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Novell CEO Shakeup Puts Ron Hovsepian in Charge 129

jht writes "Arriving in my Inbox a few minutes ago (I'm a Novell Partner), was the announcement that effective immediately, CEO Jack Messman and CFO Joe Tibbetts are out of jobs at Novell. Existing president Ron Hovsepian was named CEO, and an interim CFO was named as well. Messman will stay on the board thru the end of October, though. A webcast of the conference call should be available shortly at" ukhackster links to ZDNet's coverage of the shakeup, writing "It looks like [Messman's] been blamed for Novell's poor performance in the Linux space versus Red Hat. But can Linux ever be a real cash cow?"
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Novell CEO Shakeup Puts Ron Hovsepian in Charge

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  • by saleenS281 ( 859657 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:22AM (#15582733) Homepage
    Can it? Is that a rhetorical question? Linux already is a cash cow, I think Redhat proved that long ago...
  • Like this? (Score:5, Funny)

    by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:23AM (#15582741) Journal
    killall -HUP NovellCEO
  • Thats a can o' worms. Moreover, its also a crap question. GNU/Linux probably wont be a huge market in terms of overall profit from selling it, but its always going to provide some flow. Whether it be software or support, it isn't totaly redundant.

    Also, is the real reason they were removed from their positions due to Novell not performing in the Linux market the push behind this decision? Or is this classic media hype/speculation?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Until the SuSE team learns what the term "regression" means in the software QA/QC arena and
      learns to do Regression Testing, so that the YaST2/Patch RPM debacle is eliminated in SuSE 10.1,
      no, Linux will NEVER be a cash cow for them.

      I've been a loyal SuSE Professional customer for years, buying the retail box at retail in a
      CompUSA, just to make sure that both CompUSA and SuSE get the revenue from it and are encouraged
      by retail sales. Yeah, I could download and burn the bits for next to nothing, but I am willi
      • I've been a loyal SuSE Professional customer for years, buying the retail box at retail in a CompUSA, just to make sure that both CompUSA and SuSE get the revenue from it and are encouraged by retail sales. Yeah, I could download and burn the bits for next to nothing, but I am willing to support a worthwhile competitor to Red Hat, just to keep everybody on their toes.
        Absolutely!. I wholeheartedly agree with that principal. It is not only important to act in such a way, but it is important for people to un
      • Actually the slowness in YaST (in my experience) is that it's set to refresh installation sources EVERY time you go into the package manager, Disable the automatic installation source refresh then it will speed right up by virtue of not having to parse the YaST repository every damn time it's launched. The down side is that you will have to occasionally manually refresh, particularly when new KDE releases are made available.

        If you think 10.1 was bad, have you actually tried Samba or Ximian Evolution with th
  • I don't know .... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hawkeye_82 ( 845771 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:29AM (#15582793) Journal
    I just don't know whether to feel sad for these guys, that they're taking the fall for something that they may not be in control of, or to feel happy that the top management has taken the hit rather than the lower ranks which is usually more common practice in corporate America.

    I just don't know how to feel !! Help me Slashdot...
    • Re:I don't know .... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You know Novell also laid around 600 to 1000 employees last year, right?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        And same amount the year before ... The lower ranks have been taking the hits for years at Novell. *Finally* the top management is taking some hits as well.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, 2006 @02:52PM (#15584249)
        You know Novell also laid around 600 to 1000 employees last year, right?

        No wonder Messman left. He must be tired from all that hanky-panky.

  • by azav ( 469988 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:30AM (#15582804) Homepage Journal
    "Existing president Ron Hovsepian was names CEO"


    Why don't the editors actually correct errors in these articles they post?

    It just looks shoddy when articles are posted to inform and aren't even checked for basic grammar.
    • Naaahh, he obviously just changed his name to reflect his new title. I'm personally was names El Presidente.
    • may be Slashdot needs an internal shake up as well! We have seen too many of these typos lately.
    • Maybe not all of us have a stick up our a_ _ so it does not bother us much. Seriously if your just too damn stupid to figure it out maybe you should not be reading it.
      • You're got professional and accurate and you've got shoddy.

