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Novell Announces Agreement to Acquire SUSE 672

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the making-a-play dept.
Mickey Hill writes "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."
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Novell Announces Agreement to Acquire SUSE

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  • Interesting (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zyridium (676524)
    This looks like an interesting move. Novell used to make some interesting products before being owned and pushing to linux might make it easier to keep up with the boring hardware compatibility, performance crap.
  • Good old Novell (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GaelenBurns (716462) <gaelenb.assurancetechnologies@com> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:47AM (#7385660) Homepage Journal
    I'm glad to see Novell making a move here. They've been sliding into remission too long. I've still got a warm place in my heart from them for the 4.11 line that I used so extensively back in the school system.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Apparently, the Novell CEO upon signing the agreement burst out into song: "Suse-Q, baby I love you, Suse-Q".

    It really happened - I swear.
  • Good. (Score:5, Funny)

    by jon787 (512497) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:49AM (#7385691) Homepage Journal
    Now SCO can sue the company that sold them UNIX.
  • Webcast (Score:5, Informative)

    by argonaut (37085) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:50AM (#7385692) Homepage Journal
    It looks like there is a web cast at 11 AM EST. Perhaps we will learn some useful information on what Novell is planning.
    http://www.novell.com/webcast [novell.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:22AM (#7385908)
      NOVELL INC (NasdaqNM:NOVL)
      Pre-Market: 7.499 +1.449 (23.95%)
      NOVL Market Cap: 2.26B

      Let's do the math.
      Novell will pay $210 million for Suse, but Novell's market cap goes up by $500 million upon announcing the deal.

      So basically, the acquisition of Suse is FREE. Actually, Novell made an extra $300 million in stock value by announcing the deal - so it's better than free.

      Gotta love the free market system.
      • by jazman_777 (44742) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @11:08AM (#7386319) Homepage
        So basically, the acquisition of Suse is FREE. Actually, Novell made an extra $300 million in stock value by announcing the deal - so it's better than free.

        Novell pays for SuSE, but they don't get a bunch of cash for stock going up. The stockholders do (if they sell). You're playing a shell game.

        • While it's true it's a shell game to some degree, and the wealth is "paper" wealth, if it increases Novell's market cap they have that much more leverage in the market place to borrow and acquire. So while their cash coffers don't necessarily grow, their power in the market place certainly does.

          And assumming they have plans for SUSE besides liquidating the company, it was a great bargain.

          just my .02,
          jeff
  • by curtisk (191737) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:50AM (#7385693) Homepage Journal
    will Novell make their SuSE distro contain the infamous PHASERS.WAV and the FIRE PHASERS as part of the login?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      This is an awesome move for Novell. If you read the PR Release, IBM is taking a 50 million stake in Novell.

      This sounds interesting for two reasons. I bet that Jack Messman and Chris Stone decided to play a little hardball with IBM. Basically, back us in this or we go ahead and tell SCO to sue them without our intervention using the UNIX rights that we retained.

      The second cool thing is that all of a sudden there is a viable alternative to the Red Hat evil empire. I would bet that Novell/Suse arent goin
      • by sphealey (2855) * on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:18AM (#7385891)
        The second cool thing is that all of a sudden there is a viable alternative to the Red Hat evil empire. I would bet that Novell/Suse arent going to piss off all the developers like Red Hat has done.
        Historically however, Novell has done an excellent job of pissing off the independent developer community, and in so doing drove the developers into the arms of IBM and Microsoft. IBM in turn drove developers away from OS/2, which left Windows to take the field when Microsoft pampered those same ISVs.

        IBM learned from that set of mistakes. The question is: has Novell learned? Or is this the same bunch of guys who think it is still 1993 with Netware holding 85% market share?

        sPh

      • by Pros_n_Cons (535669) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:29AM (#7385962)
        I would bet that Novell/Suse arent going to piss off all the developers like Red Hat has done. Sure they will, once the community seems them being the most successfull we will shoot them down just like Redhat. RH has made some mistakes but nothing close to the M$ tag idiots throw at them. We hat thier success and the fact they're an American company. Don't beleive me? Read the 400 posts for this article, its obvious.
      • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:40AM (#7386086)
        the Red Hat evil empire

        Err, not quite. While I am not a devotee of RedHat as a distro, I think it's a bit unfair to dub them "evil" when they have actually put a lot of manpower into products that have been released into the public domain free of charge.

        While it's not precisely altruism, they have contributed a lot to the Linux user community, and to deny that is churlish.

        Save the epithets for the real baddies in Redmond.

        • by agurkan (523320)
          they have actually put a lot of manpower into products that have been released into the public domain free of charge.
          err, not quite. i feel like i am defending a trademark so it won't disappear, but most of RH's stuff is under GPL which is not public domain.
          they have contributed a lot to the Linux user community
          this i agree completely.
      • by roystgnr (4015) <roystgnr@@@ticam...utexas...edu> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:51AM (#7386190) Homepage
        The second cool thing is that all of a sudden there is a viable alternative to the Red Hat evil empire.

