Novell an interesting Competitor perspective

This week I have been attending a Novell conference hosted by a company called GWAVA.  GWAVA is a company that makes sofware to work with Novell servers, Groupwise, and monitoring software.

Here at Microsoft we are tasked with going out a couple of times a year to understand the competition.   As you know, a couple of months ago Microsoft and Novell signed an agreement about support, licensing and Linux.  I have had several customers ask me about Novell. I haven't worked on a Novell Server in 14 years so I thought I would attend this conference.   I am not wearing my standard MS logoed clothes. But they know I work for Microsoft. It's Giant on my Attendee badge.   I have many observations. I will break them down to a couple of blog entries.

 General observations:  Most the people here work for school districts, or some type of educational institution.  All the presenters are running Window XP, PowerPoint, and Internet Explorer.  Where is the Linux?  Open office? I haven't seen any yet. They even have OLD Xboxes in the vendor area for us to play with. 

One session late Sunday was done by a consultant.  She was great. Her 2 hr presentation was about how to move Groupwise to a pure Microsoft environment.  So basically keeping Novell's email, but getting rid of Netware, Linux Edirectory.  She went on page after page of how to upgrade,patch, etc to prepare for the conversion.  Then we got to the moment of moving the files to Windows Server.  She pulled up a slide that said, to copy the files to the server use RichCOPY(go find the latest version on TECHNET Magazine) or get a friend that works at Microsoft to give you version 3.5 of ROBO copy that is MS internal.  No mention of NWCopy.  This guy on the front row (in a RED Novell Jacket) said "But what about NWCOPY?"  The presenter went on to explain that tool was OK, it wasn't multi threaded like the MS tools.   Too funny.  Here I am at a Novell conference and the discussion is all about Microsoft Tools.    More in my next Post.

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