Analysts have slammed Novell?s latest product announcements for confusing the market and costing too much.
This week, Novell said it would ship version 2.0 of Novell Directory Services (NDS) for Windows NT by 31 December, while simultaneously launching NetWare 4.2, which it is positioning as a halfway house between NetWare 4.11 and NetWare 5.0 to ?facilitate a phased migration?.
But Laura DiDo and Ted Chippmann, both analysts at consultants, the Giga Group, poured cold water over the announcements.
DiDo said that while NDS for NT 2.0 includes remote branch office functionality, unlike earlier versions, it does not require businesses to physically install a NetWare server in a remote office.
And although she credited Novell with offering solid technology, she professed herself unhappy with its pricing model. Customers are complaining about what they say amounts to 'double dipping' by the supplier, she said, because it is charging them for both NDS for NT and their NetWare license.
"Why does Novell continue to sabotage itself with an unfathomable and ill-advised marketing/pricing policy? Namely: charging $26 per client user for NDS for NT. In Novell's case, it will only engender a sense of resentment on the part of customers," she warned.
Chippman, on the other hand, believed Novell had simply confused the market by releasing NetWare 4.2.
He attested that the network giant was now implying NetWare 5.0 was unreliable and unstable when, in fact, this was not the case because much of the functionality in NetWare 4.2 was available either as free patches or downloads.
Chippman said: "It's perplexing that Novell would risk NetWare 5.0 sales and the company's future by releasing a product that has a subset of the technology found in NetWare 5.0."
He was equally critical of the firm?s reference to 'phased migration'.
"A phased migration is not required for NetWare 5.0. NetWare 5.0's migration tools are superior in functionality and usability to those in NetWare 4.2," he said.
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