Novell to release SMB workgroup suite by September

Novell will release its first desktop-and-server suite for small businesses in September, an offering aimed at taking market share from Microsoft

Novell will release its first desktop-and-server suite for small businesses in September, an offering clearly aimed at taking market share from rival and sometime partner, Microsoft.

The Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition is based on Novell's Suse Linux distribution and includes the company's Open Enterprise Server for storage, user and rights administration, and clustering and failover capabilities.

On the desktop, the suite includes the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, the OpenOffice.org productivity suite and Novell's GroupWise software for email and a calendar.

The release of a small business suite is an effort by Novell to attract customers, a problem the company has encountered while transitioning its business away from its NetWare network operating system to Linux, open-source research director for analyst firm Ovum, Laurent Lachal, said. Microsoft remains the vendor to beat in the small business area, although the market is somewhat fragmented, he added.

"The SMB [small to midsize business] market is the new frontier for everyone in the IT industry, whether it's Microsoft, SAP or IBM," Lachal said.

Novell pulled no punches comparing its suite to offerings from Microsoft, even though the two vendors struck a controversial agreement last November involving patent cross licensing and projects to make their products more interoperable.

Novell said one license for its suite will support five servers and 200 users, while one license for Microsoft's Small Business Server tops out at 75 users. The vendor warned that users of Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 R2 suite would also have to buy Microsoft Office separately.

"The Novell edition of OpenOffice.org -- which runs on both Windows and Linux desktops -- provides 90 per cent of the same functionality as Microsoft Office, supports Microsoft Office formats and is included with Novell Open Workgroup Suite at no extra cost," according to a Novell statement.

By capping at 200 the number of users for a single license, it would appear Novell has set its sights on the US market, Lachal said. The definition of small businesses in Europe tends to encompass far fewer employees than what are considered small businesses in the US, he said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?