Even though its own Netware operating system is in decline, Novell maintains it will continue to support the large installed user base.
With Novell having failed to encourage third-party developers to create applications for Netware, users are migrating off the platform. The most popular choice has been Windows 2003, a server that offers middleware out-of-the-box and has gained support from third-party software companies. With the acquisition of SuSE, Linux is now a viable migration option for Netware users.
Gary Barnett, research director at Ovum, wanted to see a commitment from Novell to retain loyal Netware users by offering a seamless move to Netware services on Linux. He said, "Novell needs to offer a compelling alternative to Microsoft for file and print services - something that will reach the real concerns of IT managers to address ease of use, cost of admin and scaleability."
Barnett said Novell needed to work closely with other distributors to develop Linux on the desktop. He said the Linux community needed to address the pain points in the Windows desktop environment such as management, provisioning, and policy admin-istration - areas where Novell has a wealth of experience
Clive Longbottom, an analyst at Quocirca, was also concerned about the future of Netware. "Novell needs to give a clear sense of where Netware fits in its overall strategy," he said.
Rather than offering an operating system through SuSE Linux, Longbottom said Novell needed to offer an application platform in the same way as Microsoft has developed Windows Server 2003.
"Novell needs to satisfy Unix users who run third-party application servers such as JBoss, Websphere and Weblogic," he said.