        Does your compiler check your code for you and alert you to errors?

        If you can't communicate properly and grammar check your communications, why do you even check your code for accuracy?

        It's a simple point of being correct and accurate or looking like a chump because you don't proof your own work.

        To illustrate my point, you typed:
        "Seriously if your just too damn stupid to figure it out maybe you should not be reading it."

        Your you are. Basically, yo
        • HEH

          "You're got professional and accurate and you've got shoddy."

          Looks like I'm a prime example.

          "You've got professional and accurate and you've got shoddy."

          It figures, I'd catch that one after proofing it and sending.

          Also I typed "your is not your" using the greater than and less than symbols. Slashdot seems to filter that out.
  • Linux=CashCow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by infosec_spaz ( 968690 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:33AM (#15582826) Homepage
    I agree with the guy up there...Linux is already a cash cow...Look at how many companies who make software that runs on Linux are very prosperous, and look at Novell...They have been around a long time, and they plan on being here much longer, hell, I love most of their software, it has a place, and as long as they keep up with the market, and know where to put the software, they will keep a strong customer base. That said, I know several companies who are already running their enterprise Linux, with Netware services and LOVE it!! Yes, Linux will continue to proliferate the enterprise, and as long as companies like Novell are pushing it, it will get there relatively fast.
    • Re:Linux=CashCow (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:49AM (#15582957) Homepage
      The funny part is the number of nay-sayers here that have zero clue as to the amount of penetration that linux has.

      Linux is absolutely number one in integrated items. Most mp3 players at the home component level to many pocket units run linux. most DVD players sold run linux, most PVR's run linux, Commercial security pvr's run linux, almost all SIP phones are linux based.... the list goes on and on and on.

      IP security cameras, etc...

      In the high end home automation and integration bix I find linux to be more prevalent than microsoft or QNX or other os types simply because of cost (Crestron is a MS whore with their embedded XP but most of their items are repackaged devices available with linux already in them... Adagio Music server for one example.)

      This is ignoring the server room and workstations.... Linux is everywhere.
      • The funny part is the number of nay-sayers here that have zero clue as to the amount of penetration that linux has.

        Linux is absolutely number one in integrated items. Most mp3 players at the home component level to many pocket units run linux. most DVD players sold run linux, most PVR's run linux, Commercial security pvr's run linux, almost all SIP phones are linux based.... the list goes on and on and on.

        The funny part is the number of linux supporters here that have zero clue as to what profit means. The
    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:16PM (#15583160) Homepage Journal
      This is a problem that the software industry has to learn to deal with.
      Software doesn't wear out.
      Microsoft knows this, that is why they are trying so hard at linking Windows to a single machine. When the computer dies or is replaced you buy a new copy of Windows. How many people have bought WindowsXP over and over?
      How many people are still using Office2000 because it really is good enough?
      It is getting to the point where new features are not worth cost of buying an upgrade.
      In the end software companies will have to become service companies. Red Hat knows this, I think Novell knows this. It is the support contracts stupid. Give them the software but charge them for support.
      • In the end software companies will have to become service companies.

        The problem is that even if you pay your hard earned cash for "support", you get some bozo who knows less than I do, and usually the "solution" is for them to blame the hardware or anybody else they can blame.

        I find that OSS mailing lists are better in that you are in contact with the actual developers who know the guts of the code in question. AND!! Its free!

        Once you pay for "support", the best thing I've ever received is a person who is
        • Maybe you should look for a company that offers better support. You can get good support the problem is you have to be willing to pay for it. Don't expect anything but a McDonalds reject in India for support if you bought a $499 Dell. There isn't enough margin to pay for good support people.
        • This is true for normal users. However, corporate users are different. Corporate users would rather pay money to hear a voice on the phone at any time of the day or night (even if it's not the _most_ helpful voice) than wait for a great response on a mailing list. Corporate users demand an instant response, and they're more than willing to pay for it.
          • Just about any user that depends on a piece of software to run their business will feel the same. Be it a restaurant, doctors office, or a one of those self storage places. They all use vertical market software and probably pay for support.
            The problem with main stream software developers is that they depended on increased growth. What happens when everyone that needs a copy of word has one?
            Software companies need to move from the idea of sales as profit base to service as a profit base.
      • Windows software does wear out and sometimes rather quickly too.
    • Thank you for your comments Mr. Hovsepian
    • Linux will never be a cash cow. A "cash cow" implies that it's the customer who gets milked. Linux is hardwork, good customer service and lean margins. The software industry is maturing and the "cash cows" (milking the cutomers i.e. high margins, low service) is reaching it's final days.