        Suggested activities for while you wait for the alternative:

        1. Go download free Red Hat .ISOs, which include all the software Red Hat develops under an open source license.

        2. Go figure out why you can't download free SuSE .ISOs including YaST.

        3. Find some more appropriate "evil empire" (I'm afraid the world sucks enough that neither Red Hat nor SuSE should be very high on your list) to redirect your indignation towards.
        • by 10Ghz (453478)
          2. Go figure out why you can't download free SuSE .ISOs including YaST.


          You can install it through FTP just fine (and for free), so what's the problem? Does it say somewhere that they must provide ISO's?
  • Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by epiphani (254981) <epiphaniNO@SPAMdal.net> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:51AM (#7385698)
    two possible results:

    1. Novell stuffs this up, and I'm left with no real "Free" solution for buisnesses (I dont care about support, I just want a brand name and is recognizable and usable).

    2. Novell doesnt stuff it up, and SUSE takes over Redhat's market share here in north america.

    Either way, linux growth is going to stop dead for a good chunk of time while these issues with Redhat and Suse settle down.

    After yesterdays' article regarding Redhat's changes, I started looking at SUSE more carefully. Now we've got such serious flux in the two most important linux distributions that it'll take six months to a year before I feel comfortable pitching either of these to buisnesses.
    • Crazy talk. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 3Suns (250606)

      linux growth is going to stop dead for a good chunk of time

      Since when did we rely on SUSE and RHat for our linux development?? Last I checked, Linux and the associated environment were Open Source/Free Software. That's what's so special about it: companies can come and go and thrive and fail, but they can only help GNU/Linux, and never hurt it.

      This is why I was cheering for AOL to buy RHat last year or whenever that rumor was going around. Not because it would be good for RHat, but because AOL would

    • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Informative)

      by javatips (66293)
      You seem to forget about Mandrake Linux which has free ISO availlable for download.

      I believe that Mandrake has more market share in North America than SUSE (I don't have any link to back that up though).
      • SuSE and Mandrake are tied for second place in the market, and have been for some time. The critical difference is that SuSE is perceived as an "enterprise" distro while Mandrake is perceived as a "home user" distro. Right or wrong that is the perception, and as we all know, in the business world perception is reality, therefore Mandrake unfortunately doesn't have a place in a discussion of distros one pitches to clients.

    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bruthasj (175228) <bruthasj.yahoo@com> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:18AM (#7385887) Homepage Journal
      Either way, linux growth is going to stop dead for a good chunk of time while these issues with Redhat and Suse settle down.

      Puhhleeze. Please stop the /. cronyism, fanaticism, and sensationalism. It's getting quite stale in here and it makes the web log stink.

      I'm running short on time, so I'm going to let the moderators mark me as Troll as I don't have 30 links to back up these statements. But, I'm pretty sure that:

      1. Linux, the kernel, will see continuing development without care towards Suse or Redhat.
      2. GNU is still going to develop their wonderful tools.
      3. The important projects on sf.net are still moving forward.
      4. There are other distros.
      5. There are many independent parties packaging for Redhat and Suse; nice updates can be obtained from them.
    • by oldstrat (87076) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:32AM (#7386001) Journal

      I'm reminded of my reaction to Novell buying Unix System Labs in 92/93 and the sale to SCO in 1995 and the SCO rename to Caldera later. It all seemed to Rosey.
      Unix appeared to be in reliable hands and was being freed into Linux, Caldera even said as much.
      Then came per seat, and all the rest to the point where we are now with SCO attempting to steal Linux and claim far more in Unix than the law ever intended for.
      It keeps me from getting any warm fuzzies over Novell aquireing Suse.

      On the Redhat front. I find it odd being a registered adoptee of Redhat (can you really be the owner of OS software?) and a shareholder in the company that I have yet to recieve the email about the end of Redhat Linux.

      Redhat's site backed up the stories.
      BUT it's being misunderstood.
      Yes RH9 appears to be the last in it's line BUT RH Enterprise Linux WS is actually it's repacement.
      The License for RHEL WS is the same as for RH9. The only real change is that to get support from Redhat, you are going to HAVE TO PAY for the support.
      Your free to get support elsewhere free or otherwise.

      Reasonable and overdue, it's a sign of the maturity of commercial Linux.
      I'll probably step up to RH Enterprise, and now that Suse is under Novell I'll give it another cautious try, but there really isn't a reason to leave RH.
      • by _|()|\| (159991) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @11:08AM (#7386324)
        The License for RHEL WS is the same as for RH9.

        No, it's not. To purchase RHEL WS basic, you must agree to the RHEL WS Basic (x86) Subscription agreement [redhat.com], which states, among other things, that "Customer expressly grants to Red Hat the right to audit Customer's facilities and records from time to time."

        • Only if you want service. If you reject the service (and this includes errata updates) then the license is the same.

        • by chill (34294) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @02:18PM (#7388243) Journal
          WRONG!

          How many times is this going to come up? It seems to be standard FUD towards RH.

          What you are talking about applies to the RHN SERVICE, not the software.

