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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Business users now buy Linux on security and reliability, not just cost, says Novell boss

Novell president and chief operating officer Ron Hovsepian sees the acquisition of the JBoss application server by Red Hat as having “further validated our early adoption of JBoss.”  Novell still has a satisfactory contract in place with JBoss in its new guise, despite its favouring of the Suse distribution of Linux.  The company claims to have a consistent code base from mainframe servers through to mid-range servers and down to the desktop.  Business users’ decision-making criteria on Linux have shifted from cost to reliability, scalability and security, says Hovsepian.

Novell announced Suse Linux Enterprise 10 at its Brainshare conference last month. Earlier the same month, at Cebit in Hanover, it announced its Enterprise Linux Desktop.
The aim is to give business users a desktop that does not require them to be Linux buffs, says Hovsepian. And also to add the functions that the business user expects from a proprietary operating system such as Windows.

“We have focused on interoperability, interfacing it with common directories like Active Directory and e-directory,” he says. Novell has transferred some of the macros from Excel to Open Office, easing transition. “We’ve focused on usability”, conducting focus groups through to identify problems for the typical user in Linux’s Gnome and KDE GUIs, says Hovsepian.Novell has sold security and identity management software, such as Novell Identity Manager, eDirectory and SecureLogin, for a number of years.

Posted on 04/27