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PR: Novell Acquires Ximian

Aug 04, 2003, 13:30 (50 Talkback[s])

Novell, Inc., today announced it has acquired privately held Ximian of Boston, Mass. This acquisition expands Novell's capacity to provide flexible information solutions to customers worldwide.

The acquisition of Ximian expands Novell's ability to support Linux solutions as the company adds best-of-breed Linux desktop, groupware and management technologies, and welcomes several of the open source community's leading visionaries to the Novell® team and a strong core of Linux developers into the Novell fold.

Novell gains, and will carry forward, two key Linux market initiatives through Ximian that reinforce Novell's commitment to the open source community: GNOME, a project to provide a full-featured Linux desktop, and Mono, designed to allow applications developed using Microsoft .NET to run on Linux, UNIX, Windows and other platforms. The combination of Novell's network and infrastructure services with Ximian's Linux solutions provides compelling new value to customers leveraging the power of open source technologies.

"Linux is the fastest-growing platform in the market today because it helps customers meet challenges effectively, both from a cost and a performance perspective," said Jack Messman, chairman and CEO of Novell. "But customers still face two key business issues: how to provide cost-effective management and maintenance of Linux systems, and how to deploy and support low-cost Linux desktops within the organization. Novell now delivers market-leading solutions for both. Just as important, Ximian brings Novell unparalleled Linux expertise, helping us not only deliver more value to customers, but also strengthening our ability to work with and leverage open source initiatives more constructively."

"Together, Novell and Ximian offer tremendous benefits for customers," said David Patrick, president and CEO of Ximian, now general manager of what will be called the Novell Ximian Services business unit at Novell. "Our breakthrough management and desktop products strongly complement Novell applications on Linux and Novell Nterprise Linux Services. The global Novell channel, partnerships with industry leaders and proven customer support will benefit customers. Novell as an enterprise company is the ideal choice for us to drive growth for the Linux market as a whole."

Ximian, a market-leading Linux company founded in 1999, has over a million users worldwi

de of its desktop and management products aimed at lowering the total cost of Linux ownership for enterprise customers. Ximian Red Carpet is the de facto standard for software updating across leading Linux distributions. Red Carpet Enterprise software provides enterprise customers with centralized software management of Linux servers and desktops. Over time, Red Carpet Enterprise will be tightly integrated into the Novell ZENworks product line, leveraging Novell directory services and policies management functionality.

Ximian Desktop 2 (XD2) is a complete Linux desktop environment and a tightly integrated suite of Linux desktop applications that delivers robust support for Windows file formats, networks and standards. Ximian Evolution software seamlessly integrates e-mail, calendaring, contact management and task lists in one easy-to-use application that connects to popular corporate communications architectures like Microsoft Exchange, Sun ONE and, soon, Novell GroupWise via client-side Ximian Connector extensions. These solutions, supporting Red Hat, SuSE and other leading Linux distributions, make Ximian software a strong choice for organizations using Linux desktops within a mixed Windows/Linux computing environment.

"This acquisition allows us to pursue our shared goal, and that is to reduce the barriers to Linux adoption in the enterprise. This combination can do just that, and make Novell the number one Linux solutions company in the process," said Nat Friedman, Ximian co-founder and senior vice president, now vice president of research and development in the Novell Ximian Services business unit at Novell. "We're extremely excited to join with Novell to pursue a shared vision of leadership in a full range of integrated Linux desktop and server software for the enterprise, backed by world-class management tools, support and services. We also believe that Novell's commitment and resources can help further energize a very dynamic open source development community."

Ximian plays an important leadership role in the broader open source community and helps drive several key open source projects. Ximian's founders Miguel de Icaza and Nat Friedman, well-known open source visionaries, helped found the GNOME and Mono projects, both initiatives they will continue to lead at Novell.

The GNOME project, initiated by de Icaza in 1997 and involving hundreds of developers globally, is creating a full-featured open source desktop, including a set of development tools; file, desktop management and help systems; and a set of applications, including spreadsheets, word processors, Web browsers, image editors and music players. The GNOME Foundation, which includes Friedman, de Icaza and other Ximian employees on its board, boasts IBM, HP, Sun and Red Hat among its members.

The Mono project is an open source effort led by Ximian to provide developers with open source tools for building cross-platform Microsoft .NET applications that can run on Linux, UNIX, and other support platforms. More than 150 developers worldwide contribute to Mono, including a range of companies building commercial products using Mono technology.

De Icaza, CTO of Ximian and now chief technology officer for the Novell Ximian Services business unit of Novell, said, "It's a huge step forward for the open source community to gain strong support from a company like Novell. Initiatives like GNOME and Mono will only improve with Novell's resources behind them. Novell has already made a strong commitment to open source with its recent decision to put the full range of its network services on Linux and its inclusion of MySQL, Apache and other open source technologies in NetWare. Ximian's leadership within the open source community along with Novell's strength and reputation in the enterprise market are a powerful combination that will help move GNOME and Mono forward."

The acquisition of Ximian was an all-cash transaction and is not expected to have a material effect on Novell's financial statements in the current fiscal year. No further details as to the specific terms of the transaction are being disclosed.

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