When I posted an update to this forum week before last, I said that, while we were moving forward with the plan to require maintenance (or subscription) coverage to access patches and service packs, we would extend the timeframe for doing so. I'd like to let you know that February 1, 2010 is the date on which this authorization requirement will go into effect. We believe this will allow adequate time for Novell customers to plan and budget for the maintenance that will ensure continued access to these resources.

Because this forum has been a critical part of the discussion and feedback process, I wanted to let you know the policy implementation date as soon as possible. We are preparing communications for other stakeholders, as well. Our partners will be notified of this date during the week of October 5. Customer communications (targeting those without current maintenance on at least one impacted Novell product) will be issued on November 9.

As a reminder, stand-alone security patches for products covered by this policy will be made freely available. In addition, this policy will not apply to the following:

SUSE Linux Enterprise products, for which we will continue to deliver patches and service packs as we do today
Novell NetWare
Any product that has moved beyond the general support phase of the Novell product lifecycle

For more information, please refer to the materials we've provided on the PartnerNet community site at Novell Login. A web page providing information directly to customers will go live on novell.com when the customer communications are issued on November 9.

Thank you, once again, for the quick and candid feedback on this policy. This community is a valuable asset to Novell and those we serve.

Colleen O'Keefe
SVP, Services and Teleweb, Novell