By Siobhan Kennedy
Despite its close ties with linux distributor Caldera Systems, Novell Corp will next week announce plans to invest in rival vendor RedHat Software, ComputerWire has learned. Caldera CEO Ransom Love told us yesterday that he understood the Provo, Utah based networking giant was about to make public its plans to invest in RedHat some time next week. I’ve heard that rumor and I believe that to be the case, he said. The move is being viewed by many as a knife in the back to Caldera, which was founded and is owned by Novell’s largest stockholder and former CEO Ray Noorda. Ransom said Caldera has been working with Novell for a some time and has already successfully ported its Netware, file and print services and its directory to the open source OS. We know Netware on Linux better than any other vendor, he said, we licensed the Netware client, enhanced it and ported it [to Linux]. Although both RedHat and Novell officials refused to comment on the rumor, a source close to Novell confirmed that the announcement is going to be made next Wednesday. But Love remained skeptical about the tie up. I’d like to know what their intentions are, Love said, we’re not disappointed, we really don’t want money, we’re very picky about our partners. Love postulated that RedHat seeking, and gaining, multiple investments from major industry players could be an indication that the distributor intends to file for an IPO some time soon. He also pointed to the long-time personal relationship between Novell senior VP, strategy and corporate development, Chris Stone and Red Hat’s new president Matthew Szulik as another possible reason for the investment.