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Suse Linux Founder Exits Novell 245

csplinter writes write to tell us that SuSE Linux founder Hubert Mantel has resigned from Novell stating "Too late for me. I just decided to leave Suse/Novell. This is no longer the company I founded 13 years ago." Novell confirmed his resignation but had little else to say on the topic. From the article: "Mantel's departure also comes less than a week after Novell announced a major restructuring that would result in 600 layoffs. It's unclear if Mantel's resignation is related to the restructuring."
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Suse Linux Founder Exits Novell

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  • Its a tough week for novell when they loose botha founder and 600 employees.... makes you wonder just who is using their solutions anymore?
    • they have solutions???? damn i wish some of the places i go that have novell would look into that.. all i see is something you install and nothing works.. it isn't that it is broken .. it's just does nothing.. nothing at all..
      • Re:13 years for what (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Reducer2001 ( 197985 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:22PM (#13992944) Homepage
        Perhaps you meant to say that administrators who have Novell solutions in place don't have anything to do? My company has NetWare servers for file/print/auth/e-mail/Internet proxy/etc. in place. Our servers have uptimes in the 100's of days (our best record was 438 days until the mobo died) and require almost no upkeep. Not to mention that I don't have to worry too much about nasty viruses coming in. Oh, and our NetWare servers have a bash prompt that I can use, as well as running several OSS programs (Apache, PHP, MySQL).
        • by Amouth ( 879122 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @07:10PM (#13993374)
          oh i have seen plenty of good set up netware servers.. my personal favorite is

 vell_server_discovered_after/ []

          (a friend of mine was an admin up there when it happened.)

          on the other hand.. i have seen horridly setup stuff.. and the client computers always having issues.. my favorite is watching network packets and seeing printer discovery packets from a school network in greensboro in a school network in wilmington..
        • Your example just emphasizes why this guy probably left Novell...they couldn't sell their way out of a wet paper sack. Given that NetWare is robust and malware resistant, how come this message isn't getting to the people who authorize software purchases? Clearly corporations are willing to rip and replace systems when they're not working..just look at all of the examples of companies that tossed ERP implementations after spending millions of dollars. NetWare ought to be an easy sell.
        • Re:13 years for what (Score:3, Interesting)

          by toofast ( 20646 )

          Back in the day, I think the only reason Novell tacked on a GUI to NetWare was because of the pressure they were feeling from Windows NT and the new wave of "Admins" who were addicted to the mouse. NetWare 3.12/4.x was *the* file and print solution, and NDS is just so many miles ahead of Active Directory.

          We run a cluster of SLES 9 servers, consisting of 4 Itanium2's, 4 x86_64's, 3 IBM Power5's and one x86, and they run flawlessly. No X, no KDE crap, just a barebones minimal install + the 25-or-so
    • I am for one...

      I love Suse. It's my favorite distro by far.
      • Re:13 years for what (Score:5, Interesting)

        by krgallagher ( 743575 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:22PM (#13992937) Homepage
        "I love Suse. It's my favorite distro by far."

        Same here. I really do not understand staements like "This is no longer the company I founded 13 years ago." Of course it isn't. It is Novel. Novel is an old corporation with a well known corporate culture. Mantel knew that when he sold the company. If he had any illusions, he was just deluding himself. I think the most telling quote in the article is "I'm very confident the Novell management will find a competent successor very quickly. After all, there are lots of extremely skilled people over there in the Ximian division." Sounds to me like corporate infighting and Mantel lost.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:27PM (#13993000)
          Yes, especially since kernel development is not exactly Ximians forte. This is probably a clash between company cultures. German engineers believe that quality matters while american managers know that playing golf with executives is more important.

          • Not to mention that Novell also dropped KDE recently. The "we're standardizing on Gnome" argument really isn't seeming to fly any longer (if it ever did). SUSE built a reputation for quality and Novell has turned SUSE into something else, and it's pretty evident.

