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If It Ain't Dead, Kill It.

March 2000, Novell just announced that it will stop supporting NetWare v3.20 in October 2000.

I wish I could use the words I feel to describe how unhappy I am with Novell over this marketing choice.


I have always felt that giving a lobotomy to the average corporate executive would improve the quality of their work. Don't you get tired of corporate executives who think the way to save money is to fire the staff, and give themselves a bonus?

Why do software companies put new program features in the bug fixes of your products, so that the end user can never tell if the old bug is still there, or the new bug broke in the same old place?

Why do software companies force the end user to buy new hardware to be able to run new features that few people want, and fewer will use?


Novell has always delivered a good product, but they keep doing their best to avoid telling anyone that they exist.

I know that no one at Novell (or Microsoft or any other big company for that matter) really listens to the people that actually use the product.

But even so, I would like to mention for the record my own "modest proposal".

Keeping in mind that at one time Novell tried to capture the small business market with NetWare Lite and/or NetWare personal. (Both of which got discontinued because of various problems.) And keeping in mind that Novell has a product called "NetWare for Small Businesses" (but what small business wants to spend that much money for simple file and printer sharing). And keeping in mind that NetWare v3.20 already exists and has a good reputation. And keeping in mind that Linux is gaining substantial headway because it is a good product, very reasonably priced, and easily available to anyone that wants it.

And keeping in mind that Apple was able to capture and maintain a market share by donating computers to schools so that children could grow up with them. Keep in mind that when Microsoft forces businesses to upgrade to the newest hardware to try to keep up with the demands of their newest bloatware product, the older hardware could easily be set up as a fast, efficient, stable NetWare file server.

Right now *ALL* the major OSes are losing out to Linux. Why? High schools and middle schools in my neighborhood are installing Linux for the server and workstation because they can't afford a costly OS, much less any of the software needed to run on an expensive OS. What OS do you think these kids will use when they graduate from school?

Keeping all this in mind, why not sell NetWare v3.20 for some modest fee ($10 per user), or maybe even give it away (via internet download).

NetWare works very well for file and print services and it has modest hardware requirements. If you can get NetWare into the hands of people who will use it (and at this price almost everyone could afford it), maybe the end users could learn that a machine (OS) doesn't have to crash all the time. Then, the end user might consider upgrading to a more full featured version when they want to do something beyond the basic networking.

-- The Cynical Optimist

Opinions expressed here are those of the individuals themselves; and may not necessarily reflect those of BONGO'S FALLOUT SHELTER.

Nuclear Reactions?
Updated ( 3-27-2000 )
(c)2000 The Cynical Optimist.