          Check out Appendix 1 of that document, specifically:

          1. The Software. Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Applications (the "Software") are either a modular operating system or application consisting of hundreds of software components. The end user license agreement for each component is located in the component's source code. With the exception of certain image files identified in Section 2 below, the license terms for the components permit Customer to copy, modify, and redistribute the component, in both source code and binary code forms. This agreement does not limit Customer's rights under, or grant Customer rights that supersede, the license terms of any particular component.

          The image files they're talking about are the Shadoman logo and Red Hat logo.

          Charles
      • > RH Enterprise Linux WS is actually it's repacement.

        > The only real change is that to get support from Redhat, you are going
        > to HAVE TO PAY for the support.

        I think you've missed the very important part. RHEL is not available as a free download. No binaries. Certainly no ISOs. Simply a release of the source, to fulfill the letter of the GPL.

        The most basic available RHEL product is the basic edition of "WS". This is priced at $179 and comes with ABSOLUTELY NO SUPPORT. The standard edition of

  • by Ian Wolf (171633) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:52AM (#7385703) Homepage
    The divide between Novell and SCO gets wider. Once allies, this has got drive the wedge deeper between the two. While its been happening for a while now, this is will most assuredly accelerate their falling out and will force Novell to adopt a much more aggressive position against SCO's IP claims.

    In short, "The plot thickens."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:52AM (#7385706)
    Novell/Suse is going to pick up the slack left by Red Hat getting out of the retail market. Very good indeed. Hope Suse is repackaged into the the red and white Novell style. I get the feeling that Red Hat will live to regret abandoning its base.
    • by watzinaneihm (627119) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:21AM (#7385904) Journal
      If you look at the Novell product line, they are almost all server software which run on a network and a client from almost any OS can connect to them.They have almost no client part which makes them money.
      So, Novell I think has almost no interest in desktop, other than to use them as their "clients" to their servers. So I am sceptical how much novell will do for the desktop especially the GUI .If you have ever used netware you will know how bad their GUI is (ofcourse with Netware you are not supposed to be using the GUI, but using their web interface instead to manage it).
      And If my guess is right, they bought Ximian for their connector,so that they can use their mail server software to better integrate with exchange (maybe for migration, i dont know), in the process unintentionally acquiring one of the best desktops and a .NET implementation (again maybe some interoperatbility benefits here). They are acquiring Suse so that they get a stable base for their Netware 7 and so that they can use the mindshare to push their enterprise offerings , again in the process acquiring the biggest supporter of KDE (ximian is Gnome and Suse is KDE!).
      What they now have is some stuff they can make money on immediatly and some which maybe they can use later. The future of desktop linux depends on what novell does with the latter.
    • by Black Perl (12686) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:39AM (#7386071)
      Since when has being acquired by Novell been a good thing? Novell has a knack for picking seemingly good targets, but has a history of failing miserably in post-acquisition execution. One example of many is SilverStream. It was one of the pioneering java application servers, and had a lot of mindshare. It was celebrated acquisition, supporters claiming it was a great match and flush with resources, it would really dominate the market. Now I ask, how many people have heard of Novell exteNd?

      Novell acquisition press releases are epitaphs.
    • by Chris Croome (24340) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:43AM (#7386117) Journal

      RedHat are not abandoning their base!

      The are opening up development to the community, this is leading to lots of excitings happening, as I said yesterday [slashdot.org].

      What RedHat are doing means that anyone can duplicate and sell Fedora CDs and stuff like that, Fedora is becoming more like debian in terms of community involvement -- and this is great!

      I dunno much about SuSE, but I do know that the nature of the mode of production of free software is such that it is best done in an open way -- doing it in a closed way is too expensive.

      Personally I'd rather be working for RedHat than SuSE right now...

  • KDE? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by overshoot (39700) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:54AM (#7385714)
    I wonder where this is going to take the desktop.

    Novell apparently is more interested in the Connector than the Ximian desktop, and more interested in SuSE's servers than its desktop offerings. However, SuSE has been a huge backer of the KDE project and Ximian is the home of Gnome. It'll certainly be interesting to see how the Novell management allocates their resources going forward, won't it?

    • The enterprise market had been moaning for ages, about the lack of a unified desktop that would be the de-facto standard desktop environment.

      What I predict is Novell telling the Ximian folks to create a best-of-breed desktop based upon freedesktop.org guidelines, by hand-picking the best ideas from Gnome and KDE, both at the API and user-experience level. The end-result will be a unified Linux desktop environment that will come to replace both Gnome and KDE, within the next 12 months, as the de-facto stan

