Novell to acquire SUSE LINUX

Via Slashdork: News for nerds, stuff that matters: “‘Novell today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire SUSE LINUX, one of the world’s leading enterprise Linux companies, expanding Novell’s ability to provide enterprise-class services and support on the Linux platform. Novell expects the transaction to close by the end of its first fiscal quarter (January 2004). This latest move follows Novell’s August purchase of Ximian.'”

Very good news. Novell’s new products (built and bought) bring new exciting alternatives to the Microsoft monopoly. Novell lost a great change to do this in the early 90’s (or very late 80’s early, I can’t remember) when the acquired Unix (the brand, code and intellectual property) from AT&T and then did nothing with it. There where no Netware application (developing or porting them was too hard ) but Novell did little to allow Unix server to co habitat with a Dos and Netware network environment (this was in window 3.0 days, so DOS and IPX ruled and IP stacks were extra). Over the next five years the Unix or Window NT servers used to host the applications took over the file and print network services provided by netware. Now, perhaps a reborn Novell can start rebuilding based on Linux servers providing File, print, identity and other servers based on Netware technology. This will also help SUSE Linux get a higher profile outside Europe (where they have their home base), and compete against the Red Hat brand. Also, give SCO brain dead lawsuit, and the fact the Novell still holds most of the IP (I think they just reneted it to SCO ??), should protect them in the worst case and during the FUD period (IANAL). (I hope this does not lead to IBM acquiring Red Hat) Still Novell needs good marketing, as always, not just kick ass technology.

Update : I read some more. IBM put $50 megabucks in Novell, so clearly IBM acquiring Red Hat is unlikely. More like IBM is ensuring there is a strong cpmpetitor to Red Hat. This (SUSE 9 Hits American Shores) from Oct 30th covers who and what SUSE is about. NewsForge had a nice Putting Novell’s SuSE purchase into perspective piece.

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