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Novell Makes Time For Open Source

Linux has apparently been very good to Novell.

Novell announced on Wednesday that it sold its stake in Celerant Consulting, which had been Novell's majority-owned management consulting subsidiary, for $77 million to a group composed of Celerant management and Caledonia Investments, a UK-based investment trust.

The company now intends to focus all of its attention on Linux and other open source software activities, according to a statement.

In May the company announced an innovative new driver process intended to broaden Linux hardware support and simplify the process of acquiring, installing and updating device drivers, which provide support and functionality for hardware.

Novell's Partner Linux Driver Process allows vendors to supply drivers directly to users. Typically if third-party drivers weren't available in the Linux kernel, users had to compile and install them manually or wait until the next kernel update.

On Tuesday Novell announced it would be partnering with the NCR Corporation, one of the world's largest store automation solution vendors, to offer Novell Linux Point of Service on NCR RealPOS retail point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

Also in May, Novell released its Novell Open Workgroup Suite, an open source and low-cost alternative to Microsoft Office. Novell claims customers can save up to 70 percent by using the Novell suite product instead of Office.

Novell, based in Waltham, Mass., had acquired Celerant when it purchased Cambridge Technology Partners in 2001.

"The buy-out is an important milestone in the development and expansion of our business," said Ian Clarkson, Celerant Consulting CEO, in a statement.

"It provides us with both the certainty and the opportunity to continue to invest in the platforms for growth in what is the fastest- growing segment of the global consulting market."

Novell plans to detail the financial impact of the sale when it releases its fiscal second-quarter results on May 31.