Novell hands out free software

Novell is hoping the promise of free network software and rising Y2K concerns will propel its products into the hands of a whole new customer base.

The company announced yesterday it now offers five user licences of Netware for Small Business 4.2 absolutely free to Australian customers. And yes, there is more.

Valued at about $2500 per pack, the product is designed to offer small business users PC networking software, Internet access, remote access services, and faxing and backup software.

According to Cliff Smith, Novell's motivation is quite simple. Many small to medium businesses (SMBs) are currently looking at Y2K solutions and considering improving their Internet access, which for Novell spells "opportunity".

"Principally, it's to raise money in the small business arena," Smith commented.

The company has enlisted the support of a number of business partners, including Attache, Arrow Research, ACCPAC, Minfos and some small "business-focused" resellers. These companies will, by association, have the opportunity to offer their new customers who take up Novell's offer their software packages for sale.

The product is available from selected Novell partners until June 30, 1999, with additional licences available for purchase at $130 each.

Smith said Novell has a "good number" of products available, but declined to give further details.

He said Netware for Small Business already accounts for around 10 per cent of the company's shrink-wrapped product sales.

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