      Thats why you are seeing the drop off in support for the dead end, expensive, forced upgrade cycle products and the shift to open source where the software develops at a pace defined by the customer and not by the supplier

  • What a load... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:40AM (#15582890) Journal
    But can Linux ever be a real cash cow?

    of crap. Linux distros are already making money and growing. The real issue is wether a distro can become a monopoly like MS. And the answer is no. That can never occur due to the GPL.

    • Re:What a load... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bano ( 410 )
      Actually a distro can become an monopoly of sorts even with the GPL,

      BigDatabaseVendor: I vote we exclusively support DistroX
      BigMiddlewareVendor: me top me too
      BigIntegrationVendor: Yep
      BigDatabaseVendor: We also have to strongarm or buy out our competition
      DistroX: We need exclusive OEM rights from a DudeYourgettingahardwareVendor and OverPricedBlueBoxVendor.
      All: $$$$$

      You are always free to make whatever work on whatever platform you wish if you have the source, but $upport is required for the PHB's and yo
    • Certainly it can. The OS is a commodity. It's the custom features and tools that Novell can supply running on top of that OS on the server side that is the selling point. On the user side they can develop an enjoyable experience that anyone can use but is enhanced if the organization is running their server software.

      Why spend their time and money keeping up their own OS when they can use Linux and devote their time to other development?

  • It looks like [Messman's] been blamed for Novell's poor performance in the Linux space versus Red Hat. But can Linux ever be a real cash cow?

    Wonder if Hovsepian will be on the phone with Hubert Mantel []?

    Or is that whole KDE/Gnome thang just a bridge too far?

    A little off-topic, but here are a few ideas I've always had for Novel:

    1) Write [or purchase] an in-house COMPILER! You've been releasing operating systems for more than twenty years now, yet you've never released your own compiler?!? Steve Ballm

    • by Anonymous Coward

      1. Why should they do that? There are plenty of good open source or otherwise free compilers out there. I fail to see what Novell can gain by creating a compiler for any language that already exists (or creating a new language for that matter)

      2. The embedded market is a good place to look for growth, but I don't think those devices will, in general, make good use of a directory server. If they jumped into providing embedded OS's, and could outcompete companies like montavista, could help their cashflow
    • Write [or purchase] an in-house COMPILER!
      never used mono or monodevelop I see. both are novell children
    • by thebdj ( 768618 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:14PM (#15583141) Journal
      So let us address a few shall we:

      1) Redhat, who I am pretty sure is the leading Linux distributor, does not have their own C/C++ compiler. The responsibility for a compiler does not really fall on the software makers so much as it should fall on the chip makers. Look at the vast majority of *nix systems with non-gcc compilers readily available. HP-UX, the main commercial compiler is available from HP, who either developed or help develop both the PA-RISC and Itanium chips their OS runs on. The same is true of Sun Solaris, though you can freely acquire Sun Studio 11 now to do the majority of this work for you, once again they are the ones with the chip, UltraSparc in this case. Repeat for AIX. There are also Intel based compilers available for their various chips on various platforms. None of the makers of the Operating Systems does not have some hand in the chips as well.

      2) For all we know they are.

      3) Sort of like 2, except let them work the bugs out in Linux first.

