Lots of people, when they heard of this merger, started thinking like this:
Ok, so Novell bought Ximian. Ximian is a GNOME company. They also bought Suse. Suse is a distro. Ergo, Suse will become a Ximian-oriented distro.
Well, that makes some sense. But they seem to be forgetting of a change that should happen much sooner, because it:
Is easier to do
Makes more sense
Costs less money
What change? Well, the changes that Ximian will have to face for now being part of a company that owns a dsitro!
Let´s look at Ximian´s products:
Ximian connector: I don´t see this changing, except for they adding a groupwise connector.
Evolution: I can see Novell pushing Evolution as a Groupwise client, for example. So, this has some legs. I don´t see it becoming a major revenue source for Novell, though, so it´s not going to get a large push.
Gnumeric: I see an axe in its future. Novell is not in the spreadsheet business. They owned Quattro Pro once, didn´t they?
Red Carpet. I have heard Novell really wanted this. They have ZenWorks, I suppose some integration is in order, and this will be productized. However, I don´t think Novell will want to push it as a software distribution mechanism for their competition, at least not while it´s free. If they did, Novell will be giving away what they bought. My guess? It will lose support for Red Hat, and will become more and more proprietary as time passes.
Ximian setup tools: I am doubting between the axe and proprietary lockdown. Why would Novell want to support configuration tools for their competition? On the other hand, YaST is better for their own product, so why keep this at all?
Mono: I can see they wanting this for their own tool development, and to make a push into the development tool market, but Novell has really no foothold there. So, while they will keep itr and push it, it´s not exactly a guaranteed success (then again, nothing is).
Ximian Gnome: I have no idea.
Also, polishing the crystall ball a little, if Novell has some cashflow problems in the next year, they will focus harder in what they really care about.
My guess is setup tools will become SuSE-only or SuSE-first, Red Carpet will be absorbed or rebranded into ZenWorks or something, Mono will be marketed as .NET platfor for Linux as soon as they get Forms working, the rest will be "liberated" fedora-style.
Now, let´s put a reminder to read this again in 2005 ;-)