Linux and identity management will be Novell's biggest strengths, according to its chief executive Jack Messman.
Messman told delegates at this year's Novell Brainshare Europe event in Barcelona that the company was not against Unix or Windows, but that Novell's purpose was to "provide customers with flexibility and choice".
He claimed that Novell is addressing the barriers to Linux adoption in order to give customers the choice they had been asking for.
"Linux gives IT departments choice and avoids vendor lock-in. [It is also] the choice for lower total cost of ownership," he said.
"Novell is the best company to unite the world of proprietary and open source. We believe in open standards and interoperability. It is the Linux leader because it provides a lot more than the Linux operating system."
The company's strategy is to combine open source and identity management, for which Novell is already the leader, according to Messman.
He then described some of the barriers that had prevented take-up, and how Novell had been removing them.
These included the lack of a support infrastructure for the operating system, which he claimed Novell is addressing with a global technical support capability consisting of more than 800 people in seven locations, and a comprehensive certification programme for consultants and system integration partners.
Messman said that enterprise-ready Linux capabilities, including strong management, were being achieved through its Open Enterprise Server (OES) which is shortly to go into open beta.
This includes Novell's NetWare and the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 operating systems, as well as integrated management tools and identity-based services.
OES also gives NetWare users peace of mind, said Messman, as does an increasing emphasis on creating more vertical business applications in combination with identity management to address customer concerns.
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