“We’re focusing on building a complete Linux desktop as an alternative to what you’ve been using,” Novell Vice Chairman Chris Stone told Novell loyalists at the company’s BrainShare conference. “We believe that in the next 12 months, we will see the widespread adoption of Linux on the desktop.”
The desktop Linux push will include software from SuSE Linux, the No. 2 Linux seller that Novell acquired in January for $210 million, and Ximian, the Linux desktop specialist that Novell acquired in August.
With the desktop move, Novell plans to turn against Microsoft the same weapon that the Redmond, Wash., software giant used against Novell: a tight coupling between applications that run on the desktop and those that run on the server. Microsoft competed against Novell in part by building technology into Windows desktop machines that could connect easily to Windows servers for tasks such as storing files or tracking a company’s computing assets.
“We think it’s the optimization of what happens between the desktop and the server that creates the value-add for us,” Messman said. “We have been the victim of that.”