    • Re:KDE? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kur (195888) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:22AM (#7385912)
      Not long after the Ximian acquisition, I attended a presentation by Chris Stone, Novell's vice chairmain (and the real CEO, if not in title), and he made it very clear that Novell was planning a significant push onto the desktop with Linux. He also indicated that Novell was likely to make other Linux purchases. Well, I guess they just did.
      Novell wants to be an end to end solution, from desktop to server to management. He sees Novell's earlier failure stemming from two problems: no developer support and no desktop offering (DR-DOS did not compete with Windows). He sought to rectify the first problem by buying SilverStream, but that wasn't enough. Give him credit for understanding that the real movement is in Open Source and not J2EE. Thus it also made sense to buy Ximian and instantly acquire an open source development base. Next, Novell needed a Linux distro. Again, to his credit, they bought one instead of developing their own. Now, Novell has to tie all of those pieces together.
      What does Novell bring to open source/Linux/etc? A large support, developmnent, and sales organization. Despite the declining marketshare of Netware, there are still many, many enterprises running on Netware and/or using Novell products. Novell's products are not as visible, simply because they're mostly infrastructure. How many people run eDirectory on their desktops? But, how many companies use it for authentication? Novell's taking a different course than IBM and, thus, stands a chance.
    • Re:KDE? (Score:3, Interesting)

      I wonder where this is going to take the desktop

      With the combined experience of Ximian and SUSE, Novell could create a very cool desktop.

      But even if they dump the desktop offerings (as you suggest they might do) there would still be a bright side. With SUSE and Red Hat finally out of the desktop niche, Mandrake would have an opportunity to fill their shoes.

      Of course, I'm assuming there's money in it.

  • i don't know if this [theregister.co.uk] has been reported on /. yet. basically what its saying is that RH is dropping RH Linux in favour of Entperise and a "developer" version called Fedora [redhat.com].

    funnily enough, i was thinking "oh, interesting. that leaves someone to pickup and seriously evolve the desktop platform if they decided not to concentrate on the server environment". then i refreshed slashdot and saw this SUSE news!

    personally i think this is terrific. novell have excellent experience in the enterprise market from N
  • by BubbaTheBarbarian (316027) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @09:58AM (#7385751) Journal
    For over three years now the differing factions at Novell have been fighting over which route to take in relation to the what will be the backbone of it's products. The Netware factions has been directly responsible for Novell NOT developing it's own Linux, despite them having their own kernel and distro in house.

    While this move is good for Novell, and good for the community, it has taken way to long in coming. This is partly due to the fact that if Novell HAD gone with Linux three years ago, they would have been the major supplier of the OS right off the bat for IBM, with IBM offering Linux based servers and caching boxes. When Novell dropped the ball, IBM pulled out.

    Another point to make here is what this will do in relationship to SCO. You may well remember the piece a few weeks ago that talked about a statement that Novell made, quietly at the time, that the license that SCO had to sell licenses to UNIX came from them. I would expect a major blowup from SCO in the next few weeks, though do not be suppressed if Canopy decides to kill SCO outright and take the tech into Netware Linux. Canopy waffles more then Clinton at a beach party.

    One other point...I have NEVER seen a machine serve as fast as a Linux box controlling files that are on Netware partitions. Say what you want about Netware being owned, but with the 2.4 kernel and multi-threading issues resolved (another reason why Novell was very hesitant to go with a 2.2 kernel based system) I would expect to see something really good from them in near future.
    • Serious misgivings. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by emil (695) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:29AM (#7385956) Homepage
      1. Novell has already invested heavily into UNIX by buying UNIX Systems Laboratories (USL) from AT&T. It didn't work out. Why are things different now?

      2. Novell previously had strong ties to SCO/Caldera/SCaldera. SUSE also has/had strong ties via the UnitedLinux project. The contractual ties between the combined entity will be even stronger.

      3. Ray Noorda and The Canopy Group must be seen as the primary instigator of SCO's assertions over the Linux kernel, with Microsoft a close second. While Ray Noorda lost control over Novell, what level of influence does he still retain over the company?

      Somehow, I do not think that we are seeing the big picture.

      • by eer (526805) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @11:33AM (#7386574)
        1) My take is that the NetWare kernel folks (everything is done in the kernel) and the UNIX folks could never agree on implementation details..neither wanted to give an inch. Eventually, when MACH and Chorus got into the discussion things melted down - lack of concensus. There was even an element of OS/2. Too many choices, not enough compelling reasons to abandon long-held beliefs.

        2) To say that the Novell - SCO relations are "frosty" now would understate the picture ;-)

        3) I don't see that Ray "lost control" over Novell, but rather that he gave it up so that the company could grow up and move along. Novell has certainly had a bad few years, but that cash-flow from NetWare 3.x, 4.x, 5.x and 6.x licenses has lasted a LOT longer than I imagined it would back in '95.

        The company is pretty transparent, right now...we're doing Linux because that's where we see the business opportunity, and where we can leverage our deep, deep skills and experience running global customer support operations, among other things.
    • Scorecard (Score:5, Interesting)

      by emil (695) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:35AM (#7386035) Homepage

      Perhaps a review of previous Novell acquisitions is in order...

      • DR-DOS
      • USL/UnixWare
      • WordPerfect
      • Quattro Pro

      None of these is currently a market leader. Perhaps RedHat ought not to shut the doors just yet.

  • by HidingMyName (669183) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:02AM (#7385770)
    Novell offerred $210M for SuSE according to the article, that may be a bit low. I personally use SuSE and would like to see them continue to do well. Perhaps others can give details, my memory is a bit fuzzy, but I don't remember their stewardship of Unix System Laboratories to be especially good or bad. SuSE may be in a position to become a much larger player in the Unix arena, given Redhat's recent change in direction. I wonder how IBM will react (IBM is using SuSE internally, how well does Novell's management get along with IBM?).
    • by zonix (592337) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:09AM (#7385828) Homepage Journal
      I wonder how IBM will react (IBM is using SuSE internally, how well does Novell's management get along with IBM?).

