My company is getting rid of Novell, finally. This is a moment of some
sadness for me, as I tried my utmost to hang on to Novell. However Novell
are so sloppy, incompetent and second-rate that they really don't deserve
our business - they don't deserve anyone's business.

When Novell became a 'Linux company' in 2004 I was excited and enthused
and really felt that Novell had made a brilliant move that would save
them. I think that was the last good news I heard about Novell. Despite
the makings of a promising rebirth they blew it like they habitually do
and now they are doomed to be extinct within 5 years. This impression is
strongly reinforced by the way that even Novell platinum partners, who
used to extol Novell's virtues to their customers, are feverishly trying
to distance themselves from Novell's stench of decay – these companies
(we deal with a couple of them) are more intent on demonstrating that
they can do “other stuff” when hitherto they had only really marketed
themselves as Novell partners. Novell now truly has NO friends and the
final death throes are only moments away.

I migrated my company from NetWare to Linux over a 2-3 year period
starting in Q3 2005 (with OES 1 - owwwwcchh!!!!) and ending in mid 2007.
At that point I felt hopeful and positive about Novell's future. I
thought that now that they had a decent OS on which to develop their
products they could focus on improving their products and rectifying
their abysmal reputation for poor product quality - they could leave OS
development to the Linux community and direct their efforts towards
enterprise applications (GroupWise, eDirectory, ZENworks, etc).

I think what went wrong is that ...

1) They continued way too long to develop on NetWare - they should just
have dumped the platform. Why develop GroupWise 8 on NetWare? When you
only have a handful of overstretched developers you have to rationalise
and develop (and TEST) on less platforms, so why bite off more than you
can chew by developing on Linux, NetWare and Windows - seriously dumb and
over ambitious.

2) The same thing applies when it comes to developing their server
software on Windows. I mean come on, is someone really going to say that
they think Windows is a better server OS than Linux (you'd need to be mad
or really dumb) and then additionally opt to run GroupWise instead of
Exchange????!!!! GroupWise is a trash product, best suited to be thrown
down the toilet. Would you actually choose to use it? You'd only use it
because you were a Novell/Linux shop and felt that if you got rid of
GroupWise the whole lot would go, you wouldn't wish GroupWise on your
worst enemy, it's a dreadful product. So to imagine that a Windows shop
is actually going to choose GroupWise when they could have an email
product that works properly – well I just don't believe it.

3) Mono - slow, unreliable, buggy, massive resource hog - WHY did Novell
inflict that heap of utter **** on their customers???!!!!

4) In 2007 when I completed my company's migration from NetWare to Linux
there were still quite a few 'rough edges' but things were basically OK.
At that stage Novell needed to tighten up on product quality, rationalise
on platform support and start to catch up on functionality with
Microsoft. They also needed to adapt to new trends in the IT industry.
Just at the stage when they needed to focus and consolidate they moved a
lot of development and support out to India - oh my God the results were
catastrophic!!!! Novell had a bad reputation for product quality to begin
with - the “Indian adventure” sent Novell's reputation to the utter
depths, you could not imagine a bigger laughing stock and industry joke
than Novell. When I listened to that NTS recorded message, "Novell,
leading provider of enterprise business solutions" (in a thick American
accent) it always made me s****** with incredulity at the total lack of
grip on reality of the person who constructed such a slogan - Novell
would only ever be used by an enterprise that was willing to accept
something totally second-rate and inadequate. It might be acceptable if
it were free but people are paying money for this ****!!!

5) Novell's incompetence and astonishing ineptitude in relation to
product quality leads me to suspect (perhaps with a certain amount of
paranoia) that Novell were being paid by Microsoft to make Linux look
bad. Now I have to state right here that I absolutely LOVE Linux - it is
so superior to Microsoft that no comparison is required (the Linux
Ferrari beats the Microsoft Morris Minor hands down). But Linux cannot
survive without business applications that run on it. And THE biggest
business application is email/messaging. This is what the executive class
see of IT. For Novell to so obviously fail to deliver email/messaging
both in terms of functionality and also in terms of reliability leads to
businesses migrating through sheer frustration to Microsoft Exchange. The
sad thing here is that Linux is made to look bad as most business leaders
cannot discern between the application and the platform. Was Novell paid
by Microsoft to trash Linux's reputation???? No matter really because
Novell have succeeded in inflicting huge damage on the 'Linux brand' – if
business leaders in any way associate GroupWise and Linux, ZCM 10 and
Linux, the early days of OES and Linux then they would have formed a very
low opinion of Linux quite unfairly (the GroupWise POA might crash 8
times an hour as ours did but the OS was quite happily ticking along).

Anyway, I will likely be out of a job soon, based on my obstinate refusal
to work on anything Microsoft and this will hopefully be my last anti-
Novell rant. However I have invested a lot of effort and my own time
trying to make Novell “work” and so this is all something of a wrench and
I am hopeful that offloading like this will prove to be cathartic, give
me some “closure” and allow me to move on with the challenges of the

R.I.P. Novell, it would have been better if you hadn't become a Linux
company as you have only succeeded in making Linux look bad. I hope other
Linux vendors can repair the damage you have caused.