Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 22nd Jun 2006 14:09 UTC, submitted by Flatline
Novell and Ximian Novell's board of directors on Thursday named Ron Hovsepian CEO and president to replace Jack Messman, and ousted the company's chief financial officer. In a conference call on Thursday, company executives said the changes were made to accelerate the growth at Novell, which has had disappointing financial results, particularly in its Linux business.
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chemical_scum
Member since:
2005-11-02

I thought they are doing pretty well in Linux!!!

Yes you are right here and Thom has got it wrong. Their Linux revenues are increasing significantly. However it is by far the smaller part of their revenue, the larger part being from the remaining Netware licensing.

Novells problem is that the Netware side of the business is declining, in absolute cash terms, faster than the Linux side is growing.

Reply Parent Score: 1

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Yes you are right here and Thom has got it wrong. Their Linux revenues are increasing significantly. However it is by far the smaller part of their revenue, the larger part being from the remaining Netware licensing.

It's all relative. There linux revenue is up 20% year-over-year, which sounds impressive, but still only amounts to $10M, which is hardly impressive.

Novell paid $210M cash for Suse, and an undisclosed but likely much lower amount for Ximian. Given that they allowed many of the core Suse people to flee in disgust and have had to work to rebuild their EMEA linux business to an extent because of that, and given that they continue to pour so many of their resources into mono, which has yet to translate into a tangible benefit and likely never will, it's questionable as to why Novell even bothered acquiring and didn't just do what other commercial distros do and leach from Debian.

Even being generous and considering OES utilizes Suse but is recognized seperately, they are still a long way from recouping those investments.

Don't forget that last year Messman was predicting this would be the year Novell knocked out Microsoft on the desktop. Remember all the noise about being the only $1B linux company? They're still running a far distant second to Red Hat.

So in that context, I would say their linux financial results have been and continue to be very disappointing.

They need to quit talking about how they're going to lead, and start actually doing something to make it happen.

Reply Parent Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""it's questionable as to why Novell even bothered acquiring and didn't just do what other commercial distros do and leach from Debian."""

Just a small nit. I'm a big believer in making the license actually say what is expected of the user. (In this case, the packager/distributor.) If the license puts forth terms and those terms are followed, the user really can't be called a "leacher". If the author does consider the users who are following the terms of the license to be leachers, then his choice of license was wrong.

For example, if a project like OpenSSH released under a BSD license and then complained that companies were not giving enough back, that would just mean that the license did not match what the authors were really expecting and would indicate a poor choice of license on their part.

Reply Parent Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

There linux revenue is up 20% year-over-year, which sounds impressive, but still only amounts to $10M....Novell paid $210M cash for Suse, and an undisclosed but likely much lower amount for Ximian.

Just think how many years it will take to recoup that investment.

Given that they allowed many of the core Suse people to flee in disgust

They've lost an awful lot of their own people like Chris Stone and Alan Nugent as well. Both those guys left in strange circumstances, and just seem to have been forced out. Juergen Geck was a very highly respected CTO at Suse by all accounts, particularly by the people Suse worked with at IBM and he seemed to have a good handle on where things would be in a few years' time - grounded in reality. Contrast that with Novell's new CTO Jeffrey Jaffe, who seems to be picking up every soundbite thrown off the back of a lorry (truck) - and blogging about it.

In short, they've lost all the good people who could have got them out of this sorry mess.

and given that they continue to pour so many of their resources into mono

If Mono is going to be the development technology that will enable Novell to write the applications and graphical tools they need without sapping away resources, then fine - all religious issues and technical dislikes put aside. However, they're going to have to have a whole division pouring developers, time, money and resources into developing and maintaining it just to make it good enough for Novell internally to use, let alone third-party ISVs.

Looking at how much Microsoft has to pour into maintaining and developing .Net you would have to say that Novell maintaining their own version is a non-starter. Certainly, no one like IBM, Red Hat or Sun is interested. What they need is to use development technology maintained in a real community, or partner with another company.

Even being generous and considering OES utilizes Suse but is recognized seperately

I think few people have any idea of what OES is. Is it Linux? Is it Netware? Which one am I supposed to be using Novell? People have better things to do than choose kernels.

Don't forget that last year Messman was predicting this would be the year Novell knocked out Microsoft on the desktop.

As Novell have been saying for a good two years now, which they seem to have picked up from Ximian who were saying it a good three years before Novell. I think it's done no end of harm to the general perception of desktop Linux, which in many unpublicised places, is doing a good job for people.

Reply Parent Score: 1