      From the press release:

      Novell today also announced that IBM intends to make a $50 million investment in Novell convertible preferred stock. In addition, Novell and IBM are negotiating extensions to the current commercial agreements between IBM and SUSE LINUX for the continued support of SUSE LINUX on IBM's eServer products and middleware products to provide for product and marketing support arrangements related to SUSE LINUX. Both of these agreements will be effective when the acquisition of SUSE LINUX by Novell is completed. z
  • by aredubya74 (266988) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:03AM (#7385780)
    With the regionalization of Linux distros, SuSE has always been known as Europe's Linux (German company, strong EU language support inherent, etc.). I'm curious to see if the EU will try to flex its regulatory muscles rather than allow a US company to buy SuSE. Obviously, they can't cry anti-trust, but who knows what other regulations they could come up with.
    • by vidarh (309115) <vidar@hokstad.com> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:33AM (#7386019) Homepage Journal
      To stop a $210 million friendly take-over of a private company? Not bloody likely unless it had been in a heavily regulated area (think arms manufacturer, nuclear technology or similar). The regulators involved are likely to do more than yawn - this is peanuts from a government point of view.
  • by zombiestomper (228123) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:04AM (#7385781) Homepage Journal
    I work for the 3rd largest software-only developer in the world. I get plenty of opportunity to go to large, Fortune 500 companies and see their environments.

    I can only remember seeing Novell products in less than a handful of places-- and it was in the process of being removed in those places.

    SO-- Does anybody know where is Novell getting the capital to keep gobbling up companies? It seems like every time I turn around there's a story about Novell buying X...

    If Novell's doing so well, maybe there's an investment opportunity hiding somewhere in there...
    • by Ath (643782) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:11AM (#7385842)
      I can only remember seeing Novell products in less than a handful of places-- and it was in the process of being removed in those places.

      That's because most people only think of Netware (the server OS) when they hear Novell's name. Take a look at eDirectory (if you use Yahoo's portal, you use eDirectory), DirXML (an amazing XML based directory synchronization tool), ZENworks (client management) and many other products.

      I almost dread every time I see an article on Slashdot about Novell because inevitably people talk about Novell as a dying company.

      Your question about Novell's capital is easy. They are a cash positive company and have remained so during most of their existence. Last I heard about a year ago, they had about $600 million cash in the bank.

      I recommend people who aren't familiar with Novell's product line just go take a look at it. Decide for yourself. I think you will be impressed with what they offer.

  • Will the hardware vendors now start moving away from Redhat towards Suse? IBM is already sold out (they already own a stake in Suse and now this move). HP and Dell were worried about the SCO problem (HPs indemnification program etc.), maybe now they will see some added legitimacy in buying from Suse rather than from Redhat (questionable since ,assuming GPL is valid, a redhat kernel is as good as a Suse one).
    Anyway it is a bad day for desktop linux and an extremely good one for redhat servers.
    Also what is
  • Novell has been trying to get a desktop OS for years, remember Novell DOS? I think they finally have a winning combination withe SUSE and Ximian.

    I hope they succeed, NDS is a great back end platform, so they can offer a end-to-end solution for business on Linux. They just need to learn to market it!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If linux were a typical closed source product, it would be expected that consolidaton in the linux sector would have begun long time ago. Given the fact that it isn't, I wasn't sure whether any linux company would bother purchasing another since the product that they "sell" is not protected and can be easily copied. However, consolidation has begun for enterprise linux and this is a really good thing. For linux to flourish, it needs the backing of a couple of strong corporate players. Obviously IBM, Su
  • by sphealey (2855) * on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:13AM (#7385857)
    I have always liked Novell technology, despite its quirks and flaws. And back in the day no technology supplier gave its customers better support than Novell. In fact, my first experience with Novell tech support was at 2 AM on Easter Sunday - with our support contract not yet approved by either company's legal dept, they nonetheless had a developer on the line by 4 AM who worked with us for 8 hours to get the problem fixed. So this could be a good thing.

    Vs. Microsoft this is a tricky move, because I think even the Bush Justice Dept would look very hard at Microsoft entering the Linux market.

    But historically, Novell has thrown away every technology and market advantage they have ever held, and handed their business on a silver platter to Microsoft (and maybe Sun). So does this mean Novell will now screw up SuSE, whose distribution I like a lot?

    sPh

  • by salah67 (658336) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:14AM (#7385860)
    They buy promising company and bug them down in politics. The leader of the bought company run away with their new cash so no new development worth noticing happens. What's left is a company that sells and resells repackaged old product at an ever increasing price. I hope SuSE will be strong enough to resist the Corp politics.
  • WEll now its time. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pros_n_Cons (535669) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:15AM (#7385871)
    Now what company was it yesterday you all called a sellout? I forget. I thought it was Redhat. Now who are you guys going to turn to when Novell turns SuSe into a half closed half open business hybred? They will have lots of locked down protocols going in this new product i'll betcha.

