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Novell

Brainshare Reports: NLD 10, Novell's Linux Switch 427

An anonymous reader submits "Computer World has an article about Novell Linux Desktop 10, which was just announced at Brainshare, that it plans to compete directly with Windows. One of the biggest things about NLD 10 is that it will have the desktop search engine Beagle as a feature." Also from Brainshare, Joe Barr writes on NewsForge about the significance of Novell's ongoing (multi-year) transition to Linux for all of its 6,000 desktops. Consultants and software sellers of all stripes won't soon run out of TCO arguments for the products they want to push, but Novell claims to have saved $900,000 last year in Microsoft license fees alone.
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Brainshare Reports: NLD 10, Novell's Linux Switch

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  • by Spodlink05 ( 850651 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:10PM (#12028382)
    They only took out two Microsoft licenses?
  • Version Ten (Score:3, Funny)

    by SA Stevens ( 862201 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:10PM (#12028383)
    Novell Linux Desktop 10?

    When did the nine previous versions come out?
  • by AtariAmarok ( 451306 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:10PM (#12028396)
    Already 404? Sometimes, even though the OS is Linux, the server is still kleenex.
    • One of these times, I want to get slashdotted, then turn around and 302 redirect back to slashdot. ;)

      But only for slashdot referrers.
  • by YodaToo ( 776221 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:11PM (#12028409)
    Now if all of you just rush to buy shares of Novell, I can finally sell mine. Thanks in advance.
  • Alone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:11PM (#12028410) Journal
    Consultants and software sellers of all stripes won't soon run out of TCO arguments for the products they want to push, but Novell claims to have saved $900,000 last year in Microsoft license fees alone.

    Y'see, the point of "total" is that you're not looking at individual costs "alone"...

    • Re:Alone? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by man_of_mr_e ( 217855 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:25PM (#12028558)
      I think what is meant is that you can say you saved $900,000 last year alone on MS licenses, but what did you pay in new costs to make up for it?

      Now, Novell is in a unique situation. Since they own SuSE they don't have to pay SuSE license fees, so i'm sure that saves them a chunk of change, and they don't have to purchase service contracts because they're their own service facility.
      • Umm, provided you have some competent SuSE people (which Novell does) then you don't have any costs whatsoever.

        Why would someone pay SuSE license fees? You can do an ftp install for free (or at least last time I checked...haven't used SuSE in a while).

        • Time is money (Score:3, Interesting)

          by truthsearch ( 249536 )
          At any company time is money. It's impossible to switch a corporate desktop with no cost whatsoever. Even a competent SuSE person is going to spend at least a little time installing and setting up a desktop. Time spent on that is time not spend on other corporate work. Even 5 minutes per desktop is a lot when multiplied by 6,000. Hence it costs in terms of man-hours (i.e. productivity not used towards making the company money). And it directly costs money if that person's time is billable to a custome
          • But it's not about money. This is Novell here. They have adopted great technology in the past and failed to compete with it.

            They had IPX early, which should destroy the first generation of TCP/IP, and it never panned out. Novell Netware was better than many server OS at the time, and it never panned out. You see the pattern here. Novell problem was never about money. They don't know how to deal their cards.

          • Everytime I get a new machine at work I need to spend a little time setting it up. Doesn't matter if it is FreeBSD, Linux, or Ms Windows, I have to spend some time making it work like I like it.

            Companies replace computers often. Generally every 2-3 years, though some go much longer. Companies upgrade Windows often, mixing Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, and XP on the desktop is more pain than it is worth, so they standardize on one (or two), and every once in a while migrate everyone to the new one as the old

      • Re:Alone? (Score:3, Insightful)

        I think what is meant is that you can say you saved $900,000 last year alone on MS licenses, but what did you pay in new costs to make up for it?

        Right, and also what other costs might you save?


        daily malware cleaning
        lower hardware cost
        license auditing costs
        downtime costs


        Not to mention, having access to thousands of free applications, many that are best of breed.

