Novell Inc is targeting the UK public sector with a range of financial incentives to move to its Linux, NetWare and identity management software, including free software licenses for the latest version of its NetWare operating system.
The public sector is seen as an important sector for Waltham, Massachusetts-based Novell to exploit opportunities for encouraging the use of Linux and its network software ahead of Microsoft Corp.
That was made clear at the company’s recent BrainShare Europe conference where chairman and CEO, Jack Messman, declared the company extremely serious about the government space.
Serious enough, it appears, that the company is prepared to give away NetWare unlimited licenses to UK public sector organizations that do not already run the operating system, provided they invest in an equal number of upgrade protection licenses that provide software maintenance and entitles the organization to use the latest version of the product available.
While initially an attempt to increase NetWare’s share of the public sector market, the offer could also create a back door for Linux to get in on government accounts. Keeping any adopters up to date with the latest version of NetWare will enable the company to encourage the use of its forthcoming Open Enterprise Server product, which will include both NetWare and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server.
The company has also reduced the cost of its GroupWise email and collaboration software package to half price for UK government organizations, or even less if they swap existing Microsoft Exchange or IBM Corp Lotus Notes installations for GroupWise. As an example, the company said, a Microsoft Exchange shop could swap in GroupWise at a cost of 16.5 pounds ($30) per user.