            Quality matters, and it showed with SUSE up until now. Novell is deprecating the OS and the people as well.
          • by r00t ( 33219 )
            Robert Love is in the Ximian part of Novell. He did DBUS and wrote a kernel internals book.
        • by ScriptedReplay ( 908196 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @07:22PM (#13993489)
          Same here. I really do not understand staements like "This is no longer the company I founded 13 years ago." Of course it isn't. It is Novel.

          This is SuSE's *founder* that you're talking about. Meaning he had a *vision* for his company which, from his quote, just isn't there anymore.

          Sounds to me like corporate infighting and Mantel lost.

          Of course it does - and that's probably what it is, too. The question is, however, *what did he lost to*? Now, if you look at the quote more closely, he's saying 'those smart guys from Ximian will pick up on kernel maintenance in no time' - which is of course untrue (at least the 'no time' part, although I suspect whoever will end up in his place will most likely *not* be coming from the desktop division) and to me it sounds like a veiled accusation that the Ximian guys pushed agendas in areas they had little clue about. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it does not sound that implausible in the light of recent evolutions at Novell that 'loud' was preferred to 'clueful'
          • by Zemran ( 3101 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @10:32PM (#13994768) Homepage Journal
            It was probably 'those smart guys at Ximian' that advised Novell to drop KDE. Many users, me amongst them, who have stayed with SuSE for years will now look elsewhere and I should think that Mantel is aware of this since he was there when the last 'should we drop KDE' debate was held and it was decided that it was best to keep KDE as a lot of users prefer it.
        • I'm thinking that it's got something to do with the the recent annoucement that Suse is standardizing on GNOME []. I think that the reference to "lots of good people in the Ximian group" is a reference to that .... I'm guessing that the KDE hackers are feeling a little bit left out at the moment.

          He may have figured that the combination of a powerful KDE group and a powerful Gnome group would have left the Novell linux group with a powerful one-two punch, but now the two punch (that his group was expecting t

      • It *was* my favorite distro until they decided to join Red Hat in the enterprise fray. I saw the writing on the wall and now I use CentOS. I know, a Red Hat rebuild. At least there is some stability with CentOS.
      • Re:13 years for what (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Miguelito ( 13307 )
        Same here.. Suse/Novell were willing to talk to us on pricing.. someone else, who we won't name, had the attitude of "we're all anyone supports, take the price or leave it" at a time when they wanted more then windows server cost on opterons or itaniums because 64bit was automatically "enterprise class server hardware." Whatever...

        Finding autoyast to be much more powerful, rpms far easier to deal with and easier build custom ones, kernel easier to patch (when we need to, which is far less often), etc.

    • Re:13 years for what (Score:2, Interesting)

      by DTC-Bob ( 897743 )
      I was very close to Suse here in the US prior to their acquisition by Novell. I worked with them closely, and we were even called out as a Suse success story on the road show.... Let's all remember that SuSE CHOSE to sell their company to Novell. No one had a gun to their head (although speculation was that some thought the market was *going* to be the gun...)... The founders, I am sure, did nicely, thank you. Bob
    • Re:13 years for what (Score:2, Informative)

      by vawlk ( 14842 )
      I am using their solutions because they are the best for my needs.
  • "Too Late"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by adavies42 ( 746183 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:06PM (#13992774)
    What is the "too late for me" in reference to? TFA give no clue.
    • It's probably just a poorly-translated phrase which means something else in German than in literally-translated English.
    • Re:"Too Late"? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ElGuapoGolf ( 600734 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:12PM (#13992850) Homepage
      I'm not sure what the "too late" comment means, but I think he takes a shot at some of the ximian folks later on when he suggests a maintainer for the SuSE kernel could be found from somewhere in the Ximian group.

      Ouch. I mean, given the bloated (but usable) mess that is Evolution, would you want those guys maintaining your distribution's kernel?

      I think he's right, SuSE isn't the same company anymore. Kubuntu, here I come.
      • I'm not sure what the "too late" comment means, but I think he takes a shot at some of the ximian folks later on when he suggests a maintainer for the SuSE kernel could be found from somewhere in the Ximian group.

        Ouch. I mean, given the bloated (but usable) mess that is Evolution, would you want those guys maintaining your distribution's kernel?

        Maybe he is thinking about the Man [] instead?


