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There Novell goes again

In response to the news story written by Stephen Shankland, "Novell to acquire SuSE Linux":

The problem is, they've done the same thing repeatedly over the past 10 years with disastrous results.

Remember UnixWare and WordPerfect?

That was the very beginning of the downward spiral for Novell. No matter how hard they tried, successive CEOs after Ray Noorda only succeeded in rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic while revenue and market share plummeted. I see no difference in the current management of Novell. They still don't get it.

Indeed, it seems they are still possessed by the same malevolent spirit that has plagued the company since the early '90s--but with a twist. Unable to compete with Microsoft in any significant way, they are now going after the Linux market. Here we go again.

Novell's pathological inability to focus on their core competency has cost the company billions of dollars in missed opportunities, and hundreds of millions of dollars in bad investments and lost revenue. I was a big NetWare fan when I started there as a WAN Product Manager in 1990 and thought Novell could do no wrong. For a while, I was right.

It just seems they are headed down the same track as before, and the press is drinking Kool-Aid by the keg on this one.

Look, Novell has never been able to do anything with the desktop...Does DR-DOS ring any bells? They just don't have the genetic markers for it. Never have, never will. Unix/Linux? Same problem.

Why do you think the boys at Caldera (now SCO Group) left Novell in the first place? That said, however, I hope they make this work--I really do. I want to be really wrong about this. But I wouldn't bet my candy allowance on it.

Scott Jamar
CEO, Oingo Bingo
Lafayette, Calif.