Internet

Novell to brush up Net strategy

Novell will try to give its NetWare networking operating system and other products a shot of adrenaline next week at its annual Brainshare conference for developers by outlining how the company plans to take advantage of the Internet.

Novell will try to give its NetWare networking operating system and other products a shot of adrenaline next week at its annual Brainshare conference for developers by outlining how the company plans to take advantage of the Internet.

Novell CEO Robert Frankenberg will focus on the Internet in his keynote address at Brainshare and will announce a partnership with a major Internet vendor, a company spokeperson said.

Part of the company's Internet plan, which it introduced last September, is to push its NetWare Directory Services as a standard for the Net. The company said that NDS, a global directory of users and files stored on network servers on the Internet, would allow network managers to improve security and manage user access to information.

Analysts say Novell needs to recharge its Internet strategy if it wants to become a significant player in a worldwide networking phenomenon that potentially makes Novell and other standard bearers of older technology obsolete. And so far, the company's Internet products, including the Novell WebServer, have failed make favorable impressions, analysts said.

"Their Web server is pretty lame. It doesn't support forms. There is no scripting there," said Jamie Lewis, president of the Burton Group. Novell "seems to be moving incredible slow compared to Microsoft and Netscape," he added.

The company flatly denied reports, however, that it will dump IPX, its proprietary networking protocol for NetWare, in favor of Internet protocol. "We will certainly be moving [NetWare] to become protocol-independent," said the spokesperson. "We're not dropping IPX. There's no way that we're leaving [existing NetWare users] in the dust."