Novell's days as a "file and print services" company are numbered, according to Paul Maritz, vice president of Microsoft's Developer Group.
Renewing the frequent war of words between the two companies, Maritz claimed that with the accelerating march of Windows 2000, Novell is already showing signs of switching strategy, trailing out of network operations and going down the services route, similar to that of Banyan.
"They are strategically becoming less reliant on file and print services," he told VNU Newswire in an exclusive interview at Microsoft Tech. Ed 99 today. "They are explicitly moving into running on NT."
Maritz believes it is a smart move: "They have more chance of succeeding than Banyan because of their large core user base."
Olivier Thierry, vice president of marketing for Mission Critical Software, which has licensed its Domain Upgrader technologies to Microsoft as a tool to accelerate migrations to Windows 2000, agreed.
"Corporates running two platforms in tandem, Windows and Novell, will eventually have to drop one and it will be Novell," he said. "Microsoft is ploughing through the icebergs and anyone in the way of its bow is dead in the water."
Thierry said that, despite the pressure of Y2K, companies are already "doing their housekeeping" ready for the move across to Windows 2000.
Contractors should look to Active Directory for the work when their Y2K projects dry up: "That is where the massive demand will be," he said.
Novell may be spreading its wings into services, but - whatever Maritz may claim - has shown little sign of giving up in the network operating system war.
Only last month it acquired Ukiah Software, a privately held developer of policy based network management software. It plans to incorporate Ukiah's policy based traffic monitoring and bandwidth shaping technology into a new directory enabled network management product to be available by the end of this year.
"Novell is positioned to act as catalyst for a new wave of policy-based solutions that simplify and automate the management of complex networks," said Dave Shirk, Novell vice president for product management, in a statement.
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