Novell feeling strong despite Win 2000 release

The upcoming release of Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system and associated directory, ActiveDirectory is expected to pose some challenges for directory giant Novell, but the company is confident it can maintain a strong foothold in its traditional marketplace.

"I think you'll all ways have to look at Microsoft [as a challenge] for sure. They are our largest competitor - in some areas we try to cooperate with them and in other areas we compete very aggressively," Ron Heinz, Novell's senior vice president of worldwide sales said.

"One would argue that Win 2000 will at least present some challenges."

Heinz said Novell is "excited" that Microsoft is "finally" releasing its product.

"What's difficult to compete against is a product that's not shipped. We certainly don't want to ever underestimate their capabilities but at the end of the day it's nice to compete against a product that's actually in the market place," he said.

"It is easier to compete against and it will help educate the market as to what directories can do. It does help to accelerate growth of a market segment by having competition," Heinz said.

With a strong history in the directory marketplace, proven technology and support for multiple platforms, Heinz said Novell has the leading edge over Microsoft and ActiveDirectory.

"Right now we have 80 million directory users in the market place . . .our product has been shipping since 1993.

"We support [NT, Unix, Solaris, Linux] platforms with our directory . . .If you look at Microsoft's strategy, if you're going to use Active Directory you have to use Windows 2000 and it is a Microsoft centric and Microsoft only product," he said.

"We think our strategy is broader and more focussed on the space that makes sense to our customers."

For the full story see Computerworld, Jan 24, 2000

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