    It might be time for all of you to jump back on RH's bandwagon after you realize they're the only ones you cant buy out.

    forgive my pessimism, I should give Novell a shot but they appear to be a company evolving to stay alive in the free software movement, but is thier goal a GPL world while making money, or trying to make money in a GPL world? Personally i think redhat is the former, Novell the latter.
  • branding (Score:3, Interesting)

    by asv108 (141455) * <alex@[ ]taudio.org ['pha' in gap]> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:18AM (#7385884) Homepage Journal
    This is a great match, especially if Novell is looking to take on Redhat in the enterprise market why continuing Suse's traditional of having a great desktop distro. If Novell really spends a lot of $$ on this project and brands a distro as Novel Linux or Suse Linux by Novel, it be a lot easier to convince "the suits" to move to Linux when you have a company like Novell producing its own distro. As mentioned in other comments it will be interesting to see how the Suse/Ximian combination plays out since it is essentially KDE/Gnome. .
  • CBSMarketwatch is reporting that IBM has announced that it will invest 50 Million in Novell, This is getting more interesting by the minute!!!
  • by Ripplet (591094) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:18AM (#7385893)
    Novell today also announced that IBM intends to make a $50 million investment in Novell

    Now that is a very interesting [sco.com] number indeed!
    And I think it sends a very powerful message to all those businesses out there that are succumbing to the SCO FUD (hey can we shorten that to SCUD!). IBM are basically putting their money where they're mouth is to show their confidence in the future of Linux. Nice one.

  • by EvilNight (11001) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:20AM (#7385902)
    SuSE's got a damn good thing going. Don't muck it up. It's one thing if you want to bring enterprise level functionality and a slew of awesome new features to Linux (and to SuSE Linux in particular), but it's quite another thing to buy out a linux company and force them to take their linux distro in a different direction. I hope you choose the former and not the latter. SuSE is doing a dynamite job, so stay out of their way. Help, don't hinder.

    I've been using SuSE in the office since v7, and for my money it's the only distro I'll touch because it's easily the most advanced one on the market and I can get excellent technical support for it any time I need it (which isn't often, but in business you absolutely must have the security blanket). I'm going to be quite pissed off (and switching vendors) if this changes because of Novell's influence.

    Don't be dense and stop offering it for free like Redhat did, either (Fedora is not RedHat, different discussion entirely, see Redhat thread for discussion ad nauseum about this). It's a boneheaded move on so many levels. Nobody's saying you need to support the downloaded version (or even host it for free, people will mirror it after all), as long as you continue to release it so folks can get their hands dirty and get comfortable on the product without having to pay for it first. Using it for free for a time was the only way I could convince folks here to pay for it, and they did gladly once they saw how good SuSE is at doing its job.

    Keep the Novell-ized components optional, please. Some of us aren't using Novell technology, and it's going to be very annoying if we have to install NDS and Novell client software even though we have no intention of using them. Keep the Novell additions optional, not mandatory. You'll need to lure us into using them by quality. I still remember the days when Novell had a good product. Hopefully that can happen again.

    First Redhat... now SuSE. Tomorrow, Debian and Slackware will anounce a merger citing similar goals. I'm sure Thursday Mandrake will be bought out by Microsoft, followed by Linus selling the Linux trademark to SCO on Friday. Saturday we'll see Apple acquire all the rights to FreeBSD, and Sunday the world will simply end. After a week like that, most of us probably wouldn't mind. ;)
  • Canny timing... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zocalo (252965) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:27AM (#7385944) Homepage
    Hitting the wires right at the start of the day's trading. Novell's stock is up 28% already and climbing fast, not that than means much since it was only worth a few bucks to start with, but it's a very positive sign. Obviously Wall Street hasn't consigned Linux to the depths of SCO's IP bin just yet.

    Plus, Novell is another company with a lot of "history" with Microsoft, so I don't know which is going to be more enjoyable; watching Novell's posturing with Microsoft, or watching them kick SCO from here to the SEC's offices. Either way, I'm sure it is going to be "entertaining, in a Jerry Springer kind of way." ;)

  • by FreeLinux (555387) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:32AM (#7385998)
    The recent changes in the leading Linux vendors combine to make for a very interesting future. Novell first acquired Ximian which along with its Ximain Desktop, Evolution and Mono, also provided the Red Carpet update service for Red Hat distributions. Then Red Hat announced that they would not be providing further updates for the free/consumer version of their product. This left users in the cold forcing them to use Fedora or some other free disto or Novell/Ximian might have used Red Carpet to fill the gap.

    Now Novell has also acquired SuSE, the number two vendor and alternative to the now defuct Red Hat Linux, which is also an RPM distribution but, uses a different update service.

    Novell, looking to increase revenue, is unlikely to offer much in the arena of free services and is also unlikely to expend much effort supporting a distribution that is not their own, as SuSE now is. So, one is left wondering what the landscape will look like in the coming months.

