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Novell continues to open up

Novell shows its open source colors

By Phil Hochmuth, Network World
July 12, 2004 11:23 AM ET

Novell made some recent moves to show its new open source colors to the industry.

The vendor, which helped pioneer client/server technology with its NetWare brand, acquired two Linux companies last year, SuSE and Ximian. These moves were designed to bring Novell closer to Linux and open source software, as NetWare continued to lose market share to Linux in recent years.

Recently, Novell said that it will stop investing in the development of certain proprietary software products and use open source tools as an alternative where applicable. Also, the vendor released the first version of its Mono development platform - a software development and runtime environment for creating and running Microsoft .Net applications on Linux and other platforms. 

Novell said that it will deemphasize development of its BorderManager VPN software, in favor of open source alternatives, of which there are many that offer encrypted tunneling and VPN functionality. Novell said this is the first step in a series of upcoming moves aimed at transitioning the vendor to an open source company, with a focus on services and support, instead of licensing as a way to generate revenue. Novell says it will still support BorderManager users, but customers will be encouraged to adopt open source packages going forward.

The Mono 1.0 platform was developed originally by Ximian, which as mentioned above, Novell acquired last August. The package includes a runtime environment for .Net software, a C# compiler, as well as development tools for creating .Net-compatible applications in a Linux environment. Over 50,000 beta versions of Mono have been released today. The platform also runs on Mac OS X, Widows and Unix. 

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

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