Novell: OpenOffice is key

Novell: OpenOffice is key

Summary: Novell CEO: Open Office is the 'holy grail'


The popularity of OpenOffice, the open source productivity suite, will be key to the financial success of Novell, said company president and CEO, Ron Hovsepian, who hopes to be a 'custodian' between the open source community and the commercial world.

(Please click the Playlist above to access the four-part video.)

OpenOffice is a direct competitor to Microsoft Office. "The financial holy grail is actually the office productivity suite ... when you look at structures of companies there is a lot of profitability in those product sets from the competition," Hovsepian said at a media briefing in Sydney yesterday.

Real-time collaboration was also flagged as an important market, with Hovsepian predicting that enterprises could benefit from looking at projects such as Hula, which is still in its alpha development stage, to provide collaboration solutions not possible with proprietary products.

"Real-time collaboration between organisations is going to become more important and that is going to be more difficult with all of the older products in the market -- Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes etc.

"In Hula there is so much more real-time stuff coming. This is a young, evolving market at this point and a lot of the pieces are going to move around for the next couple of years before we see it shake out," he said.

In acting as a bridge between the commercial and open source worlds, he said: "What we have done with the open source community around OpenOffice ... and our commitment to ODF (Open Document Format) ... is a very powerful statement.

"We are just one of many custodians that work with the community. Nobody is ever going to own the community and that is the good news ... you can't kill it. We have to define ourselves as a custodian to the community and to the commercial customers -- that is our role," he added.

Yesterday, in a video interview, he said Novell will continue its march against Microsoft and any uptake of Vista despite a recent alliance with the software giant.

Topics: Open Source, Enterprise Software, Linux, Microsoft, Servers

Munir Kotadia

About Munir Kotadia

Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.

Munir was recognised as Australia's Best Technology Columnist at the 5th Annual Sun Microsystems IT Journalism Awards 2007. In the previous year he was named Best News Journalist at the Consensus IT Writers Awards.

He no longer uses his Commodore 64.


Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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  • Where's Outlook?

    I support OpenOffice and open products in general. The last thing I want to do is write out another cheque to Microsoft.

    But, why would a corporation replace Office 2007 and Outlook with OpenOffice
  • Going nowhere

    ..for a company going nowhere fast, Novell seem to be gettng lots of copy space. Just hurry up and fold - you're getting tedious..
  • No where fast

    You will go no where fast with that outlook on software. Think of all the fast mover software companies in the last 10 years - the big ones are not one of them. The ones that are fast movers were the unlikely - Google, apple etc. Think of YouTube - an overnight success NOT based on corporate business models such as Microsoft
  • Uh-huh...

    So what you are teling me is that Novell has a non-corporate business model?
  • read carefully

    I don't think I happened to address Novell in my statement. Nevertheless, they do encourage innovation, open standards support open-source free community products that directly compete with their corporate offerings. Thanks for pointing that out.
  • Oh dear..

    Don't confuse open standards with open source - they ain't the same.. and wasn't this article about Novell??
  • oh yes

    Well done, yeah, one of the words is different.
    As I read it, Novell was commenting on Openoffice's importance in the scheme of things. How do you read it, another way obviously, 'cause openoffice and Novell are the same thing right?
  • Outlook replacement

    Have a look at Evolution for Outlook replacement. It is quite cool, also part of SLED 10.
  • swings and roundabouts

    Hasn't Novell previously dabbled in the desktop productivity space and been hammered by its competition, memories of Wordperfect flood back.
    Now they want to charge money for what is uspposed to be a free product; is this to recoup the $900 million USD they lost last time they played in this space????
  • wordperfect

    You probably also remember that it was a good product, however seeming though you are a dedicated $MS worshipper I doubt that you would say anything other than the obvious.

    Swallow the red pill, John.
  • Evolution is not a multiplataform option

    Evolution is part of Gnome desktop so, if you you Microsoft Windows as any of the Microsoft Office users do, Evolution is not an option.

    At my work, they haven't dropped Microsoft Office because the lack of an option to Microsoft Outlook.
  • Split the problem into two pieces

    I think you make a good point, but progress can be made nevertheless. Split the problem into two pieces: replacing Outlook, and replacing the rest of MS Office.

    Part two is solved with OpenOffice. You can run OpenOffice in lieu of MS Word, Excel, PPT, etc, and simply buy a (much cheaper) license just for Outlook.

    Later, as programs like OSAF Chandler and Cosmo, Novell's Hula, Zimbra, and Open-Xchange reach the point where they will do what you need, you can migrate from Outlook to one of these options.
  • Wordperfect

    Yes Wordperfect the DOS product was the absolute best out there and is sorely missed. The first Windows edition was crap (dos version in a windows shell), and then Novell purchased it and turned it into dust before selling it off to Corel I think. Ah for the old days of the 286 with DOS and wordperfect 5.1
  • Not entirely

  • Outlook is just email to many

    While many folks do use the calendar function of Outlook, in my experience they make up only 20% of users (even less use the calendar sharing with Exchange). About 8 in 10 Outlook users never use the calendaring functions. I suppose that's why Microsoft replaced Outlook with OneNote in the entry level version of Office 2007.
  • Evolution for Windows available

    I have tried Evolution on XP. It is not quite polished as it is in Linux, but it is functional, but slower. However, the version I used was from last year.

    Just google, "Evolution for Windows" then you will find a link to download the program for free.
  • Who needs Outlook?

    One of the biggest misconseptions is people think that they must have Outlook. I use a CRM program called Maximizer that leaves Outlook eating it's dust! I have full integration with my PDA and use Thunderbird as the email client of choice.

    I get so tired of people being so "brainwashed" as not to realize there are other commercial products out there that, in many ways, are better than Outlook.