Beginning Tuesday with the current Connector 1.4, Novell has announced that Connector for MS Exchange Server will be integrated into Evolution 2.0 - and made available as open source, under the GPL.
"Technologies like the Connector which allow Linux desktops to operate inside a mixed proprietary/open source environment," said Nat Friedman, vice president of the desktop technologies group at Novell, "make choosing a Linux desktop easier for IT administrators."
"With the release of the Connector source code," he continued, "the entire Evolution product is now available under the GNU General Public License, and we're excited that customers are going to see the benefits in Novell's next Linux desktop as well as in future releases of SUSE LINUX."
Evolution is described by Novell as its "award-winning e-mail and workgroup client for Linux systems and ... the most widely used collaboration suite on Linux." Evolution Connector allows Microsoft Exchange Server 2000/2003 users to manage their e-mail, calendars, group schedules, address books, public folders and tasks from Linux desktops.
Two Linux luminaries commented on the development, Hewlett-Packard's Martin Fink and Mitchell Baker of the Mozilla Foundation:
"HP is committed to building on innovation to bring customers better value through open systems. Building on our recent announcement to bring Linux onto the desktop, HP today joins Novell to help make the Linux desktop experience more rich and manageable." Martin Fink, vice president of Linux, HP.
"The open source release of Novell's Connector for Exchange adds an important element to the open source desktop's interoperability with existing enterprise deployments. The Mozilla Foundation applauds Novell's decision to move this technology into the open source world." Mitchell Baker, president of the Mozilla Foundation
Interestingly it was Nat Friedman who just last month, during a keynote speech at the Real World Linux Conference, declared: "I'm sick of being the future. I want to be the present." Novell's latest move is aimed at helping that come true.