Novell promises long-term NetWare support

Novell promises long-term NetWare support

Summary: NetWare and GroupWise will continue to be supported until 2010 and beyond 'unless market conditions determine otherwise'

Novell said on Wednesday that it expects to support the next versions of GroupWise and NetWare until at least the end of this decade, easing concerns that it may soon stop supporting some of its proprietary applications.

Last week, some customers expressed concerns that Novell may soon withdraw support for proprietary applications as it embraces Linux and open source applications. In particular, some customers highlighted the risk to GroupWise, Novell's email and collaboration tool, which offers similar functionality to the open source alternatives SuSE Linux Openexchange Server and Evolution. At the time Steve Brown, the European vice-president of Novell, said that the company would continue providing support for GroupWise in the immediate future, but did not offer any long-term guarantees.

But Brian Green, Novell's European director of Linux solutions, told ZDNet UK on Wednesday that Novell has committed itself to supporting SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 for five years, and that he expects the next version of GroupWise, due in June 2005, will be supported for a similar length of time. "I would imagine it [GroupWise support] would be for a period of five years," said Green.

He said that there is little overlap between Openexchange server, which is based on Netline's Open-Xchange, and GroupWise as they target different markets.

"Right now the customers using GroupWise tend to be medium-sized businesses with thousands of users, while Netline is for smaller businesses," said Green. "They don't overlap too much -- some of the technology in GroupWise is not available in Openexchange."

As for its NetWare operating system, he said the now-defunct NetWare 3 had been supported for 13 years and pointed out this was longer than Microsoft Windows NT was supported for. As for NetWare 7, the next version of NetWare that has been integrated with SuSE Linux in its upcoming Open Enterprise Server product, Green said he expects this will be supported for even longer.

"NetWare 5 as a product we launched in 1998," said Green "It is still a supported product. Do I see that type of support continuing? Certainly. Unless market conditions determine otherwise."

Novell claims to have around 90 million NetWare users and 35 million GroupWise users worldwide. But, these numbers are expected to fall over time -- analyst group IDC predicted in 2003 that Novell's share of the server operating system market would fall to 1.3 percent by 2006.

Topic: Apps

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  • Myself and a number of colleagues are just plain weary from reading badly planned and implemented journalism.

    It is hard enough in the world as a whole, reading between the lines to get the truth.

    To blatantly try and create a picture in the passing readers mind that products are to be phased out, JUST on concerns from customers, which is basically hearsay is damn right incompetant.

    The fact that you are only now seeking Novells opinion and didnt express it in the original article leads me to wonder just what proportion of your advertising revenue comes from Microsoft and its affiliates.

    Try harder
  • Pretty typical ZDNet "reporting". Start with a faux positive tagline and get progressively more negative.
    Each company comment is nicely tagged with a "but" to make sure the negative slant is continued.
  • Your comment is welcome, but a little misirected I feel. The story is, although balanced editorially, a postivie story for Novell, as it reporting the company's assurances that NetWare and GroupWise will be supported into the next decade - something that the copmany noticeably failed to commit to at its recent customer event in London.

    The one 'but' in the story is actually used to introduce a positive comment from the company after a paragraph explaining its earlier reticence to furnish customers will assurances of long-term support. Below that, the story is all about Novell backing up its position, save possibly for one final and very short comment providing an outlook from IDC. Even so, your criticism is clearly misdirected.
  • Pretty typical is right. I'm beginning to stop reading these. Like aI learned a long time ago, the media is the message.
  • So very incompetent amd LAZY! How can you cite a 2003 study that was based on old information and pre-dates Nterprise Linux Services, GroupWise on Linux, the Ximian acquistion, the SUSE acquisition, and the very successful beta of Open Enterprise Server? Much has happened since that old study and their predictions are not panning out. How can you ignore all of the positive press from Novell and other analysts that has been released since 2003? Are you paid to ignore it or are you LAZY? DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
  • I cannot believe that a publication such as this would cite a 2003 study. Perhaps, the publication or the writer receives special things from Microsoft to add little sentences like this to an otherwise VERY positive article on Novell, OES, GroupWise and such.

    Novell has supported its products far longer than Microsoft. It takes a $35 million dollar tax-payer funded check from the U.S. Army to get Microsoft to continue support for its NT4 server that is in use all over the globe, mainly because the political structure of the DoD won't make any decisions to upgrade, migrate or replace servers.

    The Army and the DoD would do much better to dismiss its plans to use Exchange and AD and look seriously at OES, GroupWise and eDirectory/Identity Management. But then, they can't because someone might have to make a decision to abandon well over a $billion$ in money spent on paper and pencil-level planning projects.

    Novell and its Linux Desktop along with GroupWise, eDirectory, OES, ZENworks, etc. will re-capture the market it had before we were fed the lies and FUD by Microsoft. I'm betting that nearly 30% of the worlds desktops will be some flavor of Linux before the elusive "Longhorn" release comes out in 200?