Through a partnership with Quest Software, a provider of application, database and Windows-based management products, Microsoft said more than 1.5 million Novell Netware users have migrated to Windows Server 2003.
Following the success of the Netware migration programme unveiled in November 2004, Microsoft and Quest have also announced a new agreement targeting Novell Groupwise users. Groupwise is Novell's user collaboration product.
The deal allows enterprise customers with more than 1,000 seats to licence Quest Groupwise Migrator with a 20% discount off the list price. This is in addition to the 20% already offered on the Netware migration tool.
Quest Software offers tools to help Netware users move to Windows. Its NDS Migrator provides a way to migrate Novell eDirectory and bindery directory services to Active Directory.
It also sells Groupwise Migrator for Exchange which converts mail, calendars, tasks, personal address books and contacts and stores them on new mailboxes on the Exchange server.
Microsoft said it would also be improving the combination of tools, guidance, training and technical support for customers considering migration from Netware to Windows Server 2003.
"Netware users have arrived at the fork in the road as they prepare to upgrade their legacy Netware networks," said Yankee Group analyst Laura DiDio.
"We conducted an independent survey of 100 Novell customers and found that eight out of 10 businesses will migrate from Netware to Microsoft Windows during 2005-2006.
"Of the remaining 20%, nearly 70% said they would choose Red Hat Enterprise Linux," she said.
Novell has just launched its Open Enterprise Server, which combines Netware network operating software with Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Server software. No plans for standalone Netware development have been announced by Novell.