      • Re:Alone? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by duderdice ( 851412 )
        Looking at it from a business investment point of view, let's find the return on investment. Say it takes a cool $7.2 million to make this transition (6,000 employees spending 40 hours training/learning/downtime @ $30/hr = $7.2 million). Shaving $900K per year pays you back in 8 years ($900K * 8 = $7.2 mil), because those licensing costs they saved are recurring. Using the 'rule of 72' from investing, if we make our money back in 8 years, we're getting roughly 9% return on an investement. That's probab
      • Re:Alone? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by misleb ( 129952 )
        They might be their own service facility, but they still have to pay someone to do the work, just like anyone else.

        -matthew
    • Last year, by not switching to another platform, Microsoft saved $13.78 Billion in Windows license fees alone.
    • Re:Alone? (Score:2, Insightful)

      The Total will end up being a lot more than $900,000 per year. Microsoft TCO studies notwithstanding, anybody that has actually tried to keep both a Windows Network and a Linux/Unix network up and running will tell you that the Unix boxes are a lot less effort. Just being able to NFS mount applications from a handful of application servers instead of installing on every single machine is a godsend, as is the total lack of real, live Linux viruses. Again, MS FUD notwithstanding, theoretical viruses are much
      • Re:Alone? (Score:3, Informative)

        by jabuzz ( 182671 )
        Clearly you are not playing the Microsoft game, if you are visiting computers to install software. If you have yourself a net installed managed network, backed by an Active Directory you can just as easily install an application on 1, 10, 100 or a 1000 computers. You need to know what you are doing, but it does work and it is an absolute godsend in managing Windows desktops. Everyone is properly patched and up to date, all with the latest virus definitions and all without leaving your office.

        Though persona
  • by Adam Avangelist ( 808947 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:13PM (#12028426)
    Can anyone explain to me this hype of meta-data searching. I for one do not understand the benefits of it one bit. When I saw the Microsoft demonstration video of WinFS it did not seem revolutionary or impressive. I don't understand why we would need beagle either. And if beagle every does take off will it run on other Linux distributions.

    Personally I just store my files in My Documents folder and directory on Windows Xp and Linux respectfully; I have no need for a fancy search and when I do, find and Window's Find are adequate.
    • by crazyvas ( 853396 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:19PM (#12028485)
      Not everyone might be as organized as you are. Many people like to throw their files all in one folder, and spend time figuring out what they want. Meta-data searching will hopefully reduce the time to retrive. The major problem with Windows Find is that results are not indexed and cached. An analogy would be a user typing a word into google, and google *initiating* a web crawl to go through thousands and thousans of servers to find the word. That is simply inefficient if you search frequently. A utility as simple as "locate" or "slocate" has solved this problem under Unix for ages. After installing Google deskstop, I have used it several times, though I should add that I've used it much less than I thought I would.
    • I have never understood why you need a DB type meta search on your own computer either.
    • Google search and I think Spotlight do more than just search your files. They also search you email as well as many other types of data.
      You can also extend the search so it can look in other data files.
    • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:29PM (#12028601)
      • I want my documents to be in two places at once (without messing with symlinks)
      • I want my documents to automatically organize themselves using metadata
      • I want my OS to tell me about information related to whatever I'm doing now
    • by johnnyb ( 4816 ) <jonathan@bartlettpublishing.com> on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:30PM (#12028621) Homepage
      I haven't used beagle, but here's the general case for large-scale meta-data searching:

      If I'm looking for information on, say, the E-Zuper project I working on at work. This allows me to turn up everything that refers to it, whether its an email, a document, a bookmark -- anything. And note that two of those things only exist within certain applications -- the email and the bookmark aren't physical files. They are conceptual objects.

      Likewise, you could say, "look at everything I did yesterday", and turn up emails, website visits, documents, etc.

      Or you could say, "show me everything by Stan Sterner" and the same thing would happen.

      For those of us whose data repositories are diverse and not always file-based, it would be a great blessing. Not to mention that meta-searching is useful even just with normal documents.

      If you can assign arbitrary meta attributes, you can bypass the limitations of a traditional directory structure. For example, I can search and find documents that I'm supposed to have completed by tomorrow, if I include an attribute such as "date-needed" on those files. This will pull from every folder (which are likely arranged by project, not date). I could also add priority tags, and search by priority.
      • Likewise, you could say, "look at everything I did yesterday", and turn up emails, website visits, documents, etc.

