Advertise on MozillaQuest Magazine Digital Photography, Graphic, and Image Articles Index. MozillaQuest MQ Logo
MozillaQuest the on-line computer magazine
6 February, 2004

TotalShells.com

EPIX Internet Services
MozillaQuest Magazine Front Page button

Internet & Web browsers button

custom Netscape & Mozilla themes & skins button

IRC - Internet Relay Chat - Chat button

Linux buttonLinux for Windows Users

Mozilla button

Netscape button
network articles

tutorial - help - how to button

Windows button

MozillaQuest OpEd/Analysis

Novell Linux Dominates LinuxWorld 2004 -- Part 2:

Deja Novell All Over Again

Mike Angelo -- 6 February 2004 (C) -- Page 1

Full Spectrum Software Note

Part of what now makes Novell a full-spectrum software company is its SUSE Linux acquisition. That's because in addition to all the Novell owned applications that Novell now has ported to Linux, it also has all the applications that SUSE packages in its Linux distribution too.

For example, SUSE Linux Professional 9.0 also includes the Apache Web server, the GIMP, KOffice, Konqueror Web browser, the Mozilla Browser suite, OpenOffice, XMSS, and lots more. It also has several graphical desktop metaphors such as the K Desktop Environment (KDE) and GNOME.

The KDE desktop is as good as, if not better than, the Microsoft Windows desktop. The GIMP is a great photo-editing and image-editing program, which is comparable to Adobe Photoshop.

KOffice and OpenOffice are comparable to Microsoft Office. XMSS (X MultiMedia System) is a great audio/music player for Linux. Both the KDE Konqueror Web Browser and the Mozilla Web Browser have features that you will not find in Internet Explorer such as Tabbed Browsing. Additionally, the Mozilla Browser suite includes the Mozilla Composer -- a nice graphical Web page layout program.

These all are Free or Open Source Software (FOSS) items. So, you will find them included with Novell-SUSE Linux and with most GNU-Linux distributions -- or you can download and install them yourself at no charge.

That brings up another reason that will help Novell to grab users from Microsoft users -- FOSS leveraging. By adopting the SUSE GNU-Linux distribution, Novell has instantaneously leveraged its investment because it now has perhaps thousands of FOSS applications that it can provide to its customers at no software-licensing costs to Novell. Moreover, since all the FOSS applications are open source applications, Novell easily can tweak or modify any of them to better suit Novell's customers' needs

PFS Note: There is a very sad side-story to the downfall of PFS and Software Publishing Company (SPC). SPC had a collection of what in the late 1980's and early 1990's were very good office productivity applications (word-processor, spreadsheet, database, etc.) for the PC platform. However, SPC got suckered in to focusing its office software development for IBM's OS/2 operating system.

Although OS/2 was a good operating system, OS/2 was never widely accepted. IBM had the financial resources to weather OS/2's losses, however, SPC did not. SPC floundered financially and had to spin-off most if not all of its PFS and other office software products. After the spin-off, the PFS and other office software products never went anywhere again. What a shame!

How many other good software products and their developers have shared similar fates over the years by getting involved with IBM?

About Novell's PerfectOffice Suite

Here is what I wrote about the PerfectOffice introduction in 1994 for my weekly syndicated newspaper column, About Computers M.A.


PC EXPO '94, About Computers

by Mike Angelo, 19 July 1994.

The first day of PC EXPO '94, June 28, Novell's President, Bob Frankenberg, and WordPerfect Corporation's President, Ad Rietveld, announced the completion of the merger of their two companies. WordPerfect is now the Novell Applications Group. Then they officially unveiled WordPerfect's latest product, PerfectOffice, a software suite.

PerfectOffice appears to integrate WordPerfect (word processor), Quattro Pro (spreadsheet), WP Presentations (presentation graphics), InfoCentral (personal information manager), Envoy (workgroup publishing tool), Symmetry (e-mail, calendaring and scheduling), Paradox (relational database), and other independent programs into a single super-application. Each program in the integrated super-application, "shares consistent toolbars, pull-down menus, and common key dialog boxes" according to WordPerfect's Jeff Larsen.

A Common User Interface and Common Code Base underlie each program in the suite. That appears to be what gives PerfectOffice the claimed superior integration that blends and melts the individual programs into a smoothly homogenized super-application.

The PerfectOffice people also claim superior network integration for their super-app. According to Mark Calkins, vice president of product marketing at the Novell Applications Group (WordPerfect) "The merger of WordPerfect and Novell creates the industry's leading provider of network applications . . . PerfectOffice is the first suite to begin to integrate network and workgroup services with desktop applications."

