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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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 Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?