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Software firm Novell expects the launch of its collaboration suite GroupWise 7 to help it to claw back some of the losses it recorded in the second quarter.

The group, which posted a net loss of $16m in its fiscal second quarter results, has announced the open Beta availability of the latest version of its popular GroupWise suite. GroupWise 7 features enhancements to overall usability of the product, according to Novell, which says the latest version introduces integrated e-mail and instant messaging, enhanced Outlook support and a pre-bundled SuSE Linux Enterprise Server.

"We wanted to take a practical approach with this version of GroupWise," Ed Anderson, vice president, global product marketing Linux and open source services Novell, told ElectricNews.Net. "To that end we targeted practical issues such as interface and usability and tried to address our customers' main points of concern."

The product is likely to go down well with GroupWise customers who generally come from the SME sector as well as the government and legal sectors, according to Anderson.

Novell expects its GroupWise customer base to quickly adopt the updated version of the product suite. "Our GroupWise customer base track really well with us," said Anderson. "About 90 per cent of our customers are currently using version 6.5."

The software firm, which is in the process of repositioning itself as a Linux provider, expects the addition of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server in the GroupWise release to expand the appeal of Linux worldwide. The inclusion of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server allows GroupWise customers to eliminate server costs, said Anderson. Meanwhile on the client side, GroupWise supports Windows, Linux, Macintosh, web browser and mobile devices.

With the release of GroupWise 7 the firm also confirmed its long term commitment to the product saying it will support it until 2015. "This announcement is an attempt to tell our customers that we are in it for the long haul," said Anderson.

Novell employs 125 in Ireland at its Grand Canal Street premises in Dublin. Earlier this year, the company acquired IT asset management software firm Tally Systems, which based its European headquarters in Dublin.

Copyright © 2005, ENN

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