Novell has released the open beta of GroupWise 6.5 for Linux, claiming that it is the first groupware product to run entirely on Linux at both the server and desktop.
The move reflects Novell's efforts to integrate products from recent acquisitions Linux.
Version 6.5 adds native support for Ximian Evolution email and workgroup information management software, and plug-in access for the GAIM instant messaging client.
Chris Stone, Novell's vice chairman, office of the chief executive, told LinuxWorld delegates in New York: "This is the only end-to-end collaboration solution for Linux including the operating system and worldwide support."
GroupWise now provides secure email, calendaring, instant messaging, contact management, document management and workflow on Microsoft Windows, Linux and Novell NetWare.
Steve Hnizdur, technical director at open source systems developer Netproject, said open source groupware would grow in stature this year. "There will be more viable open source solutions, especially on the server side.
"People should be looking for applications that run on both Microsoft and open source desktops, so that the operating system becomes less important."
GroupWise 6.5 runs on Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Server and the Red Hat Enterprise Linux distributions.
Ximian Evolution provides the link to Linux desktops, complementing the GroupWise Windows client and GroupWise Cross-Platform client.
Novell claims 34 million GroupWise users, placing it third behind Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes.
Other open source announcements made by Novell include Linux support for its exteNd5 services-oriented application development suite. The company has also joined the Eclipse open source development consortium.
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