PerfectOffice is scheduled to start shipping in the Fall. We will take a closer look at PerfectOffice in a future edition of About Computers --- stay tuned.

THE PAIN AND GAIN OF LANGUAGE-SMART SOFTWARE,

Emerging language-smart, highly-integrated, software technology means increased productivity and increased computer systems investments,

About Computers by Mike Angelo, 26 July 1994.

It's relatively easy to get a computer to use --- strike that ---it's relatively easy to get a computer to process words. But understanding words and processing them are two very different things.

Right now, one can get a computer to search for a word, buy for example, and replace it with another word, such as purchase. But it won't recognize bought as a form of the word buy and replace it with the word purchased. A computer would have to be language-smart to do that.

The Novell Applications Group, (WordPerfect) officially introduced its new software suite at PC EXPO. It's called PerfectOffice. PerfectOffice has the capability of understanding words. It can find different forms of a word, such as buy, and replace them with the appropriate forms of another word, such as purchase. That's language-smart software.

The grammar-checker in PerfectOffice cannot only find a grammatically incorrect sentence for you. It can understand the sentence and correct it too. That's language-smart software.

Speech-recognition capability is greatly enhanced by language-smartness. Language-smartness basically is understanding words, meaning, and context.

  • See GNU-Linux and FOSS are ubiquitous! on Page 2 ----->
  • In the 1990s Novell had acquired two operating systems, Unix and DR DOS, and two PC, office/productivity applications, WordPerfect and QuatroPro. It seemed that Novell had what it needed to have in order to take Microsoft head-on. Then Novell sold all that and focused on its networking software business.

    Thus until a few weeks ago, Novell had been known as an enterprise, networking-software company. However, last year, Novell got serious about porting its products to the GNU-Linux operating system. Mid-summer, Novell joined in the SCO v Linux fracas -- on the side of the Linux community and against SCO.

    Then Novell acquired Ximian, which had developed an e-mail, MS Outlook-like application for the GNU-Linux desktop, and Novell set in motion acquisition of SUSE Linux. The SUSE Linux acquisition was completed just a few weeks ago.

    That now makes Novell a full-spectrum software company with its own operating system and applications -- again. And that puts Novell in position to challenge Microsoft's software empire and dominance -- again. Moreover, for the first time, it also puts Novell in a position to be the leading commercial Linux and open source software distributor -- putting Novell ahead of Red Hat and IBM in the commercial Linux and open source software business.

    Will Novell be able to make a successful challenge to Microsoft's operating system and computer software dominance this time? Will Novell become the leading commercial Linux and open source software distributor? We believe so.

    Deja vu Novell, all over again?

    Novell started in 1979 as Novell Data Systems, a computer manufacturer and disk operating system developer. In the early '80s Novell became involved with file-sharing, printer-sharing, and developing local area networking (LAN) for PCs.

    Then in the 1990s Novell acquired two operating systems, Unix and DR (Digital Research) DOS, and what then were two premier, PC desktop, office applications, WordPerfect and QuatroPro. (In those days, Novell also acquired a licensing agreement for Borland's Paradox database but had not bought the product, per se.)

    On the DOS side, the Novell people produced WordPerfect 6 for DOS and QuatroPro 5.5 for DOS, which behaved just like MS Windows programs but running on top of DOS. The Novell developers had added multi-tasking, direct link library (DLL), object linking and embedding (OLE), and great easy-to-use graphical interface components to WordPerfect for DOS and QuatroPro for DOS.

    In 1994, Novell spiked the software Richter scale up to about at least a 7 if not higher when Novell introduced PerfectOffice for Microsoft Windows. There was no other office productivity set of applications that came close to Novell's PerfectOffice when it was introduced. (Please see the About Novel's PerfectOffice Suite note in the right sidebar.)

    There was no Microsoft Office at that time. Lotus had AmiPro, 123, Approach, and Freelance Graphics, which Lotus had bundled together as SmartSuite in 1993. However, I did not try it then so, I do no know if SmartSuite was a fully-integrated office suite at that time.

    Another somewhat integrated set of office productivity applications at that time was the (DOS) PFS series of applications from Software Publishing Company. PFS Professional Write, Plan, and File had somewhat of a similar user interface across the applications series.

    However, there was not anywhere near the across the series of applications integration and interoperability that Novell innovated with its PerfectOffice suite. It was more of a superficial look and feel thing rather than an integration and interoperability sort of thing. (Please see the PFS Note in the right sidebar.)