    • > What is the "too late for me" in reference to?

      Its, umm, Bladerunner. Right before he left Novell he reportedly also said, "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."

      Dramatic fellow. Maybe he should be an actor.
  • by Srdjant ( 650988 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:11PM (#13992837)
    Could Hubert Mantel have quit due to Novell making SuSE a GNOME-centred distro instead of keeping it a KDE-centred one?

    Novell standardise on GNOME: 1620206&tid=223&tid=106 []
    • by civilizedINTENSITY ( 45686 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:22PM (#13992946)
      The comment about finding a kernel maintainer was likewise interesting:
      "I have been the maintainer of the Suse kernel for more than a decade now," Mantel wrote. "I'm very confident the Novell management will find a competent successor very quickly. After all, there are lots of extremely skilled people over there in the Ximian division."
      It is enough to make one wonder if there is a power struggle, or at least the perception of one, arising from differences of opinion between the SuSE and Ximian groups. SuSE's technical excellence is perhaps not so appreciated as some feel it should be? How important is mono?
      • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @07:53PM (#13993716) Homepage Journal
        To me, that sounds like subtle (or not so subtle) sarcasm. Perhaps Mantel heard the phrase "lots of extremely skilled people over there in the Ximian division" used one too many times as an excuse by his bosses, that he simply used it back at them.

        After all, if you have a division of perfect people down the hall, why not let them work on the kernel? Even if they're applications people with absolutely no kernel experience, how hard can it be for perfect people who have all the answers?
  • Time to Fork Suse (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bruha ( 412869 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:16PM (#13992882) Homepage Journal
    Novell promised big things for Suse 10. Claiming it was a Windows Killer. I find it no better or worse than the last version of Suse 9.

    What Novell is doing here is creating a platform for Ximian and the only way to get any distro to accept Ximian was to buy Suse. This apparently has proven true with Hubert's comments that Ximian had lots of talented people.
    • by DAldredge ( 2353 )
      When did Novell promise that Suse 10 would be a Windows Killer?

      Please show us a link or two to support your position.
      • by daeley ( 126313 )
        I think it was the press more than Novell, but they sure didn't mind mentioning it in passing [] as early as 2001 -- and that was version 7.1!
        • ummm, HELLO!!! That was a SUSE press release, not a Novell one. Novell didn't aquire SUSE until 2003 (aquisition completed in 2004). Novell is still hosting their old press releases on their website.
        • "SUSE LINUX 7.1 with the new 2.4 kernel was highly anticipated by the Linux community and reviewers were writing "SUSE 7.1 is Chockful Of Goodies" ( and named "An Embarrassment of Riches" ( Although many reviewers did not agree to the Linux Planet statement: "Pack It Up and Go Home: SUSE Created a Windows-Killer", all of the reviewers agreed, that there is now a serious competitor lighting the radar screens. Offering a cut down, simple "Personal" version, did the important step tow
        • Re:Time to Fork Suse (Score:3, Informative)

          by Software ( 179033 )
          Novell didn't issue that press release, SuSE did. Novell bought SuSE long after April 2001. I think the "About Novell" boilerplate at the bottom is just tacked on to all Novell press releases in that folder.
    • Proof? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by alandd ( 243817 )
      How do you know "What Novell is doing here is creating a platform for Ximian and the only way to get any distro to accept Ximian was to buy Suse." ??

      And by what stretch of logic is the above "proven true" by "Hubert's comments that Ximian had lots of talented people." ???
  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:16PM (#13992889)
    It's unclear if Mantel's resignation is related to the restructuring.

    Who is it unclear to? And what are they smoking?

  • by alamandrax ( 692121 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:18PM (#13992904) Journal
    When we took away his stapler. That just pissed him off.
  • My Bet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Crimsane ( 815761 ) <> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:22PM (#13992934) Homepage
    If I had to make a wager as to why he left, I would bet someone close to him got layed off and he put his own job on the line to defend them.

    I was sad to hear suse layed of This dude [] who was doing lots of xforms stuff for FF.

