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Due out next month, the latest release of Novell's network operating system will include new features designed to unshackle workers from the ties of head office as long as they have Internet access.
Among the additions in NetWare 6.0 is iFolder, information management software which allows users to work remotely and securely via a Web browser. According to Novell, Netware 6.0 will work across all types of networks and on any internet-enabled machine.
Another added service is iPrint, which is designed to facilitate Internet printing by allowing users to automatically locate the correct printer driver for a specific job.
Commenting on the imminent release of the new product, Novell's director of systems engineering, James Stewart, said, "Netware 6 gives users more mobility and access choice. Netware 6 is actively leading towards the Internet office."
Stewart added that Novell was aiming to attract custom from companies which have traditionally utilised the services of a wide area network (WAN). "Companies with many offices round the world can find that the links are slow and costly in some countries," he said. "With NetWare 6.0 users can increase efficiency and reduce costs by spending less on a WAN and more on local Internet bandwidth."
Casting doubts on the originality of Novell's new Internet office technology, Keith Humphreys, a senior consultant for Eurolan Research, said, "Novell is good at coming up with solutions in the Internet space but what it is doing is not unique."
"Moreover, users will have to face up to the fact that similar technology is due to appear in Windows XP, which is due out in October."
Netware 6 can be ordered at www.novell.com/netware6. Pricing and availability will be announced at a later date.