    Will Ximian's Red Carpet survive at all and if so, will it support the Red Hat distro or the SuSE distro or both? Will Novell/SuSE continue to develop using the KDE desktop or will they more likely shift SuSE to use the Ximian Desktop? Will SuSE, who had historically been somewhat "less free" than Red Hat, become even more "less free" with its acquisition by Novell?

    Any which way it goes, the Linux landscape will change dramatically in the next few months, as it has in the past few weeks. One can't help but wonder if there will be a truely free Linux left with all of the commercial activity of late. Fortunately, Debian continues as it always has, at least for now.
  • Suse or Red Hat? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Johnny Mnemonic (176043) <[mdinsmore] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:39AM (#7386072) Homepage Journal

    Is Novell in a better position to float a free, prosumer/hobbyist version of Linux to support their paying enterprise Linux product than was Red Hat?

    Does this mean that we are now more likely to see SUSE on the hobbyist desktop vs. Red Hat? I guess it depends if Novell plans to release a consumer grade version of SUSE for free--and it's too early to tell if that's going to be the case. But there's now a "hobbyist/prosumer" niche to be filled, and IMHO whoever fills that position is much more likely to be recommended for server grade Linux, also. You recommend what you're familiar with--and if we can bang against SUSE for free on our closet boxes, when a PHB asks for a Linux recommendation, I think we are much more likely to recommend SUSE. Regardless of the technical differences/advantages, since it's always better to go with "the devil you know."

    Sounds like we have another standard bearer, folks, which actually underscores the strength of Linux--any number of companies can offer the product, since it's owned-at-large, regardless of the travails of a company in particular. If Red Hat had been the sole proprietor of Linux, their stopping support for the consumer version could very well have been the end of the line of Linux on the desktop--but inasmuch as it's open source, another company is able to fill the breach.

    What this means for SCO is better left to other threads, I think. But I would've liked to see their faces--and I'm glad I'm not a SCO customer (or distributor). Can Novell revoke SCO's license to UNIX? hehee.
  • It's about time! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by djlowe (41723) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:50AM (#7386180)
    It's about time!

    As a long time Novell admirer and CNE (installed my first NetWare LAN in 1986/87, certified in 1992, sigh), I've watched them struggle for years, most times in dismay.

    First it was Ray Noorda's determination to beat Microsoft by buying Wordperfect Corporation, DRI and USL. The potential was there, but Microsoft was far too entrenched by that point.

    Then it was their poor marketing (renaming NetWare to IntranetWare for a short time, for example), and nearly 10 years of "wandering" around the networking landscape as Microsoft's marketing machine went into high gear and its networking became "good enough" for business use.

    Now it seems as though they are back on track. They started awhile ago, by emphasizing network services over the NOS.

    With NDS, a stable and mature cross-platform directory service (yeah, yeah, it has its problems - tell me Active Directory doesn't?)and a good Linux distribution obtained through this purchase, they have the potential to challenge Microsoft's dominance in the desktop arena, and slow or even stop their encroachment upon the server space as well.

    They have the tools already (NDS and ZENWorks among others); if they can create a transparent network management environment that doesn't depend on any particular OS/NOS, but allows them all to be centrally managed, and encompasses the desktop as well, they will have accomplished something
    unique, and will be the first company to do so.

    It's about large networks, and the ability to choose best-of breed products regardless of OS and be able to integrate them, and support them, to provide services to the users.

    In short, it *is* about the network, and it is all connected.

    Desktop PC hardware is already a commodity. Server class hardware is rapidly becoming so - the next step in the evolution of networking isn't at the "nuts and bolts" level, it is "above" the network.

    Just my opinion.

    dj
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @10:58AM (#7386243)
    1.) Novell does a f*ck up with SuSE, goes down the drain and pulls SuSE along until they're bought out by somebody else. This is somewhat likely, as SuSE is doing very good as a Linux brand right now. It could hardly get better rather than worse. In germany (most Linux users per capita) SuSE is even synonym for Linux!
    All in all that would stall Linux brand recognition but probably be good news for Mandrake, the last one left.

    2.) Novell has actually seen the light and plans way ahead into the future, were software won't make a buck anymore, but free software will reign and the business is in services.

    3.) Novell/SuSE twitches here and there, barely surviving, taking shares from Mandrake, they all die eventually, Mickeysoft prevails and there is a 5 year setback for OSS, with only Gentoo and Debian to the rescue in the far future, when the OSS model has consumed everything.

    Bottom line:
    I don't like this news. Sound bad. Chances are to high that this once o-so big company Novell is gonna screw up. And SuSE is my first recomendation to n00bs right now. It would be a real shame for them to go down the drain.
  • Healthy Skeptisism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jd (1658) <.imipak. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @11:04AM (#7386292) Homepage Journal
    Novell hasn't done too well with getting their Netware products out the door, and they really botched the whole SCO/Unix thing.


    Also, SuSE is doing remarkably well in Europe, where the German government has been giving it a lot of support. Once it's seen as "tainted" by US corporate interests (trust me, Europeans are not happy with the US), it might impact how well SuSE is received by Governments in Europe.


