Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Oct 2006 15:04 UTC, submitted by Moulinneuf
Novell and Ximian Ray Noorda, the son of Dutch immigrants who drove Novell Netware to become the dominant local area network operating system in the 1980s, died Monday at the age of 82 after a long bout with Alzheimer's disease. Noorda was the first to clearly articulate that the many interoperating parts of the computer industry meant that one company needed to cooperate with another to ensure their products worked together. In some realms, they might be both partners and competitors, he noted, in a relationship he summed up as 'co-opetition'.
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Goodbye, Ray...
by tomcat on Tue 10th Oct 2006 21:04 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

Without question, Ray Noorda was a brilliant guy, but I think that two of the reasons that Novell fell were that (1) they hung onto vertical integration too long, and (2) they failed to embrace a GUI for server administration. On the first point, there was a time when you could only buy Novell servers prepackaged on proprietary hardware. The problem was that Novell's competitors -- namely, Dell, HP, and others -- started selling servers running commodity hardware and software (Windows NT). Novell's solution was more expensive, with little practical benefit. Don't get me wrong: Novell produced a good product ... but it was difficult for them to compete against this juggernaut. It's the same dynamic that Sun ran into on low end servers (and eventually Apple, on the desktop). As for administration, you can whine and moan about how "real administrators don't use a GUI" but that's backwards thinking. NT started taking significant market share away from Novell based on ease-of-use. Nonetheless, Noorda should be remembered for popularizing LANs and WANs.

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