Novell stands to make $4 million by charging for beta copies of Netware 5, the next major release of its network operating system.
Novell has decided to charge a $20 ?handling fee? on top of shipping charges for users who want to test the third beta release of the software.
In what some observers see as a worrying trend, Novell is following the example of Microsoft, which decided earlier this year to charge $29.95 for beta 3 copies of Windows 98.
The networking giant claimed the money will cover the cost of building the release, so it can be made available to more users. It expects to ship more than 200,000 copies worldwide. Around 122,000 users are currently testing the second beta.
As well as Netware 5, the five-CD beta 3 will include a five-user version of the Oracle8 database, Netscape?s Fast Track Server, plus the Novell desktop management product, Zero Effort Networking.
Beta 3 is available this week. Shipping dates for Netware 5 proper will be announced at Novell?s European Brainshare event in France beginning 11 May.
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