US Report: NetWare 5.0 for September

Taking a page from Microsoft's book, Novell will sell more than just the base operating system when it delivers NetWare 5.0 by Sept. 20.

NetWare 5.0 customers also will get a copy of Netscape's FastTrack Web server and a five-user license of Oracle's Oracle 8.0 database when they purchase the product. Novell officials said Monday that a five-user version of the entire NetWare 5.0 bundle will sell for $1,195 (£728). Novell, Oracle, Netscape and other Microsoft competitors have complained that Microsoft is including everything but the kitchen sink in its NT operating system -- a complaint that many expect to be critical to the U.S. Department of Justice's ongoing antitrust case against Microsoft going forward. Microsoft Monday cited the common practice of integrating web technologies in the server as one reason for dismissing the federal antitrust case. Microsoft has subpoenaed Novell, Sun, Caldera and other vendors in search of information on their application and networking integration strategies. Novell was the only one of the handful of vendors that refused to provide the requested information, citing privacy concerns.

During a Monday conference call on NetWare 5.0 pricing and availability, company officials highlighted what they described as NetWare 5.0's reliability, scalability and ease of use. Novell plans to reduce the number of NetWare packages, or SKUs, from 215 to 36 "to make our channel more efficient," said John Slitz, senior vice president of marketing. He said Novell has 20,000 resellers, distributors and partners. Novell claims customers have obtained more than 350,000 pre-release versions of NetWare 5.0 to date. The company said it currently has 296 applications certified and tested to run on NetWare 5.0. It also said it has 264 corporate servers at Novell currently running NetWare 5.0. "We are going to eat our own cooking," said Slitz.

Novell is touting NetWare 5.0 as a "specialised" network operating system, as opposed to Microsoft's "general-purpose" NT Server. The company is pushing Novell Directory Services (NDS), the heart of NetWare, as its biggest selling point. NetWare 5.0's native IP support also will lead many users to upgrade, officials claimed.

According to Novell's own research, " 80 percent of our installed base wants to be pure IP within two years," said Brian Faustyn, product line manager for NetWare

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