Incoming Novell chairman Eric Schmidt admitted closer collaboration with Sun Microsystems, his former employer, is likely, fuelling speculation that a merger or joint venture between the companies is planned.
Speaking at Novell's Brainshare conference in Utah yesterday, his first public appearance with Novell - the company he will join on 7 April - Schmidt said Novell as in close collaboration with Sun. But he refused to discuss the possibility of a merger or joint venture between the partner companies. "We won't comment on that and we never will, but we will develop our collaborations. Networking is a collaboration-intensive world. I have all the home phone numbers of everybody at Sun," he hinted.
Novell president Joe Marengi agreed the three companies work very closely but claimed Novell and its partners are not simply trying to break Microsoft's hold on the software industry. "We're not ganging up on Microsoft," he said. "Windows NT has a specific purpose and we want to add value to NT and Unix using Intranetware."
The conference contained evidence of the companies' work together when Novell announced it has licensed Project Studio, an interactive programming tool based on Visual Java, from Sun. Project Studio will soon be bundled with Intranetware, Novell said.
Both executives mentioned Netscape and Oracle, who are also closely joined to the alliance. Novell and Netscape launched a joint venture company called Novonyx last week, while Oracle announced yesterday at Brainshare that it had set up a dedicated Novell division to develop and integrate joint products. All four companies are strongly backing Java and the Network Computer and Netscape, Novell and Sun are cooperating to jointly sponsor the Java World Tour to promote the technologies.
Under their agreement, Oracle and Novell will integrate Oracle Web Server with Novell Intranetware, offer developer programmes and introduce support for Java to all their products. Oracle senior vice president Gary Bloom said: "The new Novell division at Oracle will align strategies, develop products and deliver Oracle Web Server with Intranetware by the end of 1997."
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