Novell has laid out a fresh vision for its future, highlighting several new products such as its just-released SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 operating system, and also being frank about the work left to be done.
The road map was articulated by Novell Chairman and Chief Executive Jack Messman at the company's annual conference being held in Salt Lake City.
In addition to seeing a big opportunity with its new desktop OS designed for the enterprise, Messman said, Novell sees several opportunities ahead for other open-source software.
Major directions for the company include not only focusing on identity management and security tools, but also working to extend the capabilities of the company's collaboration software.
In terms of specific products, Messman noted that Novell will extend support for NetWare at least through 2015, and has teamed with Dell to create new management capability for PowerEdge servers running Linux.
In speaking about where open source is making a difference, Messman was frank about the fact that additional work is needed to bring open source to the desktop. The community is working hard to do just that, Messman said.
One area where open source might make a difference, said Messman, is in the mobile realm. Novell is keen to see open source succeed in that arena, and has inked a deal with wireless e-mail provider Intellisync with the aim of expanding mobile support for Novell's GroupWise software.
Another indication of Novell's interest in the mobile area is the recent beta release of GroupWise Mobile Server, which allows users to access e-mail and calendar functionality from their wireless devices.
As Novell promotes its newest enterprise desktop and gets ready to embark on new initiatives, the company likely will continue its efforts to appeal to a broad range of users.
"We're committed to giving customers a wider choice than our competitors," said Martin Sommer, Novell's product manager for SuSE Linux.
There are advantages to having different versions, he added, because some users want a plug-and-play boxed version while others appreciate more extensive features.
"Different types of users need different things," said Sommer. "Novell is eager to make sure that every customer is getting what they want, whether they're in the consumer or the enterprise markets."