      4) They do still have offices in Provo. They just learned that none of the good upper management and executive people wanted to live in a) One of the whitest and non-diverse areas in the country and b) The religious (and political, and social) conservative capital of the US. Your statement is insane. So every company based in Silicon Valley is just a moment away from death? Btw, I do not mean to sound like I am flaming on Utah, but it is a valid complaint that it is a tightly conservative area and not very diverse either (85% white, 9% hispanic).
      • Nobody's ever concerned about the fact that caucasians are a huge minority in New Mexico-- but if we find a spot in Utah that has "only" 1 Hispanic person out of 11 (and I'll guess about the same number of Blacks) liberals get in a tizzy. News flash: the national percentage of population made up of Hispanics is only 13% (and about the same for Blacks), so 9% doesn't constitute a Nexus of Indiversity. Of course, once Vincente Fox finishes sending every last Mexican over the border illegally, those figures
        • Of course, once Vincente Fox finishes sending every last Mexican over the border illegally, those figures may change a bit.

          Its Vicente, not Vincente, btw... And he seems to be exporting our "Spaceship C" population, so dont think theres not a method to his madness...

          (Moderators, this is a joke, and not my actual political opinion about my compatriots having to cross deadly extensions of desert, or risk trigger happy commando ranchers just to get a job as a gardener or flipping burgers)
        • ...and thus you demonstrate the parent's point.
        • The african american population of Utah is about 0.8% of the population. This isn't to say that places with small minority populations cannot be progressive, or at least attempt it. Maine is 96% Caucasian and 82% Christian, about 6% below the average...yet they have taken very pro-gay rights stances and have voted Democrat for President since 1992. So check it [] out. BTW, thank you for the very Pat Buchanan [] sounding reply. BTW, I am Libertarian, not liberal.
      • 4)Lower cost, but harder to find, talent exists mainly outside of the huge population cetners california, New York. I think moving out of the place of origin companies lose something. Take a look at gateway, they used to be unbelievable. I think their move out of south dakota was a large reason for their decline. I think its okay to stay in Silicon, like google,apple, whoever, but moving to a place like that just 'cause executives don't like it in the sticks is generally a bad idea. It reeks of vanity, and
    • Take a long, hard look at the embedded market. NDS for QNX, NDS for VxWorks, NDS for Sybian, NDS for iTunes, etc, etc, etc.
      Let's ignore for a second that it's eDirectory now, not NDS...

      I think you meant to say "NDS for Symbian", not Sybian. Although it is much funnier your way.
  • Heads will roll (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Billosaur ( 927319 ) * <> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:49AM (#15582955) Journal

    More on the shakeup [].

    We're seeing this more now (think Sun [] and SGI []) -- companies that are underperforming making changes at the top in the hopes of generating new intitiatives and pumping up the stock price. It remains to be seen if all the bloodletting will lead to any marked improvement in the short term -- new execs have to deal with things as they are and try to untangle the mess left on their desk before they can move forward.

    • Re:Heads will roll (Score:3, Insightful)

      by am 2k ( 217885 )

      Well, but firing a few engineers and keeping the management that created the problem in the first place would be even worse. At least they really get rid of those that are responsible.

    • Re:Heads will roll (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ryan Amos ( 16972 )
      Many of these companies that are failing are doing so because the "mid-size business server" market that once ran Netware, or on Sun or SGI hardware has moved to commodity PC hardware with Linux. A mid-size Oracle database in 1995 was runinng on Sun hardware under Solaris, now the reccomended platform is RedHat on an Opteron.

      These companies are trying to adapt, but the fact is that their market niche was absorbed by the commodity PC market (pentiums and opterons,) which is low-margin and highly competitive.
      • To compare Sun with Dell or even HP is ludicrous.

        The depth and width of what Sun can offer is not even attempted by Dell, HP makes money from printers from goodnes sakes....
        • Right, the point being that customers are increasingly caring less about what Sun can offer them than price. The business model for servers is quickly becoming the same as the one for printers (industrial laser printers, not the cheap inkjet ones. That's the home PC market.)

          Dell and HP are eating Sun for lunch right now at their own game (selling server hardware,) so I do consider it a valid comparison.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      SGI is NOT underperforming.

      It is bankrupt.

