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Novell's .Net moment

Is Novell's future .Net?

Dave Rosenberg suggests that Novell's biggest opportunity may well be to take its affection for Microsoft to the next level and become the center of the .Net open-source universe. He may be on to something:

The .NET approach is a chance for Novell to take an entire development framework that Red Hat has shown no interest in and dominate it. For the majority of the linux world, .NET is irrelevant. The Java guys who think some of the aspects of .NET are cool have no interest in running only on Windows.

Novell has struggled to compete in the open-source world. Combining with Microsoft hasn't helped. So why not, as Dave suggests, link up with Microsoft's .Net code to build an ecosystem around it that would complement Microsoft's own efforts to do so?

The problem, of course, is .Net.

Though Mindtouch and a few other open-source projects embrace it, there's not much open-source community today revolving around Microsoft's sun. Novell, however, could change this.

Let's face it: there are still hordes of developers out there who love Microsoft and would probably prefer to create open-source projects around .Net instead of Java or the LAMP stack. Novell could orchestrate this since Microsoft appears to have a PR problem with doing so.

I think Dave is on to something here. Novell's only significant growth right now is in its Linux business, and that growth is being driven by Microsoft. Why not just capitulate fully and align wholly with the future of Microsoft and open source?