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Novell sets four-year roadmap to reassure Groupwise e-mail users

Antony Savvas
Novell has laid out a four-year roadmap for its e-mail collaboration product Groupwise.

The move is aimed at allaying fears among Groupwise users that the package will be rapidly run down in favour of Novell's Linux-based groupware alternative Evolution.

Groupwise includes e-mail, calendaring, instant messaging, task management, document management and data storage functions, and competes against products such as IBM's Lotus Notes and Microsoft's Outlook.

In its announcement Novell said that despite offering more Linux-based software - including the SuSE Linux line - its traditional products still had a future.

The next release of Groupwise, codenamed Sequoia, is due to be released in the summer, followed by Aspen and Cedar, planned for autumn 2006 and spring 2008 respectively.

"While Novell continues to garner positive reviews for its Linux and open-source strategies, we also want to be clear that our Groupwise customers can look forward to a bright future with Groupwise on the platform of their choice," said David Patrick, Novell general manager of platforms and services.

Novell said Groupwise Sequoia would provide "significant interface improvements and new functionality". It added that it would also improve the application programming and administration interfaces in Groupwise.

Novell will announce further details about Groupwise Sequoia at its BrainShare user conference in March in Salt Lake City.

With Groupwise Aspen, Novell is planning further team collaboration and back-up capabilities. Novell will also focus on enabling more partner applications.

The focus for Groupwise Cedar, said Novell, is to bring the functionality of Groupwise to users on "any platform, anywhere, and at any time, to improve user experience and to increase administrative functionality and scalability".

After the assurance to users that Groupwise has a future, users of Novell's established network operating system Netware, will be looking for similar guarantees.

l Novell is expected to launch its Open Enterprise Server (OES) for Linux this month. OES will allow users to combine key features of Netware, such as file and print, with Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 platform.

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