Novell failing to fight off Microsoft

Gates' "noose" tightens around customers' necks...

Gates' "noose" tightens around customers' necks...

Novell is facing a mass exodus of customers away from its products as 81 per cent say they are considering a switch over to Microsoft. Worse still for Novell, 73 per cent of users with mixed Novel/Microsoft environments say they are not planning to use any future Novell products. According to a survey by networking services provider LANkind, companies which previously used only Novell products are looking to introduce a mixture of products from the two rivals. Although, not always by choice. Chris Alberry, sales and marketing director at LANkind, said: "A lot of people in the Novell world are having to adopt Microsoft back-end systems. The noose that Microsoft has put around businesses is that their latest version of SQL and Exchange 2000 demands Windows 2000 server and Active Directory. "This leaves businesses with little choice but to adopt Microsoft as opposed to a Novell alternative or run previous versions of Exchange on Windows NT." The advent of Windows XP has instilled users with confidence in Microsoft, said Alberry. The Microsoft marketing machine can also be credited with enticing corporate customers. Microsoft is due to bring in changes to its licences on 31 July. Under the revised scheme users have to buy into a three-year subscription model and pay a one-off upfront fee. But in the past UK plc has resisted such changes. Last September the UK's leading user group, The Infrastructure Forum (tif), called on the UK government to investigate the changes. It claimed its 98 members, with a combined IT budget of £18bn, could end up paying more than £880m extra per year under the scheme. David Roberts, chief executive at tif, told silicon.com his members are still against the changes. "The changes were largely unannounced and came in the middle of many organisations' budgeting year. This surprise increase was unwelcome and attracted a lot of boardroom attention which is not something the IT manager wants to do over licensing costs," said Roberts. The change in policy will cost the average company an extra 90 per cent per year, he added. LANkind surveyed 2, 500 customer contacts for this survey. For related news, see
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