    But of course Novell has been doing lots of good for a while now, all the time losing money, so I couldn't be too critcal.
  • by Jherek Carnelian ( 831679 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:22PM (#13992941)
    This departure is probably no big deal. Every single "amicable" corporation acquisition that I have ever seen worked out the same way. The founders of the acquired company stay on board in order to help assure a smooth merger. But after about a year or so, they almost always take off for new projects. I suspect that sticking around until now was a contractual obligation on his part as part of selling the company.

    These guys tend to be of two types - "startup" guys who don't think it is fun to run an established business, or a "control types" who aren't satisifed unless they are running the whole show. Either way, when they sell the company, they are no longer in the position that most appeals to them so they move on as soon as they can.

    So, I wouldn't take this event too seriously, he's probably had short-timer's disease for the last six months anyway.
  • by stryemer ( 34743 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:23PM (#13992956)
    Someone should put a stop to Novell. SuSE may be the next in a long line of great products (Corel, WordPerfect, etc) that Novell flushes down the toilet. It's really too bad because from my experience with SuSE was better than RedHat and Windows. Hey Novell management, fire yourselves!
    • Red Hat's founders have left also. This could just be a case of the person not liking to work for established businesses, and instead prefering startups. He may also be a control freak, and doesn't like Novell running things the way they see fit.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:24PM (#13992968)
    / Sorry, SuSE's restructuring supposed   \
    | that chamaleon got fired. Get used to  |
    | me: the more efficient, featureful     |
    \ allmighty and POSIX compliant Clippy!  /
            \     ____
             \   / __ \
              \  O|  |O|
                 ||  | |
                 ||  | |
                 ||    |
  • So why no KDE?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by questro ( 802656 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:26PM (#13992987)
    Is this guy leaving because KDE is being dropped? I really like SuSE and have been using it for a while. KDE is a big part of that. I like the polish. Is there some license issue that's driving the KDE issue? What gives? I hate to go switching distros AGAIN! This is why I stopped using RedHat/Fedora.
    • by cloudmaster ( 10662 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:31PM (#13993035) Homepage Journal
      I like the Polish too, but I'm not sure what they have to do with KDE in SuSE. Maybe if you were telling a lightbulb replacing joke it would be relevent that you like the Polish, but not here.

      I'm gonna have to drive by the Weinerschnizel on the way home now, and get a Polish sandwich. Or maybe just some mini corn dogs. Yeah, I think I'll get mini corn dogs. I like the corn dogs *and* the Polish.
    • Ummm, possibly something to do with Novell trying to satisfy corporations, their major customers. Make no bones about it, you don't mean two shits to Novell when it comes to their real customers.

      Oh, and a little reading on your part would show you that unless you're running Novell Linux Desktop or SLES, you can still use KDE. Of course, sensationalism and conspiracy theories are the norm around Slashdot.
    • Re:So why no KDE?? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by billybob2 ( 755512 )
      Is there some license issue that's driving the KDE issue?

      KDE is built on QT [], a C++ framework released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) [], a free software license that has strong copyleft [] (forced sharing) protections meant to ensure that derivative code stays free.

      Some corporations are raising hell against QT and KDE because the corporations want to make proprietary, non-free, closed-source software on the QT framework without compensating the makers of QT. Of course, those same corporations don't h
    • From the openSUSE mailinglist from a Novell person:

      "we are not dropping KDE entirely, we will make Gnome the default and the recommended platform but the plan is to continue to offer KDE as an option in all of the Linux products. We have had to implement a large restructuring in the product development area and needed to focus our efforts. We are working on a full FAQ on our desktop strategy that will be available to you, but we will not be eliminating KDE as a part of this plan. I hope this helps."

      And t
  • by Erore ( 8382 )
    Rather interesting choice of words there at the end referring to the talent of the Ximian folks. Makes me wonder his resignation is tied to possible internal power struggles between KDE centric SUSE folks and GNOME centric Ximian developers. From last weeks announcement we know who won those battles, and it's possible his resignation is just part of the fallout.
  • by segedunum ( 883035 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:32PM (#13993047)
    Well, some of us could have told him that as soon as Novell took over Suse. Novell has a terrible track record of making anything work.

