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Novell GroupWise catches the WAVE – Google Wave

March 22, 2010

Its with great surprise and shock that I post about this. A once great enterprise in the field of communication & messaging, which didn’t quite evolve to collaboration until recently is returning with a vengeance.

Novell Suse Linux

Novell NetWare

RIM has continued to support Novell GroupWise via BES over all previous versions of BES – yet I cannot find specific mention of BES 5.0 supporting GroupWise. This isn’t really a surprise since Novell is primarily a Linux house – mainly servers/mainframes built on Suse Linux (which is HUGE in Germany I might add). The previous meat of Novell was either NetWare [multi-platform network operating system (NOS), Novell NetWare] & GroupWise Server.

Novell NetWare Revisor

Of note back in 1993 Novell Inc owned rights to the Unix operating system with the purchase of the company bought Unix System Laboratories from AT&T. Novell in 1995 assigned portions of their Unix business to the Santa Cruz Operation, WordPerfect and Quattro Pro were sold together to Corel in 1996. DR was also sold to Caldera Systems in 1996. To further give you the scope of just how powerful Novell was, the largest Nuclear PowerPlant corporation in the United States had run fully on Novel NetWare up until 2007; and possibly still is. But enough about that.

Now back to why this post matters, or may matter in the future for you BlackBerry users and those of you just curious about the collaboration industry.

Novell Pulse

Novell recently announced a new initiative: Pulse! This will be based on Google’s WAVE (HTML5 based, cloud collaborative communications software/service). This is a LOT bigger than just having that “wave” in its inception.

  1. This will allow Novell to effectively act as a cloud service for only applications; not just to existing customers but also to Government and large corporations willing to save their costs without huge overhead, administrative, and IT expense or headache’s.
  2. This, could allow Novell to compete not only against Microsoft, or IBM’s Domino/Notes/etc services/software, but also against Google’s on fledgeling service to large states such as California. Its possible this is already been done with Google’s brand fronting the operation. Of note … Eric Schmidt was CEO of Novell back in 1997 so don’t think this is a coincidence.

I’m more interested in how RIM will consider supporting such a service (if it decides to) and will the support just be on Windows based computing or will it include the ever growing Mac OS X & Linux platforms. The future of computing is slowly becoming cloud based … something I loathe; but not entirely. I can see us getting closure to a society that uses netbooks/laptops, and netbooks that are cloud OS based with applications and documents also cloud based and easily shared with our smartphone of choice – with conversions done in the cloud; wait RIM already has done this with Word/PPT/Excel/PDF documents since BIS 2.1. Those of you old enough to remember watching Superman as little tots or read the comics of Superman that featured Brainiac or Brain-Interactive Construct will squint to see the similarities of a possible Cloud Based OS & Application future – without the paranoia of course.

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