      They just sold off their corporate headquarters building to Google.
    • Aren't we seeing in MS too. How many top MS management have left the company in the last six months? It must be the season.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:52AM (#15582973)
    All I can say is that I've worked with both of these men in the past, and Ron is clearly a better choice to lead Novell. Ron brings something very unique to the table - a deep understanding of the technologies Novell is focusing on. Additionally, he has a very clear vision of how to execute on their corporate strategy.

    If any of you had ever seen Messman speak at LinuxWorld, BrainShare, or other events, you should have recognized that he was just reading words off of a sheet of paper (or teleprompter). He didn't seem to exhibit even the most basic of understanding when it came to either major Novell product focus (Identity Management and Linux/Open Source). Additionally, he wasn't the best public speaker. Don't get me wrong, he was a great guy - just not the type of person to reinvent a company like Novell.

    Novell has some great ideas, better products, and a cohesive strategy. Ron Hovsepian is the type of person to leverage these strengths and bring Novell back to the position of strength it once enjoyed.
    • All I can say is that you hit the nail squarely on the head. If I had some mod points right now, I'd be calling this the most insightful post yet.
    • by demachina ( 71715 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:59PM (#15583456)
      Ron is also the better choice because he reads and posts on Slashdot even if it is an AC. Thanks for sharing your take on this with us Ron :)
    • I'm glad to hear that sort of knowlegable and encouraging talk and am tired of companies who appoint a CEO only hoping to increase the stock price, with no idea of what the company is really about. Novell does have some very good products (eDirectory and Identity Manager are excellent) and moving the existing services from NetWare to Linux, especially taking advantage of 64-bit memory access) should be accelerated (in my opinion). It's obvious that there will never be a 64-bit NetWare and the NetWare platfo
  • Redhat and Novell (Score:5, Insightful)

    by codepunk ( 167897 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:57AM (#15583009)
    Well at least Novell has a little focus on the desktop they stand half a chance of surviving. RedHat on the other
    hand is gonna find themselves in serious trouble quickly I am thinking. When RedHat decided to take focus off their desktop to capitalize on the enterprise market it was a smart thing to do short term to generate more revenue. Now enter ubuntu, hell I don't know many admins or various desktop users that don't use ubuntu for their desktops. The net effect of that is I now prefer it as a serving platform also. RedHat sold their soul for quick money but it is going to kill them in the end. Same goes for Novell, you have to have a good strategy front to back.
    • by C_Kode ( 102755 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:10PM (#15583107) Journal
      See, I disagree somewhat. While Redhat's Desktop (see Fedora) isn't as great as Ubuntu or even some others. The one thing it does have is RedHat itself. All I beleive Redhat has to do is start offering corporate support for a version of Fedora on the desktop. Say one version behind current. (FC4) RedHat isn't stupid. They are where they are because they (just like Dell) did what the corporation wants, not what the home desktop user wants. I doubt RedHat couldn't spit out a lean corporate desktop in a short span of time based on Fedora. Hell Fedora is where RHEL gets most of it's features.
      • Fedora isn't as good as Ubuntu? Have you ever used them both? Ubuntu doesn't even come with a damn compiler. Fedora is more polished, has better hardware support & detection, and has better integration with everything (i.e. everything just works). Granted Ubuntu has made leaps in this area recently. The security benefits that Fedora has like SELinux and exec-shield, etc... alone are enough to stay away from Ubuntu. The configuration utilities and everything are better in Fedora. Hell, a lot of the stuff
        • Ubuntu's base image is geared for desktop use and to fit on a single CD. User applications are more important than compilers for "Joe Average." Compilers are readily available from the repositories. "sudo apt-get install gcc . . . etc."

          • Re:Redhat and Novell (Score:2, Interesting)

            by LnxAddct ( 679316 )
            Completely understood and agreed. All I'm trying to get at is that the only advantage Ubuntu seems to have is that it fits on one CD. Fedora does everything else it does, and comes with a lot more software if you choose to install it. I just don't get how a distro fitting on one CD makes it better than a distro that comes with more functionality. You can't just say one is better than the other. They are both just as easy to use (for regular users and advanced users), one just comes with more software by def
        • They are both Gnome based distros, and both have decent package management systems, so how exactly are you arguing that Ubuntu is better?