        How about an example Slashdotters can relate to...

        "Delete all website history and cache between 10:30 and 11:30 pm last night"
    • I'm with you on this. But, it works for you and me because we have a clue - 1/4 clue in my case - AND make an effort of staying organized.
      Joe Sixpack on the other hand, generally speaking, has no clue as what goes where; for example, he saves things wherever the file selection box points him to. If ALL programs made the SAME assumptions it would not be so bad, but that's not the case.
    • Despite decades of the "desktop" and "folder" metaphor, most lusers are still too stupid (lazy, foolish, etc) to navigate their filesystems. Anything that doesn't show up in their last 4 opened documents in whatever applications they use might as well be lost.

      Traditional file search isn't good enough since in addition to being too brain atrophied to navigate a file system, they also think that "Document 1" is a reasonable naming convention.
    • Can anyone explain to me this hype of meta-data searching. I for one do not understand the benefits of it one bit.

      It depends on how it is implemented. Be OS used to save indexes of searches so that it was almost instantaneous to perform successive searches based on the same criteria. That's great for searching but that's not all that interesting and it still means you have to actually do the searching.

      Take for instance Apple's Spotlight. [apple.com] It contains a feature called Smart Folders (which I personally

  • Trying to make feature out of paying less to your direct competitor last year.
  • by FreeLinux ( 555387 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:14PM (#12028436)
    that it plans to compete directly with Windows.

    The funny thing about this was that in the past and at last year's Brainshare, Novell had stated that they had no intention of competing directly against Windows. They even insinuated that attempting such competition was madness.

    By the way. Joe Barr reported yesterday that SuSE 9.3 Professional will also include Beagle. Not that you can't download Beagle anyway.
    • By the way. Joe Barr reported yesterday that SuSE 9.3 Professional will also include Beagle. Not that you can't download Beagle anyway.

      The SUSE (remember that Novell has renamed the distro for no apparent reason) 9.3 flyers distributed at the CeBIT say so, as well. There's a list of new features, among them Linux 2.6.11, KDE 3.4, GNOME 2.10, XEN, Beagle, iPod support, "perfected" bluetooth support, PostgreSQL 8.0... and a strategy game called "Invasion". The last time I've seen a game presented as a grea
    • by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @05:42PM (#12029512) Homepage Journal
      The funny thing about this was that in the past and at last year's Brainshare, Novell had stated that they had no intention of competing directly against Windows. They even insinuated that attempting such competition was madness.

      That was probably Messman talking sensibly before. Now, as you can see:

      Currently, Linux on the desktop has been adopted primarily by technology groups and the public sector. "The next release of [Novell] Linux Desktop will be ready to compete with Windows," Friedman said.

      ...this time it's Nat Friedman, a person not exactly known for being tactful. Witness how he single-handedly alienated half a dozen well-established projects last month when he declared Hula to be a category-killer and that there was nothing else in that space. (The developers of Horde, eGroupware, Citadel, and a few other projects just kind of stared gapjawed at their screens, wondering whether the entire previous decade had been mere figments of their imaginations.) This is essentially the same thing: the Ximian people (Nat and Miguel) have a habit of alienating people. It may very well be that they are among the few who did not learn from the lesson of Mark Andreesen: don't moon the giant. The giant will become cross and will squash you like a bug.

      In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Friedman found himself in Jack Messman's office getting verbally bitch-slapped for making that comment in public.
  • by Daredevil73 ( 753233 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:14PM (#12028437)
    Any one else think naming your premium feature the same as the worst virus for Windows perhaps not a great marketing move?
  • Ouch! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Danuvius ( 704536 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:14PM (#12028440)
    One of the biggest things about NLD 10 is that it will have the desktop search engine Beagle as a feature.

    Microsoft does not stand a chance!!
  • ...the lists are active (and questions actually get answered authoritatively), the IRC channel is lively, and the development is in the open. They've even got the logs of the team meetings [gnome.org] on line.

    PLUG: I'm working on a Ruby wrapper [rubyforge.org] for Evolution. Good times!
    • The list [novell.com] is barely active. There only a couple of posts per day with most of the questions going unanswered.

