Novell Ditches UnitedLinux, Joins Eclipse

By Jacqueline Emigh
Linux Today Correspondent

At LinuxWorld yesterday, Novell CEO Jack Messman made the
surprise statement that Novell is done with UnitedLinux. Messman’s
company also used the show in New York City as the venue for
announcements that included the beta release of GroupWise for
Linux; membership in the Eclipse developers’ group; ELA3+
certification for the newly acqured SUSE Linux; and Linux porting
relationships with BEA, Veritas, and Egnera.

In a Q&A at the end of a Novell press conference, Messman
said that “there’s no value to us to work in in the UnitedLinux
space,” now that SCO has opted out of Linux. Messman added, though,
that there’s no reason why Novell can’t continue its partnerships
with both Asia-based TurboLinux and Latin-America-based Conectiva,
the two other founding members of the Linux industry

Somewhat ironically, however, Novell today joined another
industry group: the IBM-spearheaded Eclipse Project. Novell will
start using Eclipse company-wide as its crossplatform IDE, said
Chris Stone, Novell vice chairman – Office of the CEO.

Novell officials also told reporters that GroupWise for Linux is
part of a long-term strategy to expand Novell’s position in the
messaging space by luring new users from Linux and Unix as well as
Windows NT, an OS that Microsoft will stop supporting by the end of
this year. Stone acknowledged that Microsoft Exchange, long-time
nemesis to GroupWare, is one big target of the strategy.

Stone said that Novell will migrate to a plug-and-play
environment encompassing a range of messaging alternatives,
including Novell’s current GroupWise and NetMail; SUSE’s
OpenExchange; and Ximian’s Evolution client. Novell will aim
OpenExchange at SMBs and GroupWise at enterprises, for example,

SUSE Linux achieved ELA3+ certification in only four months,
said Doc Shanker, IBM Linux security architect. Ordinarily, a
process like this would take several years, according to Shanker.
Next, SUSE and Novell will strive for ELA4, said Richard Sebit,
former CEO of SUSE and now a top executive with Novell..

The newly unveiled relationships with the ISVs are part of a
push by Novell to obtain more applications for Linux, according to

Officials predicted that the three new partners will certify
first on SUSE Linux, and after that on other Linux

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