The news that Novell is to be sold off as an independent company took Silicon Valley by surprise.
There is still doubt as to the exact terms of the deal with Attachmate, but V3.co.uk spoke to a number of analysts to get their views of what's in store for Novell customers.
"Attachmate's acquisition of Novell for $2.2bn [£1.37bn] signals the end of an era," said Earl Perkins, a research vice president at Gartner.
"One could make an interesting case that Novell made Microsoft what it is today through the early market battle between Novell NetWare and Microsoft Windows Server.
"We all know how that battle ended but, in the long run, Windows Server was a better product because of it."
Attachmate has certainly bought itself a viable business, according to Al Gillen, a programme vice president at IDC.
"The company can enjoy net revenues from existing customers. This will be a mature business that will be a cash cow and generate dollars," he told V3.co.uk.
"The Linux side of the business and Novell's management products will be business areas for the consortium to grow."
The big question mark over the deal is Novell's Unix intellectual property. The company has staked a lot on its willingness to embrace open source software, but ownership of the rights to Linux is key to the deal.
"It is going to be interesting to see how that plays out," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group.
"Microsoft will aggressively seek out Novell licensees, and it's going to be an interesting time for Unix derivatives like Linux."
Enderle suggested that Microsoft is unlikely to pursue an S CO approach to open source, but will endeavour to sell open source licences to corporate users to indemnify themselves against future litigation.
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