      The latest version of Evolution that ships with the latest version of Novell Linux, SuSE 9.2 Professional, is Evolution 2.0.1.

      Evolution 2.0.1 is a buggy version that fails to upgrade older message stores more often than not.
      Has a cappy interface compared to 1.x versions.
      Missing features that were available in 1.x
      New features do not work or are not complete.

      I wish Miguel would drop the Mono mess an
      • > The list is barely active

        I was thinking of this one [ximian.com]; almost a megabyte of messages each day.

        > Evolution 2.0.1

        Yup, and Fedora Core 3 shipped with 2.0.2. Hopefully FC4 will have something newer, because lots has changed.

        > fails to upgrade older message stores

        Hm, I don't deny your experience with 2.0.1, but 2.0.2 upgraded my 1.4 store just fine....
  • I guess no more argument as to which distro is best.
  • love NLD9 (Score:3, Funny)

    by linuxbeta ( 837266 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:22PM (#12028526)
    I love Novell Linux Desktop 9

    osdir screenshots [osdir.com]
  • by jht ( 5006 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:23PM (#12028539) Homepage Journal
    Novell has the resources and expertise to make Linux a truly viable desktop OS for Joe Corporate User. That all said, I'm not sure they will be able to out-market Microsoft enough to make a dent - even with their new management that's come in over the last couple of years, Novell remains the prototypical company that would open up a sushi bar, and advertise it with a sign saying:

    "Cold Raw Dead Fish for Sale!"

    (and I'm a Novell Partner- i like Novell!)

    I've seen their new Open Enterprise Server (the SuSE/NetWare fusion) and it's tremendously impressive - I spent time in a class on it last week. The current NLD (based on SuSE 9.0) is a good solid desktop, which I run on one of my Dell boxes. Somebody out there is going to make Linux into a truly viable desktop player, and it'll probably be Novell in spite of their poor marketing skills.

    I just hope that NLD doesn't turn out to be the "only" shot at a widespread penetration of the corporate desktop for Linux in general. Linux is doing just fine on the back end, but on the desktop right now the only real "alternative" is Apple - we need a good Linux-based Third Option to really start nibbling away at Windows.
    • "Novell has the resources and expertise to make Linux a truly viable desktop OS for Joe Corporate User."

      Uh... what desktop OS expertise does Novell bring to the table that SuSE didn't already have? The last _desktop_ OS Novell produced was Novel DOS 7. (Or was it 8?)
    • Novell remains the prototypical company that would open up a sushi bar, and advertise it with a sign saying:

      "Cold Raw Dead Fish for Sale!"


      They were bought out by apple's marketing division?

      :)

      hawk

    • I hope you're right. SuSE has always had one big pain in the ass, and that's SuSEConfig. If you go in and edit files manually, it screws things up. This wouldn't be a problem if YaST weren't such a pig to run and you didn't have to outwit it to get the configuration you want.

      Novell needs to come up with a truly easy to use configuration interface that doesn't overwrite config files and recognizes hand editing.

      Ie, it needs to interpret the config files for each managed service and support all features,
  • by pyros ( 61399 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:25PM (#12028553) Journal
    It will be interesting to see what obstacles Novell encounters compared to IBM. The last thing I heard about IBM's transistion was that they are rewriting all their internal web applications to no longer require Internet Explorer.
    • You've obviously never worked at a large company (especially IBM). To say that ANYTHING happens company-wide is a joke. That being said, one of my very good friends works at IBM writing web applications, and doesn't even use Firefox, never mind designs for it. Everything is IE only.
      • You've obviously never worked at a large company

        Is Halliburton big enough? Lots of IT stuff happens company-wide.

        Everything is IE only.

        that's kinda what I said, why else would they have to rewrite them to not be IE only if they weren't IE only in the first place? And the existence of you friend hardly negates the press on IBM's migration.

        • Well, Haliburton is better run, or at least has better communication. Even as we speak, he's hard at work on some IE-only code. He's never heard of, nor has anyone in his department, ever heard this decree, if it really did happen. Same thing with their supposed Linux migration. Never happened. It was just for the press.
  • Great, another annoying dog asking me what I want to search for.
  • by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:27PM (#12028582) Homepage Journal
    Up to date, latest and greatest ones.

