Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
SuSE Businesses Linux Business

Novell & SUSE In Link Up? 209

dmorelli writes "Since it seems to be a SuSE news day, here's something from Friday this past. Novell tried and failed to buy SuSE, according to the Linux Business week story."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Novell & SUSE In Link Up?

Comments Filter:
  • by stonebeat.org ( 562495 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @12:46PM (#7319597) Homepage
    What came out of that merger?
  • Yoda? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    here's something from Friday this past.

    Yoda, you speak like!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2003 @12:47PM (#7319611)
    What does this say, exactly, about Novell's current strategy, that they consider Linux so useful to their current plans that they would attempt to buy SUSE?

    If they owned SUSE, what most likely would they do with it?
    • That's a good question, any company owning Suse and ximian would be interesting, and not knowing the track record of the suits involved, possibly a bit scary.

      It is a bit interesting that they have chosen to focus on what seems a desktop flavor, considering they went after and purchased ximian. If they wanted a vanilla server distro, I'd think they could get that for less elsewhere.

      Perhaps they're not interested in the technology, but the name. Suse has a very good reputation I think in both camps (client/

      • "If they owned SUSE, what most likely would they do with it?"

        Hmm, maybe Novell was trying to internationalize its market and approach. SuSE is far more popular in Europe than in the US. And Europe is seemingly more open to open source software. It would have been a good way to build an alternate market to MS in Europe, and use the profits to build share in the US.

        I wonder if this means Novell will approach Mandrake next. Given Mandrake's financial problems, they might welcome a buyout. Plus they're popula
    • As i said in my other post, Novells plan is to get out of the OS business. They plan to be a company which makes services for enterprise, which incidentally will run on Linux. Think of them like GNU in GNU/Linux.
      Today all their services run on Netware OS which is kind of old (but good enough for the time being) and it is the services which make any money at all. By netware 7 they plan to move to Linux entirely. To do this they have two choices, run it on a stock OS and be dependant on the distro or roll t
      • "They plan to be a company which makes services for enterprise, which incidentally will run on Linux. Think of them like GNU in GNU/Linux"

        God I hope not. I know what you meant, but I'd hate to see them become that important to the Linux kernel. If they start GPLing their software fine, but until then they'll just be someone who makes technically good proprietary addons for Linux.
    • If they owned SUSE, what most likely would they do with it?

      The same thing they did with everything else they ever owned. Use it to keep Microsoft from becoming an all powerful force in the software industry and continue to assert the fact that Novell is the "other OS". Oh wait, I am sorry I forgot Novell is all but irrelevant. In terms of Microsofts thoughts on Novell, an X-Men quote comes to mind:
      Why don't you people ever die?
    • If [Novell] owned SUSE, what most likely would they do with it?

      Novell likely wanted to position Evolution, Connector, and Openexchange Server [suse.com] as an end-to-end replacement for Microsoft Exchange.

    • "If they owned SUSE, what most likely would they do with it?"

      Fuck it up that's what. This company used to own unix remember that? They could not see the value in owning unix so they sold it!. They are a bunch of clueless idiots.

      I remember seeing a novell product roadmap that Ray Noorda put out just after buying wordperfect. It showed how they were going to turn the office product into a NLM and run it from the server. Then they were going to merge novell and unix together to get a top notch server OS.

  • by .com b4 .storm ( 581701 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @12:47PM (#7319615)

    Novell 7 SuSe In Link Up?

    Looks like they succeeded in outlawing the shift key after all. :)
  • by Ophion ( 58479 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @12:48PM (#7319616)
    It's a handy typing tip!
  • I can't help but feel that the german government owning shares of a company like SUSE seems to be a conflict of interest. I don't believe that government should be able should own any controlling amount of stock of a company they could make or brake. (ie: cities in germany switching to linux over MS)
  • I can still hear the faint echo's of Novell suits explaining how they were going to destroy Microsoft with Netware and the latest directory services product. These people were scarily clueless then...what has changed?.

