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Solihull, West Midlands company Firefox Group Ltd has signed a strategic OSI partnership agreement with Novell Inc’s Unix Systems Group. As part of the agreement, Firefox will assume responsibility for Novell’s Unix-based Open Networking Platform product family and provide international standard communications products to the Unix market. The deal follows an agreement between the two last August whereby Novell handed worldwide sales, development, marketing and support of its FTAM File Transfer And Management products to Firefox; under that arrangement Firefox took responsibility for supporting the existing NetWare FTAM 1.2 product and customer base, developing new Open Systems Interconnection products for NetWare 4.0, and certifying US and UK government OSI profile compliance. According to Novell, the new agreement means Novell now has a single strong OSI partner for both its NetWare and Unix businesses, which will enable it to move towards a converged, multi-system product family. This is expected to include OSI-based mail and messaging products conforming to the X400 and directory systems conforming to X500. Firefox says it intends to offer OSI applications over either OSI or TCI/IP protocol stacks. Firefox says it will continue with Unix Systems Group’s primary OSI business – source code licensing to OEM customers and the provision of OSI applications as part of projects with telecommunications suppliers and federal governments. In addition, it will develop OSI binary products for Unix products that will be available through standard Unix distribution channels. The company will continue to market Novell Unix Systems Group products under the Novell ONP trademark. Firefox already markets the Novos family of NetWare-to-Open Systems Interconnection products, which it claims has an installed user base of over 35,000. It is also a Novell Professional Developer and OEM partner.

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