Interop: Novell Chief Uses Linux Desktop - InformationWeek

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Interop: Novell Chief Uses Linux Desktop

CEO Ronald Hovsepian said the company is saving big by using open source products internally.

Novell CEO Ronald Hovsepian said Wednesday that he uses a Linux-based desktop while on the job and that Novell's use of open source software internally "has saved the company a lot of money." Hovsepian made the comments as he delivered a keynote presentation at the Interop technology conference and exhibition in New York.

Hovsepian said he uses Linux in concert with the free, OpenOffice.org open source desktop application suite. "The future of IT is based around open source and open standards," said Hovsepian. "Linux is the poster child" for that movement, he added.

On Tuesday, Novell announced that it was teaming up with thin-client vendor Wyse Technology to introduce what it called the first enterprise-class Linux thin client optimized for desktop virtualization.

Market watchers at IDC expect that the Linux thin-client market will grow from nearly 1 million units shipped in 2008 to 1.8 million units shipped in 2011, at which point Linux will represent 31% of all thin-client operating systems in the market.

Still, Hovsepian said that the reality for most IT shops today is mixed environments in which Linux runs alongside Microsoft's Windows OS and other platforms. "You're going to have Linux and you're going to have Windows," said Hovsepian, who was named CEO of Novell in June 2006.

That fact, Hovsepian said, means that IT departments are going to face integration and interoperability challenges. "Making IT work as one is what we have to do today," he said. To that end, IT managers need to lean on their vendors to make sure they are building products that support open standards, which help ensure interoperability. "Leverage your ecosystem," said Hovsepian.

Under Hovsepian, Novell in 2006 partnered with Microsoft to develop technologies that allow Linux and Windows to run in a single environment. "True agility comes from better integration," said Hovsepian. Microsoft is also a reseller of support services for Novell's SUSE Enterprise Linux.

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