Market's "largest Linux vendor" is now Novell

"2004 will be the year of Linux," says Richard Seibt. As the former CEO of SuSE Linux AG, now joining Novell Inc. to continue managing SUSE LINUX as President, he ought to know.

"Novell's global sales and support channels provide tremendous new avenues to get Linux - and especially SUSE LINUX - to market," Seibt explains. "Leveraging open source in your enterprise just got a whole lot easier," he adds.

In a statement made Tuesday, Novell reminded the world that there is another Linux show about to drop, in the form of a US$50 million injection from IBM Corp. now that the SUSE acquisition is complete: the closing of the SUSE LINUX acquisition, the statement said, "fulfills conditions for the $50 million investment by IBM in Novell announced Nov. 4."

"In addition," the statement continued, "the closing allows for completion of negotiations between Novell and IBM to extend the existing commercial agreements between IBM and SUSE LINUX for the continued support of SUSE LINUX on IBM's eServer products and middleware products and to provide for product and marketing support arrangements related to SUSE LINUX. Details on these efforts will be forthcoming."

Novell CEO Jack Messman was understandably elated. "With SUSE LINUX," he said, "and Ximian [which Novell already acquired last year], we gain some of the best open source developers in the market, and we want to leverage those capabilities in our development efforts across the entire product line. Novell now offers a full range of enterprise solutions on the Linux platform, from the server to the desktop."

SUSE LINUX now becomes a "product business unit" within Novell, with its sales and marketing handled by Novell's existing geographic business units and SUSE LINUX's current sales and marketing staff. Recognizing its strength, Novell will keep the SUSE LINUX brand.

"We're making a commitment to open source, not to a product we're selling," Messman asserted. While SUSE LINUX will retain its structure within Novell, he explained, its acquisition - like that of open-source company Ximian in August 2003 - is aimed at promoting Linux adoption and integration broadly across Novell's product lines. SUSE LINUX engineers, says Novell, will work closely with Novell's product teams to ensure they maximize their respective synergies in joint development efforts.

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