I just have to share with you guys what I witnessed today, I won't be
surprised if this is not happening only here in Bulgaria and nobody
admits it, but I tell you - I was shocked. Let me start from a bit far
away.

Ever since Novell signed the cooperation agreement with Microsoft, we
were keeping in line with Novell's direction to be open-minded about
integrating Microsoft technologies into Novell infrastructures, even
promoting installation of Novell products on Windows servers, etc. Even
more, we have always emphasized that Novell technologies are
multi-platform, that they integrate seamlessly with AD, etc., etc. It
was also stated in the same cooperation agreement, that Microsoft will
embrace SUSE linux as the preferred linux system to integrate into MS
environments, and will even sell SUSE to its customers. Maybe this is
the case in the US, but oh dear, this whole picture has nothing to do
with the reality here.

I agree that Microsoft currently has the biggest market share for its
systems, and currently Novell is quite "small" in market share, relative
to Microsoft. At least here, Novell is trying to survive with what has
left after the management decisions/strategy from the last 10 years
until now. There are very few new clients, and mostly in the SMB sector.
In the context of the cooperation between the companies, I would say
that Microsoft is a "bear" and Novell is an "ant". Currently the ant is
trying to sit on the same table with the bear, and waits for the bear's
left-overs. It's an ugly way to say it, but that's how I see it, and
this vision of mine just got confirmed (again) today. In the past it was
the other way around, but I don't remember Microsoft (in the ant
position) selling Novell-integrable (NetWare or e-Directory compatible)
applications. They went their own way and became the "bear". Truth is
that today, Microsoft's systems are all tightly integrated with their AD
and Exchange, and they don't work (at all, or well) with other
non-Microsoft systems.

Going back to what I witnessed today. One of the few left Novell-built
government organizations here got a new consultant few months ago. The
consultant has "consulted" the Minister that the whole infrastructure
should be replaced by Microsoft products. We're talking about a
relatively large organization (600-700 users), and pure Novell
infrastructure working since I can't remember how many years. OES,
GroupWise, iPrint, Access Manager, ZENworks CM, you name it - all Novell
systems, up-to-date, supported and working. So, new IT staff has been
hired, some of the old staff were "left" and a group was organized to
perform the migration. Of course, since we are the ones who built and
support the whole system, we were asked to come to a meeting and discuss
some points that were not very clear to the group. And guess who was on
that meeting - Microsoft Bulgaria. 3 of them. Officially they have
nothing to do with this. But in practice - they are the ones behind all
of it. The whole migration project is their doing through one of their
partners. It's a struggle for them to do the migration (as they have no
idea what they are migrating from) and they've asked us to give them an
offer to migrate our systems to Microsoft! So, Novell may sign whatever
agreements with MS, but MS is slowly taking over what's left, and they
don't want to hear about co-existing in a Novell infrastructure. They
are migrating everything and don't care how great Novell systems work on
Windows servers and with AD.

I hope the new Attachmate management will reconsider Novell's marketing
strategy, and lead Novell to become a "bear" again. Because, for me,
being the happy ant waiting for few left-overs, is humiliating. Being a
Novell CNE and CNI, and involved with Novell systems for many many
years, it's a pain to see what's happening and where Novell is going
during the past several years.

Maybe I'm still affected by this meeting today but this is what I think
of Novell's agreement with Microsoft:
##@%!%#!#@$#@$!#@%@%##@%#$#%#$!@!@!!!EFQ$##$#@$@ED D@!E@!!

Novell, remember who you were and what you were doing, and think where
are you now. Currently you are producing "pieces" of software. It's not
integrated anymore. OES, GW, ZENworks - they are completely independent
systems now. AD for GroupWise - do you really think a Microsoft shop
will go that way instead to Exchange? I doubt it. Drop the development
of Windows versions of your server products. Nobody cares that your
software is multiplatform. Concentrate on SUSE, it's a great OS with
huge potential, develop all products for SUSE only! If you stop
developing Windows versions, you may concentrate the efforts on linux,
and cut costs and prices as well. Increase quality, it has dropped
tremendously over the years! Stop serving Microsoft, they are not your
friend.

I just hope all my dedication to Novell and efforts during the past
years were not in vain...


--
Simeonof
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