          The actual systems used to manage packages mean nothing. Deb and RPM are equal. What does matter (and is why I like Ubuntu more and I think its the better of the two) is how many packages a distro has.

          Thanks to its forking of Sid, Ubuntu has over 16000 packages in its repos. Fedora at its best has maybe 6000 before a new release (which is then knocked down because the thi

      • Re:Redhat and Novell (Score:3, Informative)

        by Etyenne ( 4915 )
        Helllllllo ?!? Red Hat already have a desktop product, and always had. Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS -> []

        It's based on Fedora Core 3, just like the rest of the RHEL 4.

        I hate to be the Red Hat shill, but damn, there's a lot of uninformed opinions about Red Hat going on around here.
    • by twocents ( 310492 )
      I disagree. The Fedora project is well supported and has been promoted by Red Hat corporate in a big way. Some may prefer other distros, but Red Hat hasn't dropped the ball, in my opinion. Also, while you might prefer Ubuntu, you sound as if you set up your own machines at work; this means you would not be a Red Hat customer anyway.

      Lastly, there currently is very little money in the Linux desktop market. Red Hat is involved in the enterprise not because it's a short term solution, but because that's wh
    • by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:58PM (#15583449)
      Yeah, just like Debian, Gentoo, Mandrake, and Novell have all killed Red Hat, right? I've been hearing for years about Red Hat's impending demise at the hands of new distro X, and so far, so good - for Red Hat.

    • I love SuSE and use both SuSE and Red Hat Enterprise at work. I work for a large defense contractor and we had to throw out SuSE because we could not make it DoD NISPOM chapter 8 compliant. This is required for computers which operate in classified environments. Its failure - PAM configuration and auditing. PAM configurations which support NISPOM 8 would crash on SuSE. The snare kernel (to support auding requirements []) for SuSE Pro (9.3) is not available. I co
  • by supersnail ( 106701 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:26PM (#15583245)
    I recently crashed the disk on my laptop while I was on the road. I needed the machine back again quickly so I got a new hard drive, couldnt get hold of the recovery disks easily so I popped down to the local computer store and had a choice of Mandriva or Suse.
    Suse was more expensive but I had previous experience of version 6.0.
    On the whole the experience is rather disapointing. The basic Linux stuff works just fine
    but the suse extras particularly YAST can be a real pain.
    e.g. You double click on an .rpm file and it fires up yast software install which is nice, except that yast cant find the file as it deals in package lists and not rpms.
    e.g. It keeps shifting the ethernet and wireless adapters between eth0 and eth1 depending on what was
    active last. So you need to keep amending your wireless signon script (which you will need as yast gets you a wireless connection but no DNS server.)

    The web site is now just abysmal it is 90% support for Novell legacy products with the suse support hidden in nooks and crannys which is a pity as suse's online support used to be excellent.
    • by molarmass192 ( 608071 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:46PM (#15583362) Homepage Journal
      All moot points in SuSE 10.1 since 10.1 ships with Network Manager to handle your wireless sign on scripts and augments vanilla RPM with YUM/RUG. Do you think ANY boxed distro would have fared better ... doubtful!
    • I would have to disagree from experience. SuSE provides a great desktop / server distro and once you understand YAST, it becomes your friend. (I am not putting down apt or yum, but YAST is a great tool.) SuSE has been very stable and easy. I find FC2-5 to be buggy and not resolving dependencies correctly. Rarely does this happen in SuSE. Driver support tends to be better with SuSE distros as well (especially wireless networking).

      The bigger issue is Novell's marketing. They don't know where they are going wi
      • Bingo! SuSE has always been a good distribution. I didn't use it way back when (I was a Mandrake guy.) but always heard of it.

        SUSE 10.1 is a very clean distribution and a worthy successor to the line. Thanks to Andreas, it now includes Novell's ZenWorks updater which takes the pain out of updating software from non-official repositorys (apt, yum, yast, whatever) and is a beautiful feature. I haven't put the system on my notebook (running 10.0) yet, so I don't know if the wireless/wired bug has been fixed.

