Report: Novell eyeing open-source app store

Yet another app store is apparently in the works--this time, though, the focus isn't on a mobile phone. Rather, Novell would be pitching open-source software.

PCPro UK is reporting that Novell is considering an effort to bring a "wealth of open-source software to everyday users through an open-source apps store."

Novell believes that an open-source apps store would make life easier for customers, specifically those interested in Netbooks. This certainly seems logical, but considering that open-source applications tend be licensed in a way that doesn't require an upfront fee, it's hard to see how this represents a business model.

"I would compare what's happening on netbooks with what's happening to the smartphone," Holger Dyroff, vice president of business development at Novell told PC Pro. "There's a core experience, but then the ability to customise that experience. On the user end, all they'll see is an open-source applications store with one-click downloads of new software. Unlike the other stores though, they won't have to pay for any of those applications, which will be very attractive."

"It's a new way of marketing open source," he admits. "It's also a method of educating people about the benefits of open source."

This is not a bad idea, but it's not clear that this does anything more than market open-source applications--which is fine, but it's not clear that Novell (or any company) would generate much revenue with such an effort.

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About the author

Dave Rosenberg has more than 15 years of technology and marketing experience that spans from Bell Labs to startup IPOs to open-source and cloud software companies. He is CEO and founder of Nodeable, co-founder of MuleSoft, and managing director for Hardy Way. He is an adviser to DataStax, IT Database, and Puppet Labs.


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