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January 28, 1998

NOVELL SCRAPS WEB SERVER FOR FASTTRACK; $50M FOR NET APPS

By CBR Staff Writer

Novell Inc is to scrap development work on its own web server software in favor of Netscape Communications Corp’s FastTrack Server for NetWare, which the two have been working on as part of their joint venture under the Novonyx name. Yet at the same time, as we revealed here a few weeks ago (CI No 3,325), Novonyx is to lose its separate identity, and has, in Novell’s words been internalized under Novell executive vice president Chris Stone. It’s thought the effort was regarded as too strategic to retain its independence. Rob Hicks, previously president and CEO of Novonyx, will work for Stone, but has been put in charge of a new $50m Internet Development Fund and re-named vice president of strategic investments. The Novonyx development team, now about 30 strong, is still intact at its original base in Orem, Utah, and continues to work on porting Netscape’s server software over to NetWare, but the separate marketing budget has been scrapped. It remains a joint funded effort, although Novell provides 90% of that funding in any case, and the resulting products will be sold through both Novell and Netscape channels. Novell will bundle FastTrack Server for NetWare with NetWare 5, the next release of NetWare that’s due out in its final version by the middle of this year. It will also be available as an upgrade for intraNetWare and NetWare 4.11 users. Novell’s own Novell Web Server product will continue to be supported, but Novell says that FastTrack will now become its mainstream web server product for NetWare, and it won’t continue separate development on its own web server. And Novell has also agreed to bundle Netscape’s full Communicator software suite in with NetWare 5, rather than just Navigator. There will also be an upgrade option to the high-end Netscape Enterprise Server for NetWare for those customers who need to go beyond the capabilities of the FastTrack Server. Chris Stone, who joined Novell only last year fresh from heading up the Object Management Group, is in charge of the company’s Strategy and Business Development unit, which is mapping Novell products to its overall OSA Open Solutions Architecture scheme; a base set of technology using standards such as NetWare, Novell Directory Services, Java and the Corba common object request broker that Novell now sees as the underpinnings for all its future products. Meanwhile Rob Hicks will concentrate on finding new technology companies to emulate the Novonyx model, which he says has managed to port and optimize five Netscape server products for NetWare in only seven months. Hicks is looking for companies to invest in that have already shown they have interesting technology, particularly in the Java and Corba areras. He expects to make several announcements over the course of the year.

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