    Novell essentially brought us the current incarnation of SCO, haven't they done enough to "help" the Linux/OS community?
    • I'm sorry, you can't blame the SCO mess on Novell.

      They tried to fix it, you know.
      • by wardk ( 3037 )
        I sure can blame it on Novell :-)

        hell, when SCO exposed themselves as shiftless vultures they and Novell didn't even seem to KNOW what sort of contracts they had signed. And we still don't know for sure who owns what. Novell also got real quiet after the 2nd or 3rd volley from SCO.

        If Novell is so qualified/desirable to be a Unix vendor, how does one explain Unixware?

        I love SuSE Linux, I don't want it to get *any* Novell directly on it. Note to SuSE....resist!!
    • by watzinaneihm ( 627119 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @01:16PM (#7319843) Journal
      Well, Novell currently is a Good Company (TM)
      They had a good idea with NDS which had no competitor in NT4. Marketing (and application support) won the market for Microsoft. With W2k microsoft came up with ADS which is as good as NDS (though it does not play well with other OSes as netware does). Novell now is trying to move from an OS company to supporting services company. NDS already runs on windows and Linux. You can download it from their website ( Note: Getting it to run on any of the newer Linuxes is a total pain).Novells plan is to move netware to a set of services that run on Linux. So they have an interest in Linux, and so are helping Linux.

      Linux currently does not have anything like NDS/ADS that can support a very large and distributed network. So Novell is a good thing to happen to Linux.
      Also check out their site Novell forge [slashdot.org] where they have a lot of stuff they released under GPL like their UDDI server IIRC. So they stand by GPL and put their money where their mouth is .
      They also tried to stop SCO by releasing what they thought were some damning counter-evidence on the day of SCOs annual investor meet day. If they had their way SCO would be buried by now.
      But what you mentioned is correct, novell has a way of dropping the ball.First against NT4, then against SCO.
      Anyway if you are a Linux guy, try using Novell a Netware server (free demo CDs available everywhere).They are damn stable, but their GUI sucks, reminds me of Linux of two years ago.
      • Oops bad link. The correct link is http://forge.novell.com. here [novell.com]
        The earlier one became a relative link by mistake
      • Good post, but don't you know you aren't allowed to say anything good about NDS or (gasp!) Netware on Slashdot? There goes your karma!


      • by altamira ( 639298 )

        With W2k microsoft came up with ADS which is as good as NDS (though it does not play well with other OSes as netware does).

        You are clueless. Value-level (as opposed to replication of full objects only, like ADS does), transitive, event-driven (unlike ADS, which does a scan for changed objects at intervals, the default being 10 (TEN!) minutes) synchronisation; the ability to scale to hundreds of thousands of objects in a single partition; working backup/restore technology - all make NDS eDirectory far su

        • He isn't clueless. Yes NDS is "probably" better than InActiveDirectory, but be careful about saying it won't scale well. I know of a company with around 50k workstations on it and it runs ok for them.

          I could go in to a huge list of issues with NDS. We were one of the first large scale companies to go with it, and I have spent many a night with Novell on the phone, and restoring. The biggest pain I had with Novell was the fact that when you deleted a server with a read/write replica, I would need to sac
          • Why are you "deleting" servers with Read/Write replicas anyhow? This is an adminsitrative education problem, not a problem with NDS. Remove NDS replicas, then remove the server from the tree.

            Try deleting an Active Directory domain controller and see if that doesn't throw a wrench into your domain. Same deal...

            • Because Novell support had me do it. As a matter of fact we had to get down to ONE FREAKING server with a read/write replica on it. Then pray that we could get it back. They were on the verge of dialing in to fix NDS with tools that we don't have. This was also with Novell on site! The core problem is that NDS could have a multitude of problems and appear to be running well. Then you see one server that still holds a reference to something... I got so use to running DsRepair (again per Novell) that I
    • Here is what has changed.