    The warning signs were there when Richard Seibt and a few others left some time ago, as well as other Novell employees who didn't even come from Suse like Alan Nugent. And despite the positive spin [] some people in the company have tried to make of this for their own ends, there's no denying that a lot of people from different parts of the company have been layed off. Yes, even a lot of Gnome oriented people have gone, which means that Novell has no resources and people whatsoever to carry out all of those desktop plans some people say they're doing. They're going to need to spend even more money just to tread water and maintain everything. Looks like there's some truth to Kurt Pfeifle's article, and Mantel's swipe that they should be able to find someone talented to replace him as a kernel developer from Ximian is telling.

    Novell may end up with no Gnome or KDE at all, or even worse, no Linux. People talk about KDE and Gnome a lot, but the fact is that Novell haven't even moved to Linux - that's where the real problems are. Open Enterprise Server is a bastardised Linux OS with Netware running on top of it. What customer wants that and what's the point?! No one judging from the people not buying it and going Red Hat instead. Unless this new COO really does understand his market, the technology and what's required we're seeing Novell go bust right here. Judging from this he's got the basic concepts of how to make people redundant badly wrong. Get that wrong, throw in the towel because it's not worth the effort. You need the right people on your side, not to alienate them.
    • by deviator ( 92787 ) <bdp@am[ ] ['nes' in gap]> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:52PM (#13994128) Homepage
      Hi. No, you're slightly incorrect about OES -
      I have always been a huge fan of Novell's software; it tends to be stellar stuff. But they have never been able to market their way out of a paper bag since Microsoft decimated Netware back in the NT 4.0 days. Still, products like GroupWise and eDirectory (NDS) have no _real_ technical equivalents in the market.

      OES is not "Netware on top of Linux" - it's actually a collection of java-tomcat (web-based) services that previously ran on Netware that now also run on Linux. Things like iPrint, eDirectory, iFolder, iManage, NSS, etc. You can run these enterprise-value-added services on Netware 6.5 or on SuSE Enterprise Server 9. The management tools are the same for both platforms. It all works quite well--and they've had rave reviews, actually. Once again, their software is stunning - but their marketing sucks.

      I have been playing with OES here - and really, really like what I see. Imagine being able to deploy SuSE 9 across a large enterprise and having _real_ tools to manage them all! That's the promise of what Novell can deliver - but again, the message has somehow been completely lost on the appropriate people.

      I doubt they will declare bankruptcy - Novell has come back from the dead many, many times in the last decade (just like Apple!) But they definitely have some serious challenges to deal with in the coming months, as their traditional Netware revenue base has all but dried up.
  • by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:33PM (#13993048) Homepage
    The guy probably heard a few of these lines before throwing in the towel.

    1. Bring that point up at the next meeting.
    2. Check with person X to okay Y.
    3. Find out when person Z's subordinate has the time to do that task.
    4. I know you preferred Option A but the company is doing Option B.
    5. Fill out that form and give it to accounting and wait 30 days to get reimbursed.
    7. The Board has decided to go a diffferent direction.
    8. Let me run that by person A before doing anything.
    9. Send me an email about it to remind me....

    There's a bunch more probably much funnier too. Join in and add a few!
    • Let's touch base on that!
    • by The Monster ( 227884 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:51PM (#13993213) Homepage
      10. I think we need to establish a committee to deal with that.
      11. Is this initiative compatible with our Mission Statement?
      12. Can we proactively leverage vertical syergies to deliver five-nines reliability?
      13. We need a subcommittee to work on that aspect of your plan.
      14. Now that you've written all that code, we're changing the design specs on you.
      15. ...again.
      16. If there's such a thing as a sub-subcommittee, we'll be needing one of those.
      17. We need a cross-departmental task force to get a wider perspective on things.
      18. The task force needs to divide itself into committees along departmental lines.
      19. We need to make everything top priority!
      20. ???
      21. PROFIT!
  • fork it? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by towsonu2003 ( 928663 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:37PM (#13993082)
    someone better fork (open)suse as soon as possible before it dies with novell...
  • Ximian division? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA ( 619114 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:41PM (#13993126) Homepage Journal
    After all, there are lots of extremely skilled people over there in the Ximian division

        Is that a comment on mperhaps the Ximian guys being laid off too? Goddamnit, I like Suse and would hate to see Suse founder with all of the headway they've been making in the community.
  • by DarkProphet ( 114727 ) <> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:54PM (#13993226)
    So long and thanks for all the SuSE!

