Novell reveals its Linux strategy and 10-year support programme

More than 6,000 delegates gathered in Salt Lake City last week to hear what Novell has in store for application development on...

More than 6,000 delegates gathered in Salt Lake City last week to hear what Novell has in store for application development on Linux and Groupwise e-mail

Novell used its Brainshare conference last week to spell out long-term plans for Linux, extending its commitment to encourage application development on the open source operating system.

The company discussed a framework on which it would build tight security for Linux to support authentication and also unveiled details of a 10-year support plan for its Groupwise e-mail system.

Jack Messman, chairman and chief executive of Novell, argued that Linux helps CIOs achieve their most critical priorities, including simplified operations, cost containment, and improved business agility.

Linux is no longer only for specialised vertical companies, he added, but is moving into mainstream IT environments as standards are embraced.

Messman claimed Novell's version of Linux was better supported than proprietary software or rival versions of the open source operating system.

"We have a truly global ecosystem, unmatched by other Linux suppliers, with offices in 43 countries and more than 5,000 technology, services and training partners delivering support for Novell's customers worldwide. We give our customers real choice," he said.

The company's Groupwise e-mail server is an integral part of this strategy. Delegates were told Groupwise would be pre-bundled with SuSE Linux Enterprise Server in Sequoia, the next version of Groupwise. Novell also said it would support the Groupwise product family until at least 2015.

Sequoia is planned for release in the summer of 2005, followed by Aspen and Cedar, which are targeted for autumn 2006 and spring 2008 respectively.

The Sequoia release is expected to offer support for end-users accessing e-mail via Windows, Macintosh, Linux client software or a browser user interface. It can also be accessed through Microsoft Outlook.

Novell said the new version would also allow application developers to use Soap/XML interfaces to support integration of Groupwise with service-oriented application architectures. Novell launches support group

Novell launches support group

Novell has launched Market Start, an initiative to build a community of third-party open source providers.

The initiative plans to provide open source software companies with access to Novell's worldwide distribution channels and global support infrastructure.

Third-party support is significant to the success of any platform and the move will pitch Novell against Microsoft's strong partner programme, which has encouraged the development of applications, tools and services for Windows.

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