    So just as now, back in the 1990s Novell grew from a networking software company into a full-spectrum software company with two operating systems, Unix and DR DOS, and the great desktop applications encompassed by the PerfectOffice Suite. Common knowledge then was that Novell was out to whoop Microsoft's butt and it looked as though Novell would do just that. However, as Novell CEO Jack Messman points out further on in this article, there was a fundamental flaw in the 1990s Novell plan to take on Microsoft.

    Because of that flaw, Novell started divesting all this great stable of OSs and applications that it had acquired and developed. Unix went to SCO (then not associated with Caldera), DR DOS went to Caldera (then not associated with SCO), and much of the WordPerfect, QuatroPro, and PerfectOffice stuff went to Corel.

    While there is lots of deja vu here, there are some significant differences. The most important of these is that it looks as though Novell will pull it off this time.

    One reason is that Novell now has open-source GNU-Linux rather than proprietary Unix or DR DOS as its operating system. Back in the early 1990s and before Novell divested its operating systems, Unix was not a PC (as in Intel x86 architecture) operating system per se.

    There were some Unix variants such as 386BSD and Xenix that could run on x86 machines back then, but they were not a factor in the battle for x86 desktop or laptop computer deployment.

    Linux is an x86 OS and considered by many to be part of the *NIX family of Unix flavor operating systems. However, in the early '90s Linux was just starting out, a command-line rather than graphical interface OS, and not yet competitive with Microsoft Windows. Moreover, Novell was not using Linux to compete with Microsoft at that time. Rather, Novell and Ray Norda banked on Unix System V and DR DOS for that job -- and they failed.

    (There is more detailed and very informative discussion about Unix history in Chatper 2 of Eric S. Raymond's new book, The Art of Unix Programming from Addison Wesley. Link in the Resources section on page 5 of this article.)

    By the mid-1990s, DOS of any flavor was slumping into obscurity. PC hardware growth and development was making PC machines enterprise/server grade machines. And MS Windows was well on its way to becoming close to the only PC OS in use.

    In a practical, realistic sense, the 1990s Novel did not have a viable PC operating system. If you think about it, and hindsight is always such a convenient thing, in the 1990s Novell did not have a PC operating system with which it could go head-to-head with Microsoft.

    And perhaps even worse for Novell, Microsoft Windows was starting to have built-in networking software -- thus going head-to-head with Novell's bread and butter networking software.

  • See GNU-Linux and FOSS are ubiquitous! on Page 2 ----->

  • Related Articles


    Novell Linux Dominates LinuxWorld 2004: Overview

    LinuxWorld in New York City -- 20-23 January 2004


    SUSE Linux Has New Educational Discount Program - 9.0 Professional Only $50 for Students, Teachers, Schools

    SuSE Linux Desktop Available

    Young People Are The Future of Linux -- Gaël Duval, Joe Eckert, Randy Plessor, Jeremy White, and Mike Angelo Discuss Linux and Open-Source Software in Schools and Colleges


    Overview of The GIMP - a free photograph and digital-image editing program

    How to Use GIMP for Photo and Image Editing

    How to Use GIMP for Photo and Image Editing #2: Introduction to Layers


    OpenOffice 1.1 -- A Complete Office/Productivity Software Suite for GNU-Linux, FreeBSD, MAC, MS-Windows, Unix, and more

    Creating a Simple Newsletter with OpenOffice/StarOffice Writer - a free word processor

    Creating a Simple Contact or Personal Information Manager with OpenOffice/StarOffice Calc - a free spreadsheet

    Creating a Personal or Company Budget with OpenOffice/StarOffice Calc - Part 1: Basics


    Crossover Office 2.1 Runs MS Windows Software on GNU-Linux Systems -- Jeremy White, and Mike Angelo Discuss Crossover Office, Wine, and MS Windows APIs for Linux

    MandrakeSoft's 8 Golden Rules


    A KDE Tool to Manage and Read E-Mail: KShowmail Shows Potential -- But It Can Delete the Wrong Messages



    Mandrake Linux 9.0, Desktop Magic You Can Use: A First Look

    Mandrake Linux 9.0 Released for Downloading


    Copyright 2000-2004 -- MozillaQuest -- Brodheadsville, Pa..USA -- All Rights Reserved
    Recent Articles

    Novell Linux Dominates LinuxWorld 2004: Overview

    How to Use GIMP for Photo and Image Editing #2: Introduction to Layers

    LinuxWorld in New York City -- 20-23 January 2004

    Does Dell Support Linux?

