Novell openSUSE: Development Ebbing?

Feb 16, 2009

Last week Novell announced a layoff of almost 100 employees "in response to the global economic downturn," without any further details. New information now brings into question the software house's commitment to openSUSE.

The official statement from Novell is that the U.S. firm will lay off less than 3% of its workforce, reserving further details about areas or locations affected because of stockholder commitments. Despite rumors to the contrary, the company claims that its "SUSE, Linux and Open Source" areas will not be affected. In fact, it wants to work more closely with the community, developers and partners.

Some sources, however, paint a slightly different picture. Of the 160 openSUSE workers, around 30 (or 20%) were affected by the layoff.

Novell does not want either to confirm or deny any cuts in the popular Linux distro's development and still defers to last week's announcement. Financial results are expected February 26.

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  • Novell openSUSE: Development Ebbing?

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  • Novell hemorrhaging software customers

    I am not surprised. We desparately want to stay with GroupWise but are forced to used the Outlook client and Groupwise connector to ensure compatiblity with other mission critical products which are only built using .net technology and require the Outlook frontend. Unfortunately Novell has ceased development of the Groupwise connector which means we lack some of the functionality we enjoyed with the Groupwise client. It will not be long before I am forced to abandon the Groupwise engine for Exchange with all the penalties and risks that that that entails.

    There must be many Novell customers in my position!
  • Looks Ultimately Terminal

    I know virtually every company has been laying people off recently, but Novell have had regular rounds of layoffs for years now and their situation has not improved. Their mainstay businesses of Netware, eDirectory and Groupwise are bleeding to death all over the floor in favour of Windows Server, AD and Exchange, and they are a company that have decided to even do a deal with their primary competitor that is doing this to them.
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