Thursday, April 01, 2004 - Novell's Linux Bet Could Be End to Its Losing Streak - Novell's Linux Bet Could Be End to Its Losing Streak "Novell Inc. has been repeatedly trounced by Microsoft Corp. -- first in networking software for personal computers, which Novell pioneered, and later in word-processing software and operating systems.
But now Novell is trying to remake itself by becoming part of the open-source software community and figuring out a way to make profits out of free software. "We're not taking on Microsoft. The open-source community is taking on Microsoft," says Jack Messman, Novell's chairman and chief executive. "It's the guerrilla vs. the gorilla.
Matthew Szulik, chairman and chief executive of rival Red Hat, says his company expects to be more profitable than Novell. He notes that Red Hat has automated most of the services it provides, while Novell, with 6,200 employees, uses expensive technical experts. But Mr. Messman says many customers prefer to know that they can call a human engineer when things go wrong."
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