      - The Executive Commitee for Novell looks entirely different than it did when it put MS as enemy #1.

      - More than half of management underneath the executive committe has changed since then.

      In other words 'These people' who where 'scarily clueless' are gone. I guess these 'suits' went to SCO for employment.

    • how is this a fucking troll? I was in more than one novell suit show where they laughed about how NDS would kill NT. they are idiots.

      now you are too
  • too bad... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by deviator ( 92787 ) <bdp@NOSPAm.amnesia.org> on Monday October 27, 2003 @12:55PM (#7319680) Homepage
    that would have been a pretty good fit for what they're currently trying to do. Make no mistake - Novell has some of the best enterprise management software in the industry. Linux definitely needs this.

    Oh well, they'll just release their own distro of Linux now (called Netware 7).
    • Why buy SuSE?

      Why not just put a couple developers on your payroll and have them work on stuff that's important to you and release it for all the distributions?

      I think they're still stuck in the old game of trying to control (and reap profits from) the various components.

      How many programmers could you hire for how long with the money you'd spend on buying a whole company? Why not do that instead?
      • "Why not just put a couple developers on your payroll and have them work on stuff that's important to you and release it for all the distributions?"

        Novell isn't only trying to build technology, they need to re-build their brand. SuSE is a very popular distro with lots of foreign/EU supporters and users. If Novell could get these markets to take them seriously - or even better: like them - they would gain substantial market clout. Novell is also quickly falling behind in relevance to today's tech market.

        • Novell doesn't have any experience at running a Linux distribution.

          They'd be trying to support their Novell brand by associating it with SuSe.

          But that doesn't work now. A company in decline cannot turn itself around by buying a company on the rise. All it will do is waste money and bring both companies down.

          Rather than doing that, Novell needs to understand what the GPL means and start getting Novell licensed code out there. Novell should form a partnership with SuSe and Red Hat and pay for the developme
      • The underlying assumption that you buy a company to get its technology is so wrong, even for a technology company. Brand or name recognition, distribution and marketing infrastructure, customer base, alliances / partnerships / connections are in all but the rarest cases far more valuable than any technology gained by a merger or acquisition.
    • "Novell has some of the best enterprise management software in the industry. Linux definitely needs this."

      Here's my point of view as someone more interested in Free Software for everyone then just having Linux take over the enterprise. I will admit that I will always cheer when Linux gets some big Enterprise scale win since less Windows in the world mean less headaches, but commercial success isn't any utopia IMO.

      So knowing that I guess you could say that in reality I don't give a fart if Novell has some
  • Microsoft 2 (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Anonymous Coward
    RedHat is in danger of turning into Microsoft 2? How and why? Just becuase they are the largest distro of Linux hardly makes them a monopoly. Perhaps IBM is just having a hard time competing with them.
    • Re:Microsoft 2 (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kfg ( 145172 )
      Yes, we all know the reasons why the GPL prevents Red Hat from becoming Microsoft 2. I rather suspect that IBM knows it too, no matter how clueless the article's author is. (Yes, I read the article, so I know your post isn't offtopic at all).

      Thing is that from IBM's point of view they're just trying to become something vaguely like IBM again.

      From Red Hat's, Novell's and some other's point of view though I rather suspect they're trying to become the new Sun since Sun seems to have lost its way.

      And then th
    • IBM and RedHat are hardly in the same market when it comes to Linux. I just bet IBM doesn't want vendor lockin to one vendor.
    • Perhaps IBM is just having a hard time competing with them.

