Novell will rise again as the number one network software supplier, pledged its chief exective Eric Schmidt during his Comdex keynote address, which at times sounded like a hymn in praise of his former employer Sun Microsystems Java language.
Schmidt said that Novell would work with the other members of the so-called Gang of Five -Sun, Oracle, Netscape and IBM - to build server-side Java applications that take advantage of computers distributed over a network. ? Java will be implemented on the server, and the middle tier on the server side is where Java will take off. It will not be dominated by any single company, and server-side Java plays to our strong suits -- a network architecture and NetWare-aware applications," he claimed.
"Java created a new network architecture,? he added. ?Oracle, Sun, Netscape, and IBM [all have different names for it]. Ours is the Open Solutions Architecture. Microsoft calls us the Gang of Five and labelled us a conspiracy. I prefer to think of us as being right."
Schmidt admitted that Novell had lost its way in recent years. "We at Novell took our eyes off the ball, but now we have a solution for all of this," he said. But the technology was sound enough, he added, highlighting the Comdex internatl network which is being used to allow the 250,000 attendees to check their email from the conference floor. This was built using Novell technology in tandem with kit from Compaq and Bay Networks.
But Schmidt took a cautious stand on the NC v. PC debate, arguing that few businesses are likely to abandon their PCs in favour of thin-client devices. But, he added, the ability to have a single administration point on a Java network would cut the enormous support costs of PCs.administration. This is the way ahead, he said: ?The approach is to 'NC' your PC.?
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