Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Mar 2007 21:04 UTC
Novell and Ximian "Novell on Mar. 1 announced preliminary financial results for its 2007 fiscal year first quarter, showing net revenue of USD 230 million. The first quarter's revenue represented a decline of USD 12 million, or about 5 percent, from the prior year's first quarter revenue of USD 242 million. Despite the unexceptional overall results during the first fiscal quarter 2007, however, Novell reported USD 15 million of revenue from Linux Platform Products, up 46 percent year-over-year, and USD 91 million of invoicing, up a whopping 659 percent year-over-year. Linux - make no doubt about it - is Novell's future."
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Business as usual
by moleskine on Sat 3rd Mar 2007 00:36 UTC
Member since:

What these figures show is that Novell is doing a good job on Linux, though starting from a very low base, but is quite unable to stop the slide in its traditional, core business. Folks are not transitioning from Netware to Novell's new replacement offerings; instead they are moving off to "competitors", er in most cases Microsoft, one presumes.

The problem for Novell is that the slide in their core business is many times greater in financial terms than the growth in their Linux business. So a nasty gap has developed and it is gradually pulling the company down. If Novell, today, suddenly became a pure Linux business, then it would be about one-tenth of the size it is now. So, 90 per cent of Novell's employees would be fired and the results would go from turning over +/- a billion a year to +/- $100 million a year, if even that.

Novell's Microsoft deal has, literally, bought it cash. So that's the gap plugged, for a short while. And then? Novell's financial plight makes SuSE look like a risky play, a play with a fatal weakness, no matter how good you think the SuSE products are (and most folks, rightly, think them very good indeed).

The solution, eventually, will probably be some kind of buyout or rescue of what is left of Novell. That's why it is fatuous and propagandist to claim that Linux is Novell's future. If Novell ever gets to the point where Linux is all it has left, it will no longer be Novell or remotely recognizable for the company it is today. The horror is that by then SuSE could have become one of Microsoft's portfolio of server tools, perhaps with a smiling Mr Ballmer praising SuSE's rich heritage of hyper-leveraged profit-enhancement and cash-engineering technologies, etc, etc.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Business as usual
by porcel on Sat 3rd Mar 2007 14:44 in reply to "Business as usual"
porcel Member since:

All this gloom and doom is uncalled for. Novell is the only company to offer a corporate desktop worth deploying, easy to support with a tested directory service and a tested groupware server.

Novell's biggest problem is that it hasn't learned that they way to get people to pay for support is to give away the software to enough admins so that they will run it at home and in small scale installations and charge support and customization for the big installations for bigger clients.

But as far as products go, Novell is unmatched in the Linux or directory service space.

Have they made mistakes? Plenty.

1) Getting in bed with Microsoft.

2) Not making KDE their corporate desktop, which would ease development because it rests on a foundation that is easier to support and extend. If I were running a Linux corporate desktop, there is no way in hell that I would be supporting two desktops, although I would support applications from both desktops.

3) Going for .NET and the whole mono enchilada, with the attendant performance and legal issues. Without mono, the deal with Microsoft may have never happened.

Red Hat has a huge first-player advantage in the corporate market, but don't discount Novell. They offer some truly amazing products.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Business as usual
by kaiwai on Sun 4th Mar 2007 09:43 in reply to "RE: Business as usual"
kaiwai Member since:

Going for .NET and the whole mono enchilada, with the attendant performance and legal issues. Without mono, the deal with Microsoft may have never happened.

Hmm, the legal issues aren't the big problem; the big problem is the continual payments required to Microsoft from the Linux camp - but the person to blame for bringing dot net to Linux isn't Novell or Ximian; the bringing of dot net to Linux was merely a biproduct of Sun unwilling to opensource Java with its list of lies and excuses as to why they couldn't do it.

If there wasn't the issue with Sun and Java was opensource, the need to bring dot net to Linux would never have existed and Novell would have spent time along with Red Hat creating Java bindings for GNOME based technologies along with making SWT-GTK the default Java widget set for GNOME development.

The irony of the whole thing, Beagle was a port of an existing Java product that was adapted to mono and GNOME - so we would have gotten many of the features we see today except running on some sort of enhanced version of Java which included shared VM and the likes.

Regarding the performance hit of VM based software as bought up in your post; there is nothing wrong with VM based software, its benefits in regards to speeding up software development, improved stability and security - Lotus Notes 8.0 which is in development and based on on the Eclipse framework is an awesome application and definately defuses any 'Java is crap for general purpose applications'.

Java doesn't suck; Swing sucks, and the horse that is constantly beaten by Sun isn't going to correct the situation; SWT-GTK should ultimately be the defacto standard widget kit for Java development IMHO, it integrates well with *NIX GNOME desktop.

One (or a couple) bad experience with Java shouldn't be used as a benchmark as to whether the idea of Java persay is a good framework for GNOME or whether Mono is.

Reply Parent Score: 2