      You must be in a marketing department or something. IBM produces servers PCs etc... some of their stuff ships with Red Hat. Do you honestly think that Red Hat (a software company) is outcompeting IBM (a hardware company)? If so, I'll tell you my apples are better oranges than yours.
  • German Goverment (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Noizemonger ( 665926 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @12:58PM (#7319715)
    "the German government, which reportedly owns something like 30% of SUSE ($30 million worth), is supposed to be the speed bump." WTF? My Goverment owns 30% of SUSE? Finally they do something useful with my tax money! Nice. Probably its just a goverment loan but 30% of all shares is quite a lot. I wonder if it was a political decision to finance a OSS-Company. Has anybody more info on this?
    • it's quite funny that someone would write a story without cheching such basic things... the german government doesn't own shares of suse (the list of investors is available on suse's website: http://www.suse.de/en/company/suse/suse/factsheet. html).
  • Deal? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Espectr0 ( 577637 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @01:00PM (#7319722) Journal
    According to the article, suse is worth 100 million. They were offered 120 million.

    Why didn't they accept?
    • Valuation isn't easy (Score:5, Informative)

      by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @01:21PM (#7319870)
      According to the article, suse is worth 100 million. They were offered 120 million. Why didn't they accept?

      Because valuing a company is as much art as it is science. Especially for companies like SuSE whose assets are largely intangible. They don't have much in the way of hard assets like manufacturing equipment or buildings. They have no proprietary code to speak of. Their only real assets are their brand name, whatever cash they have and the people they have working for them.

      So how do you value that? It's tough. Companies are considered to be worth the present value of all their future cash flows. But how fast is SuSE going to grow? What sort of margins will they pull down? What does the competitive landscape look like? Will they grow steadily or will they grow fast and then slow down? I don't know about you, but my crystal ball isn't that good.

      It's not a trivial problem to value a company. You can't answer it just by checking their market capitalization. That's just the market's current concensus on the value of the equity in the company. But debt holder, preferred stock holders and the government (taxes) all have claims to the cash flows of the company that come before the common stockholders. And the market doesn't even get the equity part right all the time. Witness the recent tech bubble bursting.

      So in short, there probably was a difference of opinion on the valuation. If I think my business is worth $150 million and you think it's worth $100 million, who is right? Hard to say. It's also possible that they didn't sell just because the key shareholders didn't like the buyer. Happens all the time. Maybe the terms of the deal weren't good. If I'm the buyer and Novell is offering me stock, I'm going to think about it real hard. Novell's stock isn't exactly blue-chip. What happens if I sell and Novell tanks? Could be SuSE management wanted cash and Novell wasn't offering.

      In short there are lot of reasons why it fell through. Some reasons are very sensible, some aren't. Why they turned them down? I have no idea, but I can think of a lot of possible reasons.

    • Maybe whoever is in charge their simply like their business?

      It's not all about money, some people do underpaid work because they enjoy it, and owning/running a business is no different...

      If I had built up a company like SuSE I would be very reluctant to sell it.
    • Maybe SUSE thinks they are worth more than 120 million.

      Market price is not an absolute constant, you know.

  • by capn_buzzcut ( 676680 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @01:03PM (#7319740)
    Why not?
  • by tigertiger ( 580064 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @01:06PM (#7319763) Homepage
    For one thing, SuSE has nothing to do with the German government - they list their investors on their factsheet [www.suse.de] (in German, unfortunately). It's IBM, SGI, Intel, Compaq, and some venture capitalists.

    Also, $120M sounds a very cheap for a company of this size. Red Hat, not quite twice the size by employees, is valued at over 2$ billion.

    • Unfortunately, since SuSE isn't required to report earnings (at least last I checked), it's very difficult to make an intelligent statement as to how much they're worth.

      You'd _think_ they weren't losing money hand over foot what with the German government ordering from them now. But then again, for all the awesome publicity and service contracts RedHat has, they've been losing goodly amounts of money up until very recently.

      In other words, trying to predict whether SuSE is worth some amount is a tricky bus
    • This is a very valid point. Look at the correlation between the investors and the organisations thay list as partners, IBM Intel and SGI may be investors but they are also partner organisation, comitted to delivering solutions on the SuSE platform.

