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Novell through the years

Once a dominant force in corporate networks, company has transformed itself dramatically

By Network World staff, Network World
November 22, 2010 12:26 PM ET

Network World - 1979: Novell Data Systems is founded in Provo, Utah, as a maker of computers and disk operating systems.

 1983: Safeguard Scientifics, a venture capital firm, reincorporates NDSI as Novell, Inc, with Ray Noorda becoming president and CEO.  Company introduces NetWare, a network operating system that by the early 1990s would claim a 70% market share.

1986: Introduces GroupWise messaging and collaboration software.

1993: Acquires Unix System Laboratories from AT&T, securing rights to the Unix operating system (parts of which would be transferred to the Santa Cruz operation two years later).

1994: Acquires WordPerfect and Quattro Pro from Borland, only to sell them to Corel shortly afterward. Robert Frankenberg replaces Noorda as CEO. NetWare 4.0 is released.

1996: Announces plan to make company's products "Internet-ready."

1997: Eric Schmidt becomes CEO.

1999: Microsoft Windows 2000 tops NetWare for NOS market leadership position.

2001: Acquires Massachusetts-based Cambridge Technology Partners, whose CEO Jack Messman would later become CEO of Novell.

 2002: Acquires SilverStream Software, which specializes in Web services-oriented application development.

2003: Acquired open source application developer Ximian, as well as SuSE, maker of a leading Linux distribution, marking the company's commitment to a future product line based on Linux.

2005: Released Open Enterprise Server, which offered a choice between a NetWare or SuSE Linux Enterprise Server kernel.

2006: Ronald Hovsepian replaces Messman as CEO. Company announces controversial joint patent agreement with Microsoft.

2009: Reorganizes into two business units called: Security, Management, and Operating Platforms; and Collaboration Solutions.

March, 2010: Declines buyout offer from Elliott Associates, L.P., which owns about 8.5% of the company's stock.

Nov. 22, 2010: Agrees to be acquired by Attachmate for $2.2 billion, which includes the $450-million sale of certain intellectual property assets to CPTN Holdings, a technology consortium led by Microsoft.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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