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Novell-Ximian-Suse´s future

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:

  1. Is eas­i­er to do

  2. Makes more sense

  3. 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 ;-)

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