      Would it be in any of their interests to have SuSE as a subsiduary of an American company, and in many areas a competitor. I would say not, Novell have no track record in delivering on companies they take over and are a US company. Rightly or wrongly, SuSE are wi
      • Great points.

        I for one, do NOT want any U.S. Company taking over SuSE (or any non-U.S. controlled distro).
        Because *that* company (Novell for example), could easily be taken over by Microsoft.
        Microsoft would love to buy out and crush the Linux distros.

        • Because *that* company (Novell for example), could easily be taken over by Microsoft.
          Microsoft would love to buy out and crush the Linux distros.

          I think they could easily do that anyway. RH, Suse, Mandrake and a few smaller ones together are probably cheaper than one of Microsoft's infamous advertizing blitzes.

          IMO, they know they could kill al Linux vendors, but they can't kill Linux. Linux companies are ultimately a function of market demand - if you destroy all of them, new ones will crop up and repla

      • I too like the competition, Redhat has been enormously generous so far but who's to say they won't have too much power in 10+ years?

        what is starting to make me nervous is SuSe tries to be Europe's linux. Linux is suppose to bring us together not divide us. What happens when flamewars stop being, "SuSe sucks" and starts to become "germany sucks" or a political problem instead of a technical one. If we can't trust an Open source company (RH) just because they're the leader, will we _EVER_ win anything? we'l
  • Could be interesting thing long-term - Novell becoming major bad-ass player (again) armed with Ximian desktop / Evolution, always-popular directory thingie and finally Linux distro to integrate everything with. Plus Mono as a hidden weapon.
  • Change is bad... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by drywater ( 543888 )
    SuSE Puts out the best distro of Linux (IMHO) and my kneejerk reaction is sheer horror. I know that's not logical, but anything that might change the direction of the company scares me. I just installed SuSE 9 over the weekend and it's a wonderful product. My selfish desire is for SuSE to be left alone and to continue to produce and improve SuSE Linux. I don't want to have to change distros again!
  • Pronounciation? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Is it "soos" or "soo see"? I've always wondered

    • I've always heard it said like "Sue C".

      I wonder where they got the name anyway. Does it stand for something? (other than a kickass linux distro of course)
      • I wonder where they got the name anyway. Does it stand for something? (other than a kickass linux distro of course)

        Are you happy now ? [acronymfinder.com]


    • Is it "soos" or "soo see"? I've always wondered

      It was very nearly "No-vell".

      I always call it "soos" though.
    • It's pronounced SUE-SUH. I thought it was always pronounced SUSIE till I called them.
    • Call their Oakland California office. For years I've been using it and calling it Soo-See. It turns out that it's pronounced Soo-Saw. (And yes, it was a call to the Oakland office inquiring as to when 8.2 would be available for a test cluster that led to enlightenment).


  • by GoneGaryT ( 637267 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:37PM (#7321111) Journal
    My place of work is a Novell shop; I think we'd all love at least a Netware client for GNU/Linux. I imagine that goes for a lot of people. It would make 'Linux on the Desktop' a much closer reality for us.

    Also, we have a rolling hardware upgrade program here and too many viable PCs just end up in the skip. The 300MHz PIIs w/64Mb RAM are next for the chop, but they'd be totally acceptable general office-use machines if they ran GNU/Linux. Tending to the luxurious, in fact. My home PC, for example, is a 133MHz Cyrix w/64Mb and I can't be arsed to upgrade, the point being that the economy of Slackware 9 (or whatever the distro of the minute) let's me get away with not being arsed.

    You can see the appeal of it, really. Free at last etc.

    • You can try gtknw2, which works ok. It maps to mount points pretty well, but still has a way to go. It would be nice if it was a wee bit more configurable, in order to emulate the drive mapping that happens in Windows. You can find gtknw2 here. [sourceforge.net]

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!