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Novell yesterday underlined its commitment to open source technologies by confirming that its flagship network services platform will run on either NetWare or Linux kernels.

NetWare will cease to exist as a standalone product and instead we will have Novell Open Enterprise Server, a collection of networking services, including Nterprise Linux Services, designed to interoperate between the NetWare and SuSE Linux environments. Novell Nterprise Linux Services provide an integrated package for file, print, messaging, directory and management services.

Novell execs stressed that the company is adding Linux - not abandoning NetWare. Marrying NetWare and SuSE Linux has been Novell's plans since last year and the company couldn't be happier the two technologies are to be wed nine months ahead of schedule.

For Novell customers the integration between NetWare 7 and SuSE Linux Enterprise 9 means greater flexibility. For example, users could have NetWare servers delivering their print services and SuSE Linux servers running their file system, or vice versa, and print between the two.

At its annual BrainShare shindig yesterday, Novell announced a series of further open source initiatives building on its acquisitions of Linux desktop firm Ximian and Linux distro SuSE Linux last year.

Both its SuSE Linux systems management tool, YaST, and Novell's iFolder, personal storage and filing technology, are to be released to the open source community. Novell also flagged up plans for a company-wide shift to Linux on the desktop.

As if this wasn't enough, Novell surprised delegates with the surprise of Linux founder Linus Torvalds. He didn't say much - beyond criticising software patents and praising Novell's development efforts - but who cares, it's Linus Torvalds! In Utah!

In other technology news, Novell yesterday announced the open beta of ZENworks 6.5, its resource management software. ZenWorks is designed to help companies manage servers, desktops and handheld devices across multiple platforms. The latest version includes new capabilities to manage Linux and Windows 2003 environments, as well as integrated patch management features for greater network security.

Novell also unveiled the roadmap for its Nsure and exteNd identity services platform, which will include simplified identity management through a new visual identity integration and configuration tool based on the Eclipse open source development framework. ®

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