT 4.0 was when it came out. Look at how fast ISV's and companies fled Novell and their crappy programing interfaces. Oh sure a bunch of companies keep Novell around for File/Print/Directory services, but for Internet apps and groupware apps, Windows ate
  • by CooCooCaChoo ( 668937 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:51AM (#6605881)
    That Ximian may give more to Novell that what Novell can give to Ximian.

    Think about it. Novell Netware 6.5 has a *really* crap management console, why not purchase the necesssary skills to improve it?

    Now, lets add on top of that the fact that Novell doesn't want to be left out. They have Java, why not add a dot-net compliant framework to the mix so that no matter what the outcome of the framework wars is, Novell will be sitting back with a smile on their face knowing that what ever the outcome, they're covered either way.

    Then lets add ontop of that! there are now *MORE* businesses moving to centralised processing, why not make Novell an viable alternative to Windows? get, Ximian GNOME, Evolution etc and you will have a really good combo for the end user.

    Add even *MORE* ontop by the fact they Novell will earn some brownie points in the developer circles by embracing openstandards and as a net result, Novell has *NOTHING* to lose and everything to gain from this.
  • Possibilities (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Evil Muppet ( 261148 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @11:02AM (#6606002) Homepage
    The way I see it, there is an awful lot that Novell stands to gain out of this:
    • A native Groupwise client - Novell has publicly stated that the anticipated move away from client software to web interface access to Groupwise was wrong. Looking at the Ximian press release [] confirms this part of the deal. The fact that they now have Java clients available to fill this gap seems a bit hollow now really.
    • Another bit of server software to flaunt - Novell is being a lot more proactive in expanding the Novell NetWare software library as of late. They assisted in the ports of PostgreSQL and MySQL to NetWare after Oracle dropped support. Mono fits rather nicely considering the above.
    • They can let PHB and BOFH types have their way - Some PHBs will choose Windows as their server platform based on the "strugle" (read slaughter) involving .NOT and J2EE. If Novell throw some resources behind Mono, they can also fill that role for those who must have a commercial OS (yes, all 6 of you).
    • ZenWorks gets a boost - Red Carpet works and works well now. As ZenWorks is one of the cornerstones of Novell's Linux strategy, anything they can get their hands on to improve it is a definite "yes, gimme!".
    • "From the trenches" assistance with their Linux push - Even though Novell have plenty of experience developing for UNIX in general and Linux specifically, having some of the bods from Ximian to help out with the porting of things like iPrint to Linux would have to be a plus
    • Offering the complete package - Even though they tend to work together a fair bit these days (both are committed to J2EE, both are involved in the Liberty alliance), Novell needs a desktop strategy to compete with Sun's desktop Linux plans. Additionally, their sales force will no longer need to say "Sure! We can provide all of your server needs! Err...client side? Umm....the area code for Redmond is...."
    • Highlighting Novell's commitment to the open source world - Even though Novell have backed down slightly from those dicks who sell stuff that they dare call a UNIX (all who want to see an OpenServer box urinated on, set on fire and then detonated get in touch) this is a pretty decent way of saying "Yes, you own the copyright to a few things. Think we care?"

    Well, that's me out of ideas.

  • by ketan ( 3574 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @11:09AM (#6606074) Homepage
    I wonder if they're buying a potential anti-trust lawsuit. If MS screws Ximian Mono by changing .NET or pointing the patent gun at them or whatever, Novell will have the resources to go after them for abusing a monopoly position, whereas it would be harder for Ximian to do that on their own. Kind of like with DR-DOS, although I think it was Caldera who pursued the litigation in that case.

    This post started as a joke; now I'm not so sure.
  • by NZheretic ( 23872 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @12:18PM (#6606826) Homepage Journal
    "History, Never Repeats, I Tell Myself, Before I Go to sleep." - Split Enz

    Back in April 25, 1994, PC Magazine had an article announcing that Novell Inc was developing a Linux based desktop system for Windows, DOS, NetWare, and Unix applications [].

    From that project, a group of Novell alumni formed Caldera Systems International with the backing of Novell's founder, Ray Noorda.

    The Canopy Group, which purchased major holding in Caldera, was also founded by Ray Noorda. []

    Today Caldera Systems International, trading under the name The SCO GROUP Inc, at the direction of executives at the Canopy Group Inc, is threating the same target Linux desktop market for using the same technology that Novell owned and sublicensed to the original SCO.

  • by WoTG ( 610710 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @12:20PM (#6606837) Homepage Journal
    Fact 1: A lot of Novell installations are still out there. I would hazard a guess that a disproportionate number of the larger corporate networks are Novell.
    Fact 2: Linux is slowing making it's way into corporate networks, but realistically very few companies will completely switch over.
    Given this, we see that more so than ever before, it's a mixed network future, Linux + MS + Novell (sometimes) + Whatever. Something people haven't mentioned too much is that Novell Directory Services has add-ons to make it cross-platform, Microsofts AD does NOT. So, if you want to make your spiffy new mixed network run smoothly with less administrative work the choice is clear now, run Novell NDS - possibly even if you don't have Novell servers at all!
    Good deal for all involved... all makes sense to me at least.
  • by Ubiquitous Bubba ( 691161 ) on Monday August 04, 2003 @02:55PM (#6608309)
    Over the last few years, Novell has undergone a quiet metamorphosis. Written off as a failure once Windows NT shipments exceeded NetWare sales, Novell surprised many by refusing to die. Even after committing multiple marketing blunders, the company continued to survive. No longer Microsoft's arch enemy, Novell silently reoganized. In the past few years, Novell has focused on basing networking solutions on Directory Services. Once eDirectory could run on Windows NT/2000, the unbelievable occurred: eDirectory on Linux. While Novell's initial efforts were not taken seriously by Microsoft, most businesses or the Linux community, it was an important step. Jump forward a few years and Novell is strongly supporting Linux in the enterprise with a declaration of services for Linux. In addition, Novell is supporting OSS on NetWare. With the purchase of Ximian, Novell is aligning itself even more with Linux. Is Novell doing this to get back at Microsoft? I don't believe so. Novell wants to sell products. They see a dwindling future for NetWare if it competes against Windows and Linux. Considering their options, I believe they've made the smart choice.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972