    (Apologies to both NOFX and the late Douglas Adams)
    • I will second that, SUSE used to be fun. The Novel website now makes it look like a pile of corporate BS, you have to navigate so many layers of synergy you cant find anything any more. On the other hand you cant charge millions for something that is easy to understand, so I guess its just the way of the world
  • Wish him well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FishandChips ( 695645 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:59PM (#13993268) Journal
    Perhaps it isn't very important why Hubert Mantell has left SuSE, only that he has. Much more important is a big vote of thanks to someone whose dedication and hard work have done an immense amount for SuSE and most likely for anyone who uses Linux (at lot of them will have started out with SuSE). He helped found the company, after all. Here's wishing him all the very best in life and whatever he decides to do next. Sometime soon, Novell's loss will be our gain.
  • curse of Novell (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wardk ( 3037 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:06PM (#13993803) Journal
    It's the curse of Novell. over the course of their history they have been closely tied to many many failing disasters.

    and who founded Caldera? and what are they now?

  • Seems like there might be a new KDE based distro coming down the pike soon. All those Novell/Suse/KDE folks getting laid off, the head cheese quitting... gee, what will they do with their "spare time" now?

  • by wikinerd ( 809585 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @11:07PM (#13994948) Journal
    SuSE founder is an entrepreneur. I would do exactly the same if a big corporation was interested in my small company, id est I would just sell it away and then resign from the big corporation to do something else. Entrepreneurs don't like working as employees, because they want to feel independent. I knew that he was going to leave, and I think he was right doing so. Now he is free to start something new.
  • The problem is.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 10Ghz ( 453478 ) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @03:23AM (#13995962)
    ... That they had two Linux-organisations: Ximian and SuSE. SuSE had a top-notch distro, lots of expertise (both GUI, kernel and the overall system), great engineers, respectable revenues and profits (they were profitable IIRC) and lots of paying customers. Ximian had a so-so mail-client, Mono and some miscellianeous projects. I don't know about their revenues/profits, but they can't be that big.

    So which of these organisations ended up calling the shots at Novell when it comes to Linux? Ximian, of course! And right from the start it seemed that Ximian's main product was FUD and vaporware.

    I guess this is a case of brown-nosing and PR winning over great products and solid engineering.
  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @05:22AM (#13996253)
    Me, a year ago:
    [Article: Novell Announces Agreement to Acquire SUSE]
    I see three scenarios: (Score:4, Insightful)
    by Qbertino (265505) on Tuesday November 04, @09:58AM (#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.

    Looks like number one was a hit. Novell didn't see the light. The didn't plan ahead. They're visionless and now sqirming around probably just to prolong some classic VC money. I can just imagine the people involved summoning all efforts to pull their head out of the noose as we speak. They fallen for some hothead geeks and their buzz at Ximian as a last resort, but couldn't convey that spirit into a big business. Unlike Ximian - more or less a geeks workshop - SuSE was a *big* company with lots of disciplined fulltime professionals maintaining a frontline distro. The simple truth is that SuSE was a bigger Linux company than Novell will probably ever be, with one of the longest track records in the OSS industry. Novell on the other hand is just inflated stock and some karma and credit from a decade ago when they were big in the network business. Instead of throwing their marketing value behind SuSE and tuning low on the rebranding & bullshit strategy they did it all wrong. Nothing less than a major botch. Bad move, you stupid execs. No mercy here.

    Note Number 3 above. This is what's actually going to happen. If Novell goes belly up, which I expect more than ever, that will be the end of commercial distros as we know it.

    BTW: The current rise of Apple with their small, simple and cheap all-in-one appliances doesn't help the current situation for x86-OSS-as-MS-alternative either.

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.