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Novell puts Netware on life support until 2015

Open source and wireless star in Utah

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Novell will support Netware, the veteran, nay ancient, network operating system, until at least 2015. By which time, presumably everyone who ever used the system will be retired or dead.

Speaking yesterday at the company's annual Brainshare conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, Novell CEO Jack Messman said said the firm would support users of the latest (6.5) version of the network operating system software "as long as customers want to run it."

Netware users are not as plentiful as they once were, but they still represent an income stream of sorts for Novell. Which is just as well, as sales for its new flagship software, the SUSE Linux distro are not cutting much mustard, especially when compared with mighty Red Hat.

At BrainShare, yesterday Novell unwrapped SUSE Linux Enterprise 10. This is marketed as a platform for the open enterprise - features performance, security, virtualisation and management enhancements over previous versions of the software. It works with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, Novell's recently announced desktop platform.

To enable organisations to consolidate multiple workloads on a single server, SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 comes integrated with Xen 3.0, an open source standard for virtualisation services. SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 also features Novell AppArmor, an application-level security service, as part of plans to thwart hacking attacks.

Elsewhere at Brainshare, Novell announcement improved integration between its GroupWise messaging platform and Blackberry wireless devices from RIM. Novell also unveiled a significant expansion of its partnership with Dell, with plans by the hardware manufacture to sell Novell ZENworks 7 Linux Management with Dell PowerEdge servers running Linux starting in April.

Also, Novell detailed plans to add enhancements to its security and identity management products focused on helping customers to automate user provisioning, simplify single sign-on and manage shared network resources. Implementing single sign-on technology means that users need only log on once to access multiple applications. The idea is to reduce password headaches and save money by reducing helpdesk calls from forgetful users. ®

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