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Businesses Linux Business Novell SuSE The Almighty Buck Linux

Novell Reportedly Taking Bids From Up To 20 Companies 124

Degrees writes "Although Novell rejected the bid from Elliott Associates earlier this year, reports now indicate Novell has decided to embrace the inevitable. According to the Wall Street Journal (sub. required): 'As many as 20 companies have expressed interest in Novell, according to people familiar with the matter. Most, if not all, of the companies expected to lodge serious bids are private equity firms. ... Novell has four separate businesses, each of which could be attractive to a rival technology company. However, it's unlikely that a tech company would bid for all of Novell, these people said. Private equity firms, however, could break up Novell and either sell off the pieces or run them as standalone businesses.' Are there any companies that don't have an enterprise grade Linux distribution, and ought to? Ditto workstation management, directory services, legacy email, and virtualization suite?"
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Novell Reportedly Taking Bids From Up To 20 Companies

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  • by levell ( 538346 ) * on Sunday May 23, 2010 @10:13AM (#32313908) Homepage

    As a developer who works on (closed-source) enterprise software [ibm.com] which runs on Linux (amongst other platforms) I'm nervous about Novell being sold. Though I develop on Fedora and primarily use RHEL for informal testing (we do formal testing on all the platforms we support) I'm glad that a solid, serious alternative to RHEL exists.

    Obviously a sale of Novell doesn't necessarily imply any change for their Linux business (esp. as I understand it's one of their more profitable divisions) but it is likely (in the short term) to introduce some uncertainty.

    The Linux market seems very healthy at the moment and I hope it continues to be at least a duopoly. Red Hat are a very cool company but I wouldn't like to see any company have a (virtual) monopoly in Enterprise Linux.

  • Canopy Group? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by C_Kode ( 102755 ) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @10:30AM (#32314008) Journal

    Is it the Canopy Group or Microsoft? Hopefully they aren't selling the Unix copyrights or other things that will just start another lawsuit attacking Linux.

  • People seem confused (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dnaumov ( 453672 ) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @10:51AM (#32314134)
    regarding what this actually means. This means that a lot of companies with deep pockets (private equity companies) think that in the long term, Novell has potential for a lot of growth, so they would get nice ROI (return on investment) from a Novell purchase made today. This does not mean that Novell is dead, dying or even on the decline. If this was the case, you would be seeing offers from competitors who would want to swallow a competitor awhole, taking their userbase along.
  • Going Nowhere (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wellcrafted83 ( 1817796 ) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @10:54AM (#32314162)
    I have worked with Novell products for too long. I recently left my company after they decided to go with Novell over other technologies. Novell over the years have had some great ideas but they have been terribly executed. They squandered the opportunity they had with SUSE by weighing it down with their legacy product lines. Whoever buys it should spin off all the legacy baggage along with the Novell name. The company definitely needs to be rebranded because the Novell name has nothing positive going for it.
  • Re:Canopy Group? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by novar21 ( 1694492 ) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @11:03AM (#32314218)
    Caldera/TheSCOGroup has already proven that copyrights are not necessary to spread fud via the court system for many years. They are still doing that today. So if others wished to do so, I am sure that they could with little effort. As far as Unix copyrights existing, ATT and Berkeley had settled their suit long ago and I believe that ATT did not really own much in the way of copyrights. I believe that most was created/owned by Berkeley. So I think it matters not if they sell the Unix copyrights that they own.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 23, 2010 @11:12AM (#32314256)

    If anything will be poison it will those who will try to attack GNU/Linux with the Novell's assets they acquire. Thus:

    1) All press releases, public announcements, etc in which Novell discusses it's distributions should be archived now. SCO tried to claim it, as Caldara, never released it's products under a GPL license. Power points and press releases found, and lucky they were, afterward rebutted this.
    2) One or more people should save the headers in the source of SUSE where it indicates the copyright owners as Novell and that it's GPL. Download a copy of SUSE etc right from Novell, or better - buy a copy right from Novell. Keep the receipt as evidence too.
    3) Coordinate with PJ and Groklaw with this, coordating the archiving of Novell's public documentation, as they had done for SCO.
    4) Other?

  • Re:Karma (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kestasjk ( 933987 ) * on Sunday May 23, 2010 @11:30AM (#32314366) Homepage
    But aren't they also contributing significantly to the Mono project?
    (Before someone says "Mono is evil and helps MS" I'm not so sure. If it does Wine certainly does too, but no-one raises a fuss about Wine, and being able to run my .NET apps [kuliukas.com] on Linux definitely seems like a good thing for reducing ties to Windows to me.)

    They did make a deal which, in part, involved patent disputes with Microsoft regarding Linux, but unless there's a way that it "legitimizes" those claims in a legally tangible way I don't see why that's a problem. (And I haven't seen any reason why Novell getting protection against patent suits from Microsoft would affect the legal status of code external to Novell. It seems like paranoia to me.)

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