\'Giving back to OSS\' – Novell

By   |  May 28, 2004

Novell this week said its involvement in the open source community is intended to foster greater development in the sector. Ed Anderson, Novell\’s vice president for enterprise, said during the opening address ofthe three day long Brainshare conference that the company is trying to \”give back to the open source community more than we have taken from it.\”

Novell earlier this year acquired two of the best known open source companies when they bought desktop developers Ximian and Germany-based SuSE Linux. Since then Novell has become one of the loudest advocates of open source software and has quickly rolloed out roadmaps and strategies to take advantage of its recent acquisitions.

Anderson said that since the company completed the two acquisitions earlier this year Novell has already released a range of its own as well as SuSE\’s software technology into the open source community. These releases include the Yast installer, which was previously a key proprietary piece of SuSE Linux\’s software offering, as well as iFolder, Novells own technology for sharing documents and files.

Anderson said that open source and Linux are key technology advantages for the company. \”Open source may not be a complete replacement for proprietary software, but what it does do is bring to bear on problems the very people that are interested and concerned about solving the problem. It is a practical approach to solving problems.

\”Open source also recognises that one size does not fit all and offers us the opportunity to make the software fit our and your needs.\”

Anderson said that Linux and open source are also \”disruptive\” technologies. \”It is disruptive to traditional methods for developing software.\” As a company Anderson said Novell is looking to embrace the disruptive nature of OSS and innovate in areas not already addressed by the open source community. \”And we are working within the framework of the GPL license.\”

As a company, said Anderson, \”we are walking the talk with Linux. We are very serious about the direction the company is taking.\”

Joe Ruthven, Linux evangelist for IBM, said that IBM together with Novell are working to establish a Linux competency centre in South Africa in the second half of this year. Ruthven said the opportunity for Linux is enormous. \”There are more than two million NT servers worldwide that are about to reach the end of their support. And there are about six million Windows 2000-based servers … and almost a million users of OS2. These offer a unique opportunity for Linux vendors.\”

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