• United States

Stop yanking us around

Apr 13, 20042 mins
Enterprise Applications

* What's in a Novell name? Confusion

I’ve now been told on good authority that just because next winter’s operating system shipment will be called “Open Enterprise Server” doesn’t mean the name NetWare will no longer be attached to a product.

Even though the new operating system will be a set of services resembling current NetWare 6.5 services, and even though it will ship with both Linux and NetWare kernels, we shouldn’t conclude that it is the next version of NetWare or even the successor to NetWare 6.5.

Open Enterprise Server is a new product, according to my contact at Novell. He went on to say: “We made no statement regarding the continued use of the NetWare name, and no decision has yet been made. We frequently test the value of all of our brands, and of course we will continue do so with NetWare before we make any decisions regarding the future of the name. As you so clearly pointed out, we certainly don’t want to do anything that confuses our customers.”

Has Novell ever done anything that’s confused you?

No, let me restate that – how many times has Novell done something to confuse you?

Now I’ve said that the Linux moves were good moves. I’m on record as supporting Novell’s use of open source products to complement NetWare. I still think that some of the best software you can use on your network, some of the best software you can use to run your enterprise and some of the best management and infrastructure software originates in Provo, Utah. But then there are those people in Waltham, Mass. As one reader wrote to me, regarding OES, “They are the kind of people that take a strong, reasonably well known company with more than 80% of the networking market and turn it into an unknown shell with almost no market share and only one product anyone has heard of (NetWare), then rename that product to noodleware, or middleware or whatever it was you said.” It certainly sounds like he was confused.

Really, Novell, that’s all your loyal users want – to not be yanked around and confused. That isn’t too much to ask, especially by the folks who have been paying your bills for the last few years.

Come back next time and I’ll have some really nice things to say about the company.