Novell is to finally launch its new Open Solutions Architecture (OSA) initiative in the UK this week. The strategy, by which Novell is attempting to use Java to reverse its ailing fortunes, was first revealed in PC Week on 2 December last year. It centres on making NetWare an application server platform, rather than merely file and print technology. As well as being integral to NetWare 5.0, to be launched this summer, OSA will be available off the peg for use with NetWare 4.x from March. Novell's worldwide product manager for corporate strategy, Jim Colburn, said Novell was fully committed to an "open tools approach" which would result in cost savings for users. "This is not just a pipe dream - there is real substance to this technology," he said. "Users now want vendors to play together. By default, any application written in Java will run on Novell's OSA platform. Our servers will be used for much more than file and print." A beta version of OSA has been on the Web since last month. Colburn said application developers are already testing the technology. But he denied that the outcome of Sun's ongoing court battle with Microsoft over Java would affect Novell's strategy. "Java is an industry-wide movement - it is not just Microsoft versus Sun," Colburn explained. "Regardless of what vendors do, the real requirements will be set by customers."
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