Novell's hopes are slim because of Ximian.

Story: Comment of the Day - November 19, 2005 - Novell impressionsTotal Replies: 4
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Nov 19, 2005
6:32 PM EDT
All of the wisdom and ingenuity of SuSE is being thrown down the drain. What's going on at Novell? It's simple: they've put a couple of children in charge of the company. I'm talking about the monkeys from Ximian, of course. Miguel de Icaza and Nat Friedman are a couple of pushy blowhards who talk a big game but don't know how to execute a business strategy. Sure, that gets you "popular kids" status on Slashdot, but it doesn't generate the millions of dollars in revenue required to sustain a company the size of Novell.

Novell still has time to reverse this downward spiral, but they've got to do it quickly:

1. Spin off Ximian. Those folks aren't adding any value to the company.

2. Reinstate SuSE's prior success by LISTENING TO CUSTOMERS, particularly European customers, since SuSE was the dominant Linux in Europe.

3. Cancel redundant and/or valueless projects like Hula and F-Spot which only exist for "me too" value. These projects have plenty of existing and successful alternatives; they aren't ever going to bring Novell any revenue.

4. Try to win back some of the SuSE executives who left, and PUT THEM IN CHARGE.

Nov 19, 2005
7:58 PM EDT
Ximian has some good people. Just not the ones Mr. Messman put in charge. When I heard him say that Nat and Miguel were going to take them to the promise land at LinuxWorld last February, I had to pinch myself.

Nov 19, 2005
9:03 PM EDT
I even pinched Novell on more than one occasion about the disposition of Nat and Miguel. Looney toons.

Novell had all of the tools to take the enterprise by storm. And they spent a year just trying to puff themselves up.

Nov 21, 2005
4:59 AM EDT
The original assertion is exactly right. Novell employees *know* that NetWare/eDirectory/ZenWorks etc. etc. are best of breed. Their entire marketing approach in the field has therefore always been based upon show the great features and everybody will right away just drop what they are using and adopt NetWare. I saw this once at Brainshare where someone was giving a demo on stage, and then said that some Compaq VP had been so impressed by what he saw in the demo that Compaq was immediately going to adopt all Novell products internally. Right.

They continue to try to move sceptics to Suse using this approach. IT DOES NOT WORK.

Until Novell blows most of their sales force out the door and breaks the legacy mentality, they will not be successful.

The comments about Ximian are spot on as well. Take an internal culture that thought they were right and everybody else was full of it, and then add competing cultures (Ximiam, Suse, Cambridge technology partners) Chaos reigns supreme. Watch for the new boss to try and break this apart. There will be victims. Hopefully Suse will be the one left standing (with some of the good features from the NetWare side. Don't forget that Bill Gates was afraid of SuperNOS back in the early 90's. UNIX kernal and NetWare services. That's what is possible with OES.) One thing to consider is that NetWare does have quite broad penetration. There are some really big names out there who still use a lot of NetWare/eDirectory. So Linux devotees should not completely denigrate some of the features of NetWare.

If you hope for a big future for Suse (as long as it belongs to Novell), you need to see existing NetWare customers adopt Suse en-masse over the next two years.

Postscript: I see that they have hired a new CTO. This is Ron Hovsepian taking over. Note that one of the tasks of the new CTO is to promote OES.

Nov 21, 2005
8:00 AM EDT
Where does Ximian fit in, anyway? It seems pointless to add them to an already chaotic brew.

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