An opinion article submitted to Linux Today earlier today
accused Novell with implementing cuts in its SUSE Linux division,
an accusation that has raised concern amongst community members and
Novell, the article stated, is laying off at least one KDE core
developer employed by SUSE. The entire Evolution development team,
currently based in India, is also slated to be dissolved, with only
one maintainer left in place for product maintenance. Hula
development is said to be cut completely; Mono development is also
affected; what the future holds for the Novell Linux Desktop
product is still unknown, according to Kurt Pfeifle, the author of
the submitted article.
The article speculates that Novell's Linux business strategy
appears to be mirroring that of Red Hat, Inc., with more of a focus
on server and enterprise customers.
When contacted for comment, however, Novell representatives
categorically denied that they were making significant changes to
their Linux strategy. Bruce Lowry, Director, Global Public
Relations, stated that "if you have five fingers on your hand, then
less than a handful of engineers were laid off at the Nurmberg
Lowry would not comment on specific employee names or
functionalities that were let go. But he vehemently denied reports
that Novell is out to decimate the SUSE Linux division. "Those
rumors, those reports, are simply not accurate."
Lowry referred to the points made earlier in the week when the
initial layoff announcement was made. He emphasized that Novell
will continue to focus on "data center, desktop, workstation,
resource management, and identity" core businesses. The desktop, he
added, is a key part of Novell's Linux strategy moving forward.
Novell has spoken at length to other media sources, including
eWeek's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. That article is linked
eWeek: SuSE Users' Panic Unfounded
"Rumors circulating that Novell is going to kill off its popular
Linux desktop lines are completely false.
"A Linux Today story, which asked the rhetorical question 'Why
has Novell management decided to discontinue their entire SuSE
Linux branded desktop and workstation product line?' seems to have
been the source of these stories.
"Greg Mancusi-Ungaro, Novell Inc.'s director of marketing for
Linux and open source, said, 'Novell has a Linux desktop leadership
position with NLD [Novell Linux Desktop] and SuSE 10, and we intend
to keep the pedal down hard...'"
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