Feeds

Novell forces customers to pay for maintenance

Patches and service packs? That'll cost ya

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Commercial operating system and add-on systems software maker Novell this week felt the ire of its user base, as it warned partners that in a few months it would be requiring that customers get a maintenance contract on software before they would get access to patches, updates, and technical documents for that software.

It seems that a lot of people didn't read all the way through the letter that John Dragoon - Novell's chief marketing officer and the guy who is also in charge of the company's channel - sent before getting angry at Novell's impending policy change. (You can read this letter here in the Novell support forums, compliments of a business partner who received it from the company).

What Dragoon explained in that letter was that earlier this year - this actually happened in March 2009, Dragoon explained in an interview with El Reg - Novell had already required that all customers buy a maintenance contract of some sort (the company offers different terms and service levels) along with software licenses for its key products.

This was done to help Novell and its partner channel boost their sales and to spread the cost of supporting Novell's customers with its myriad products across the full customer base, not just those who pay for maintenance through their own volition.

With the policy that Novell was getting ready to institute on November 15, according to the letter above, Novell was not just going to require customers buying new licenses of software to get maintenance contracts. It would also require a maintenance contract to allow its installed base of customers to access service packs and patches. All security patches for all Novell products are provided for free and would continue to be. Dragoon also said that in early 2010, Novell would require users to have a maintenance contract to be able to access its knowledge base and technical documents relating to its software.

The gnashing of teeth began shortly after this hit the forums. And Colleen O'Keefe, senior vice president of teleweb and operations for Novell's services group, jumped on the Novell forums with a post that tried to clarify, explaining that this change would not affect SUSE Linux products. These are distributed for free, given their open source nature, but they require a subscription already to get patches and updates other than the freebie security patches.

O'Keefe added that the change in maintenance requirements did not apply to NetWare, to any products that have moved beyond "the general support phase of the product lifecycle," or to customers with ALA/SLA licenses in academia, who get all kinds of breaks from Novell.

This didn't calm the Novell base down all that much, apparently.

So Novell has rethought its plan and made some changes, says Dragoon.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Next page: The Rethink

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
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.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.