Novell puts the N in Linux, buys distributor SuSE – News Review
There’s a new way to spell Linux. The middle N now stands for Novell, and is written LINUX, with the N in Novell red. That’s after Novell bought German Linux distributor SuSE Linux last month for $210m.
Overnight Novell is pitching that it is the only $1bn company with Linux distribution but also with the worldwide staffing to support the product.
Anyone visiting its web site is drawn immediately into a survey on Linux, the results of which are likely to be used to fuel the company’s new obsession with Linux. And IBM has promised to back the new Novell Linux, putting $50m into Novell in the form of convertible stock and negotiating extensions to the current IBM and SuSE Linux agreements.
Earlier this year Novell shifted its own product set to lotus essentially on Linux rather than Windows environments, and bought Ximian, a leading developer of desktop utilities for Linux.
Over the past 12 months SuSE Linux has muscled in aggressively on market leader Red Hat’s territory, signing many deals with hardware and software companies that put it side by side with Red Hat. Red Hat is the leading US public Linux distributor valued at over $2bn still on Nasdaq, despite successive share price falls, totaling a 15% drop, since this deal was announced.
Red Hat’s shares could now be buffeted by those that think that it has lost its lead in Linux to SuSE and those
that think it might make a tasty takeover target. But Red Hat’s current valuation of $2bn will legislate against that until its value comes down further.
Novell and IBM are negotiating extensions to the current commercial agreements between IBM and SuSE Linux for support on IBM’s eServer and middleware products and on cross marketing agreements.
Novell expects the transaction to close by the end of its first fiscal quarter (January 2004).
Novell says that the purchase is all part of its plan to accelerate the adoption of Linux in the enterprise which it began three years ago when it first put its flagship eDirectory on Linux.
In April of this year, Novell announced it would do the same for NetWare.
Novell more recently put out a beta of the Nterprise Linux Services, which provides networking services for Linux and recently announced support for Microsoft Exchange 2003 via its Ximian Connector for Microsoft Exchange, allowing Linux and Sun Solaris clients the same rights, privileges and controls when attached to Exchange as a Windows email client.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Rethink Research Associates
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group