Feeds

Novell drops its Hula challenger to Microsoft

Open source has its limits

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Novell has abandoned an open source project hyped as challenging Microsoft Outlook and Exchange by becoming the "Apache" of email and collaboration software.

The company has pulled full-time engineers off project Hula following lacklustre demand. Engineers are "moving to other roles", according to the Hula mailing list.

Novell announced Hula amid a fanfare at LinuxWorld, Boston, in February 2005 by donating 200,000 lines of code from its NetMail collaboration server to the community. Novell's then chief executive Jack Messman predicted Hula would "become for collaboration what Apache is to servers". Apache is the internet's number one web server.

Hula drew strong support from the Mozilla Foundation, Open Source Applications Foundation, Open Source Development Labs, and O'Reilly Media's father of Web 2.0 Tim O'Reilly. Branding Hula as a "project to watch", O'Reilly called Hula "a great opportunity for open source to leapfrog commercial software applications rather than just playing catch up".

The market disagreed. Novell's Peter Teichman wrote: "As a team we have spent a lot of time looking at where the Hula project is and the opportunities in the market and in the end we had to conclude that we couldn't justify investing at the same level in Hula."

The Hula server featured SMTP, IMAP, and support for the CalDAV calendar access protocol. According to Teichman though, that amounts to just another mail server. "Every organisation we've talked to already has mail infrastructure. Bringing Hula in for the web mail means duplicating their SMTP, IMAP, and POP set up."

Hula will go down as yet another failed effort by Novell to challenge Microsoft on the desktop and in collaboration at a time when Google is re-inventing the medium with hosted services like Gmail and Apps for your Domain.

Hula will also be remembered as an example of IT vendors interpreting open source and community to mean dumping code into open source for street cred, and how such efforts will fail unless a clearly identifiable market has been identified. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really
Windows NEIN skipped, tech preview due out on Wednesday
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.