  • by grahamkg ( 5290 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @12:29PM (#15583265)

    I saw the comments re: v10.1, and yes that's a blot. It's only a minor one. I too buy SuSE, and have done so as long at least as long as I've been a /.er. ^_^

    If Novell wants to do well, they could look at the Microsoft model for the Windows Logo Program. "Designed to Run SuSE Linux". What a concept. The day machines are sold to Mom and Dad running Linux is the day when it can be a cash cow.

  • Too bad my stock was down 30% before it happened.
  • They have never recovered after the heydays of 3.12 Netware. Failed attempts to provide a business application suite (could anyone have screwed up WordPerfect faster or more completely?) and drawn-out re-issues of updated Netware (some of which had nothing in common stability-wise with 3.12) with some damn good tools never interrupted the downward spiral which has characterized them for the past 10 years. Acquiring Suse brought high hopes but the number of Novell shops has continued to decrease. Just a f
    • Novell still has a lot to offer. Just one example is Identity Manager, which synchronizes data between different kinds of systems in "real-time" (event driven). It can handle just about any type of directory service (eDir, AD, or LDAP) and any sort of database (Oracle, MSSQL, MySQL, Sybase, Postgres, etc.). It can synchronize accounts and passwords (bi-directionally with eDir, AD, and NT domains) to many systems, including various operating systems. Infoworld recently ranked [] it the best such solution availa
      • True. Novell still has a number of good solutions available. But they consistently seem to fail at marketing them effectively. Back when Netware was a giant in NOS market share they seemed to take comfort in the fact they had a majority of the market and rest on their laurels. Their solution was higher priced than other competitors and before long a cheaper and improving Windows NT NOS began to eat away at their customer base. Although they have made attempts at getting another inroad into the big boys' pl
      • That is why I used the word "compelling". Novell needs to play catch up and to entice business to migrate onto their platforms. A few neat and useful products will not do this and if they truly wish to compete with Linux, Windows, etc in the data center they had better prove why such a migration makes business sense. Unless, that is, they focus on tools and become an application vendor instead of a Server OS company.

        I am not saying their software is useless, just that the company is becoming increasingly
  • Shark attack (Score:2, Interesting)

    by frenchguy73 ( 984326 )
    Hah hah, this is really funny. Hovsepian is such a shark, he's been manipulating people at all level for this purpose only. Not that Jack was any better (he was clueless about the product, direction and Linux) but the new CEO is only interested in his own carreer, not the company, nor its employees. Novell is even more borked now than it was after the Suse acquisition (an all time high). After the tumultuous Suse/Ximian in fighting (KDE vs Gnome, SLUX vs Groupwise vs Hula, Red Carpet vs whatever the Su
  • Look at microsoft, they are making profit from the other software they make besides windows. The OS is just a platform to deliver the actual products. Linux won't ever be profitable, only it's services will --like how redhat offers the support service.
  • I have been implementing Novell Open Enterprise Linux, Zenworks for Linux, Groupwise for Linux and now i need a client for linux to implement the rest in Linux. Novell is making a huge enormous mistake if they dont release a Linux client for Redhat, Ubuntu etc real soon. Novells products sits like a perfect glue in a mixed enviroment of Windows, Mac, Linux and other OS.

    My point is they can very well fill a void in the linux ecosystem if they try to play along and dont try to tie people into SUSE in every as
  • by hesiod ( 111176 ) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @03:43PM (#15584575)
    > It looks like [Messman's] been blamed for Novell's poor performance in the Linux space versus Red Hat.

    Well, I'll bet they were hoping their GroupWise software being ported to Linux would have helped. And it would have, had they done it properly. I tried three times to get that damned thing running on SuSE Enterprise 9, and it's the biggest pain in the ass. I've set up Email servers before with no problem, this was absolutely horrid. At first I blamed the product in general, but after installing it on Windows 2003 I realized that it was actually incomplete! The NetWare client for it does not exist (at least on any of the CDs they gave us -- which were incomplete in & of themselves), and trying to actually manage the thing can be a huge pain in the ass.