    How to Use GIMP for Photo and Image Editing

    Overview of The GIMP - a free photograph and digital-image editing program

    Creating a Personal or Company Budget with OpenOffice / StarOffice Calc -- Part 1: Basics

    MandrakeSoft's 8 Golden Rules

    A KDE Tool to Manage and Read Email: KShowmail Shows Potential - But Can Delete the Wrong Messages

    OpenOffice 1.1 -- A Complete Office/Productivity Software Suite for GNU-Linux, FreeBSD, MAC, MS-Windows, Unix, and more

    SUSE Linux Has New Educational Discount Program - 9.0 Professional Only $50 for Students, Teachers, Schools

    Crossover Office 2.1 Runs MS Windows Software on GNU-Linux Systems -- Jeremy White, and Mike Angelo Discuss Crossover Office, Wine, and MS Windows APIs for Linux

    Mandrake Linux 9.2 Available

    Young People Are The Future of Linux - Linux and Open-Source Software in Schools and Colleges

    CNN SUCKS!

    Gaël Duval Tells Why Mandrake Linux Is Better Than MS Windows

    Gaël Duval and Mike Angelo Discuss The HP-Mandrake Computer

    HP to Ship Desktops with Mandrake 9.1 Linux Pre-Installed - Good News for Mandrake Linux and Fans

    Mozilla 1.4 Browser-Suite -- AKA Netscape 7.1

    Gaël Duval and Mike Angelo Discuss Mandrake Business Products and Finances

    SuSE Linux Desktop Available

    About the Hey SCO, sue me Petition

    Linux for Windows Users -- Linux Networking for Windows and Desktop People -- Mandrake 9.1 and LinNeighborhood

    Gaël Duval and Mike Angelo Discuss the New AMD64 OS --

    Mandrake Linux Corporate Server 2.1 for AMD Opteron

    SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 Released

    Major Morphing in Mozilla Project Organization and Objectives Proposed

    Red Hat Linux 9 Distribution Released

    SCO-Caldera v IBM:

    • Are SCO's Rebuilt IBM Lawsuit and Unix License Revocation Winners -- Or More SCO FUD?

    Mandrake Linux Corporate Server 2.1 Released

    SCO-Caldera & the GNU/Linux Community: The SCOsource IP Matter

    Mozilla 1.0 updated!

    Don't Forget the Books

    Linux Makes a Great Gift

    Christmas Season Holidays & Computer Suggestions 2002

    Mozilla 1.2.1 Browser-Suite Released

    Buggy Mozilla 1.2 Recalled

    Mandrake Linux 9.0, Desktop Magic You Can Use: A First Look

    Using LinNeighborhood to Create a Network Neighborhood for Linux

    Zero Tolerance for Privacy and Security Bugs

    Mozilla and Netscape JavaScript Bugs Compromise Privacy and Security

    SCO's Darl McBride and MozillaQuest Magazine's Mike Angelo Discuss Caldera Linux and LSB

    UnitedLinux: A Standard or a Distribution?

    UnitedLinux, a Divisive Weapon for Caldera's Darl McBride -- Part II

    Holger Dyroff, Gaël Duval, Mark de Visser and Mike Angelo Discuss LSB, UnitedLinux, and the Linux Market

    UnitedLinux, a Divisive Weapon for Caldera's Darl McBride -- Part I

    Netscape Communicator 4.8

    Scott McNeil Discusses LSB

    New Mozilla Roadmap Kills Mozilla 1.0.x

    Mozilla 1.0 Browser-Suite's E-Mail & News Quick Look

    Mozilla 1.0 Browser Quick Look

    Mozilla 1.0 Browser-Suite Performance -- Speed, Stability, and Memory Hogging

    Mozilla 1.0 is Officially Out!

    Some Mozilla 1.0 Browser-Suite Annoyances, Bugs, And Issues

    Mozilla 1.0 Not Ready for Prime Time -- Close but No Cigar and No Brass Ring!

    Turmoil in MozillaLand:

    Mozilla 1.0 Browser Sneak Release

    AbiWord 1.0.1 Quick Look - MS Word Clone for Linux, MS Windows, & More

    MozillaQuest Magazine 2001 Editor's Choice Hardware Picks

    Getting Started with Wireless Network Technology

    Part III: Adding Wireless to a Linux-Based Laptop or Notebook

    Is Mozilla Actually AOL-Netscape's Mozilla?

    Bugzilla 2.16 - 2.14.1

    Year 2001 in Review -- Mozilla and Netscape Browsers

    Free Software for Your New Computer -- Or Any Computer

    Linux Gifts for Christmas, Holiday, and All Occasions