    I don't care if they are bnaries, the important think would be that any Linux user could get hold of one.

    With Novell, RH, Sun and IBM pushing for commercial Linux desktops we may get this more often thatn we currently do now.
    • I don't care if they are bnaries, the important think would be that any Linux user could get hold of one.

      Unless they're running on something 'unsupported' like ppc or sparc. Or are running an 'unsupported' version of gcc or glibc. Or are trying to run the hardware three years after the vendor last bothered updating the driver so that it won't work on a modern kernel.
  • by otisg ( 92803 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:30PM (#12028618) Homepage Journal
    This is great news for Lucene [apache.org], which is what's at the core of Beagle. More specifically, it is the port of Lucene (Java) to C# and .Net, which can be found at http://www.dotlucene.net/ [dotlucene.net].
  • "it plans to compete directly with Windows."

    The line for products to compete with Windows forms in the back. Lotus Notes, Java, browser-based apps, and network computers are already in line. Desktop 10 will just have to wait its turn.
  • Saving a few people a few Google visits:
    Beagle [gnome.org]

    Also interesting:
    Beagle CVS repo [gnome.org].
  • True Cost (Score:2, Redundant)

    by Quill_28 ( 553921 )
    I am not against moving away from MS.

    But how much time($$) was spent moving to Linux?
    Was any training needed to move to Linux?

    There is alot more than just license fees.

    • Except that the license fees are repetitive, so moving to Linux now saves money every year. Compare to one-time costs of rewriting some apps, training some old dogs (IMHO, few will really need formal ($$) training to run Linux at the level they run windows).

      If you break even, like in 3 years, is it still worth it?

      I think you just answered your own question.
  • Novell rocks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA ( 619114 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:36PM (#12028708) Homepage Journal
    and I just heard from a guy working for Blackberry that they're working on making the Blackberry Enterprise Server work on Novell Groupwise Linux boxes. Oh happy day, when I can dump Exchange :)
    Thanks for talking the talk and walking the walk, Novell. IBM, when are you going to switch the corporate desktops?
  • The main issue for corporate for Linux to "compete" with Windows is user authentication over the network, all the permissions things that Active Directory offers. LDAP stuff.
  • Did you really expect them to say that it was more expensive? The TCO calculations can be strongly influenced in either direction by carefully choosing what to measure, and, more importantly, what not to measure.
  • NLD is nice. (Score:3, Informative)

    by miffo.swe ( 547642 ) <{daniel.hedblom} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @05:13PM (#12029162) Homepage Journal
    I use it at my laptop right now at work and its nice and easy enough for most people in my opinion. Combine Novell Linux Destop with Novell Open Enterprise and you have a managed enviroment. Heck, combine it with NX Server and you have a full fledged secure terminal server ready to put onto the net ready for outside access. Cant wait for version 10 since it probably will have most of the lessons learned from Novells migration in it.

    Actually im doing just that now as a project at work.

    Life is good!
  • For those who don't know what Beagle is (like me) here is a link [gnome.org] and some demos [nat.org].
  • In the news (Score:2, Funny)

    by ratboot ( 721595 )
    Novell claims to have saved $900,000 last year in Microsoft license fees [because they installed Novell Linux Desktop]

    Also :

    Microsoft claims to have saved $900,000 last year in Microsoft license fees [because they installed Microsoft Windows]

  • by Jim Hall ( 2985 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @05:53PM (#12029668) Homepage

    I wonder if this means Novell is any closer to releasing a Novell Netware Client for Linux? In our shop, lots of people use Fedora Core 1,2,3 - but everyone needs to have access to files on the Novell Netware LAN. Scripts that use NCPFS get us there, but it's kind of a hack (i.e. you need to change the script if we change the server, ...)

    Releasing a full Novell Netware Client for Linux has been a planned thing for some time. Maybe NLD 10 will finally get us there?

  • Maybe they are ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by NullProg ( 70833 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @07:39PM (#12030743) Homepage Journal
    trying to be like these people:

    Novell Public Service Announcement [novell.com]

    Enjoy,

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