    (Especially as SuSE is perceived as being a safe way to avoid backdoors imposed by foreign Governments.)


    On the flip-side, development work costs money, and Novell probably has more of that than SuSE. If Novell gets this right, and puts in some serious cash, Linux could get some badly-needed investment in the ease-of-use arena. IBM and SGI have done wonders for filesystems, high-end architectures, etc, but they're not known for producing software for Joe Average. Novell's networking products were popular in schools, at one point, precicely because they were easy for idiots to use.


    Since that fits in nicely with SuSE's reputation of easy-to-use, easy-to-install distros, that offers some excellent opportunities.


    That's where the skeptisism must come in, unfortunately. An opportunity is not the same thing as a reality. Unless Novell makes use of this, and brings Linux to the masses, this move will do nothing for anyone, SuSE included.


    If Novell do bring Linux to the masses... well, that's a different kettle of fish. Then this will be the greatest move imaginable, and everyone will benefit signigicantly.

  • by JonKatzIsAnIdiot (303978) <a4261_2000@ y a h o o.com> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @11:21AM (#7386451)
    Novell has a history of jumping on every bandwagon at it's peak, then abandoning it when something else comes along. Consider their past:

    1. Buying the AT&T source, then announcing plans to merge NetWare and UNIX into a hybrid called "SuperNOS"

    2. Buying Wordperfect, Quattro Pro and creating WordPerfect Office.

    3. Java-on-NetWare. Anyone remember "the world's fastest Java execution environment"?

    Every one of these failed, and was quietly abandoned. Now it's Linux. Hopefully they actually stick with this initiative long enough for it to bear some fruit.
    • 1) ultimately sold to SCO.

      2) this did not fail - they took the best parts of WPOffice and created GroupWise, which, IMO, is way better than Exchange or Notes for most environments. GW has over 10% mkt share in the groupware arena now, making it #3 in the world.

      3) Still there. It is fast. exteNd uses this (formerly silverstream) but so do TOMCAT & APACHE which are installed by default with Netware 6. iFolder, for one, uses this extensively.
  • One of the things everyone seems to have missed so far is that Europe's biggest and most successful Linux company is disappearing into the murky nexus of Noorda companies around Salt Lake City. Whatever the relationship between Noorda, SCO and Novell just now, they all swim in the same pool...

    This makes Mandrake the only even moderately high profile commercial Linux distribution left in European hands, and as is well known Mandrake's finances are seriously wobbly. And this matters for everyone just now, because the future of Linux in the US is being played out in just that same murky Salt Lake City slime-pool. Fall out from the SCO case will affect all US-owned Linux distributions.

  • Kiss of Death (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Deathlizard (115856) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @11:57AM (#7386804) Homepage Journal
    I dont know about you, But I would be worried if I used SuSe as my Linux Distro.

    Why? Because Novell Aquired it. If there's anything that has been proven over the last couple of years is that Novell buying a company out is basicially the Kiss of Death.

    Look at Wordperfect (pratcially dead), Quattro Pro (dead) and Caldara (Now SCO. - Suing anything that Produces code for money)

    Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe their aquiring it in order to expand their networking capability beyond Netware futher, or do away with the netware OS altogether and replace it with a Linux based network server.
  • Strategic Vision? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by isotope23 (210590) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @11:59AM (#7386829) Homepage Journal
    The big question is how well have they thought this through. With the recent aqcuisitions, they have the firepower, but now they need to use it
    wisely.

    To crack MS's lock on the desktops I can see them doing a couple of things :

    1. Offering SUSE ISO's for DL
    2. Offering SUSE to Dell, gateway etc with a minimal or no license fee.

    They now have the option of an end to end software solution, tied to a global directory
    that works and is easy to admin. They will need to push the desktop to gain acceptance, which is why I think we'll see SUSE ISOs. Now if only they'd start spamming those CD's like AOL does....

  • by Theolojin (102108) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @12:22PM (#7387075) Homepage
    will the new company be NoSE or NOSE?

    sorry...
  • An alternate opinion (Score:3, Informative)

    by cjjjer (530715) <cjjjer.hotmail@com> on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @12:28PM (#7387129)
    I think that we shall see more of this as the SCO claims get closer to court. All these companies (Novell, IBM, etc..) are going to be snatching up the various Linux distro companies. On the slim chance that SCO actually gets to court and even in the slightest chance that the GPL is ruled invalid. These purchasing companies now have pretty impressive software and it's all free to do what they want with it. Call this post flaimbait or trolling. The one thing that I have learned is that allmost all big businesses are evil and have one thing in mind. Make lots of money on the backs of others and Open Source is just waiting to be picked dry.

    It would be a sad day if this came to be true....
  • This is huge. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WoTG (610710) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @02:51PM (#7388625) Homepage Journal
    Excellent move for Novell. They were smart enough to realize that NetWare has had it's day, and it's time to move on.

    I'll paraphrase a post someone made on another website, "What company is going to think twice about their Linux suppliers viability when that company is Novell (with a touch of IBM thrown in)?". I think this will work out very, very, well for Novell as Linux makes it's way out from the server room onto the desktop.

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