    They still sell it at full price and still charge $300 for a single support case... It's like MS taking Vista as it is now and selling it as a fully-working product. It is not, and I would have been highly pissed off had our software license not covered the GroupWise software for whichever of the three platforms (Lin, Win, NetWare) we ended up using.

    So anyway, unless Messman forced the product out before it was done, it was not his fault. Of course, Novell does more than just Email servers, so this may be only a very small part of it.
    • Actually, i have just setup Groupwise on Linux and i too had a hard time. Im perfectly capable of setting up sendmail, postfix, Zimbra, Hula and even the horrid beast Horde. Once i had figured out everything it was easy to setup but boy, that learning curve sure is vertical on groupwise. I think the reason its hard is that its so extremely flexible. Now that ive learnt how to setup groupwise on linux its pretty easy and i can make it do pretty much whatever i want. The best part is that its very lean on CPU
      • By client, I am referring to the "Netware Client" which, in Windows, replaces the windows login box ("Press Ctrl-Alt-Del"). That way you can just log into the server with eDirectory credentials and do whatever you need to do... I suppose it's not a huge deal, but it's just one of many details.
        • Well then we are on the same level completely. They have NCL (Novell Linux Client), now in version 1.2. Sadly some schmucks at Novell have decided to make it SUSE only. Thats a huge mistake and many lost sales if that idiocy continue. I see Novells products as perfect glue in a mixed enviroment. Limiting clients to SUSE takes that advantage away for any company who uses Linux because they most definately have more than one distribution inhouse.
  • Jack Messman and Joe Tibbetts are going to go down in history for bringing linux to the masses, the SUSE 10.x release with xGL is going to REVOLUTIONIZE how people perceive and use linux. Not to mention all the work thats been done with application integration!! One little delay in release due to the NEW package manager and heads roll... its sad really.. that the Novel board cant see whats about to happen. Hard work really does pay off, and these guys have been working HARD. In a couple years imo there will
    • Jack Messman ... [is] going to go down in history for bringing linux to the masses

      I'm sorry, but that's crap. Do you know these people? Do you follow Novell closely? If anyone deserves credit for bringing "Linux to the Masses" within Novell, it's Chris Stone, Nat Friedman, Eric Anderson, Ron Hovespian, and many others - but certainly not Jack Messman.
  • ... is that in that conference call discussion about 'headlights' and sales improvements, not one mention of Novell's marketing strategies was uttered.

    They still have not figured out how to sell a product. Or that a four-page list of SKUs with meaningless buzzword acronyms for names DOES NOT constitute a Product.

    I know Novell stuff fairly well. I'm a fan of both Linux and Novell, and I represent a fairly typical prospective customer as a mid-sized manufacturing company. And even I am having a hard time dete
  • Novell? They're still around? Who knew...
  • During Thursday's conference call, Hovsepian said that Novell could win more Linux customers on the back of the launch of Microsoft's Vista operating system. "There's the possibilities of customers using us for desktop Linux in certain segments of their business. We've been getting real positive information back on that," said Hovsepian.

    This is not what Novell's business is, not where their money is coming from and not what they need to focus on if they want to survive at all. Messman's successor pulls
  • The problem is.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    where is the PR machine? sure, WE know novell has linux, and WE know why linux is good, but where the heck is the PR for this product?

    the reason why microsoft does so well has nothing to with their distrobution or the actual product, it has everything to do with getting the product out there, SHOWING people why they should buy linux.

    i mean god, sure, ive seen advertisements for novell suse in computer magazines, slashdot etc, but what about at football stadiums (microsoft have a advertisement at the melbour
  • I posted this as anonymous by mistake:-

    It's amazing that no-one has used the obvious metaphor involving "deckchairs" and "The Titanic"

    The root of the problem is the Novell board, and the obsession with Management By Objectives. This guarantees that only ideas and innovation come from the top, and clear opportunities for revenue growth are deliberately ignored because they do not form part of a manager's objectives.

    A former manager remarked to me that every first week in a quarter was taken up by the "QBR" (

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker