RealTime IT News

Microsoft Soliciting For NetWare Migration

Officials at Microsoft took advantage of their new arrangement with Novell to launch a promotion to get U.S. customers off the NetWare operating system and onto Windows Server 2003.

Microsoft's Mid-Market NetWare Migration Promotion is a set of free downloadable tools that includes newsgroup-based technical support and vouchers for online training. The company is giving out a $600 rebate for every 50-seat Server 2003 license up to 25 licenses.

There are 1,000 rebates available on a first-come-first-served basis, or until the promotion ends on May 1, 2005.

"Customers have increasingly told us that they are looking for ways to make the move to Microsoft's reliable server platform and road map, but are concerned about migration issues," said Martin Taylor, Microsoft platform strategy general manager.

"These offerings are designed to help address customers' concerns and assist them in evaluating their operations through information, tools and Microsoft partner support, making migration easier and more cost-effective."

Novell, for its part, isn't surprised or impressed with the new promotion.

Bruce Lowry, a Novell spokesman, said the company's forthcoming Open Enterprise Server lets its NetWare customers either migrate to a Linux environment or run concurrently on the open source platform. The server, due in February, ships with NetWare and its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 and won't require, Lowry said, a new look-and-feel or vendor lock.

"We've been thinking about the needs of our faithful NetWare users for far longer than Microsoft has, and we've come up with a strategy that delivers the best of both worlds to our NetWare customers," he said in an e-mail. "Our customers tell us their concerns with NetWare aren't technology, but rather what NetWare's future path is. We now have made that future path clear, and we think customers will see the value of sticking with Novell."

The Redmond, Wash., software giant paid Novell $536 million Nov. 8 to get the company to withdraw its support in a European Union antitrust case -- which is currently in appeals -- and to back off from a dispute over its NetWare operating system, which competes with Microsoft's Windows.

Novell filed a lawsuit against Microsoft Friday over WordPerfect, its business application suite. The suit charges Microsoft with violating two sections of the Sherman Act by putting restrictions on resellers selling applications that competed with Redmond's Office suite.