Commercial operating system and add-on systems software maker Novell this week felt the ire of its user base, as it warned partners that in a few months it would be requiring that customers get a maintenance contract on software before they would get access to patches, updates, and technical documents for that software. It seems …
If not SuSE and Netware
what's left for them to charge for? Groupwise is about all I can think of. Maybe their eDirectory stuff for Windows.
Charging to access the Novell knowledgebase would have been suicidal. It's hard enough for us Netware fanatics to justify staying on Netware instead of migrating everything to M$, but that might have broken the camel's back.
...a software company charging for support and maintenance? Do they think they should make a profit, too?
TANSTAAFL, get over it.
Not the first...
Esker (fax servers) have been doing this for ages.
I understand why they would do that, with the number of new installs decreasing to almost nothing, they have to get money from somewhere.
..you have to give them some credit for changing their mind and taking criticism on the chin. On the other hand, product quality is suffering and customers are bolting to Microsoft as fast as their legs can carry them (not that they're any better, but they are seen as the safe option). I work for a Novell and Microsoft partner, and most customers say the same thing.
Shame, really. There was a time when Novell were known for quality, reliability and good value. Now they're known for shoddy code, crap marketing and "ivory tower" upper management who've utterly lost touch with the real world.
Oh well, time to start re-skilling, I guess. There is still time to save the company - fire Hovsepian and his clique of ex-IBMers (he's had his time and things are no better than the Messmann era) and get some younger, more dynamic people who know a few things about software QA, engaging existing customers in a positive way and are willing to speculate to accumulate, namely DO SOME FUCKING MARKETING!
Apple has been doing this for years...
Novell an outlier? How?
Mr. Dragoon states Novell is an outlier by not charging for patches and support documents. How so? I have yet to see him cite any examples of companies in the enterprise space that do this? Typically, small niche companies use these practices. It's not as common in the enterprise space. Not only does Microsoft not do this, but Symantec, VMware, and Citrix don't do this, either. Also, with regards to Microsoft not charging, what does he mean by "they charge you in other ways"? Who forces maintenance? Novell. Microsoft does not force SA. Who has a breadth of third-party support? Microsoft. Want third-party support for Novell, you have to purchase other third-parties to make the original third-party solutions work.
I've always been a Novell fan, and to this date most of my organization's infrastructure runs on Novell products (NetWare, SLES, OES, GW, etc). But throughout all this John Dragoon has done nothing but use vague statements to support Novell's actions without giving any concrete examples.
What? Novell committed an enormous marketing blunder? I can't BELIEVE it! Alert The Media!! Oh, wait.
We're "just about" to finally turn off the last of our old-timey Netware servers where I live. I put up with them for years - since 3.10 in fact. I stopped defending them to management and the local 'softies when they stopped developing the (then) still-decent Netware kernel and tried to strong-arm customers onto their SUSE Frankensteinian creation. F' em - right in the ear...
John Dragoon is one of those who doesn't get it, and hasn't gotten it ever since waving a piece of paper in the air and declaring "peace in our time" with Microsoft.
Marketing is supposed to be about getting new customers, not milking your current customers for all you can until you drive them into the arms of your competitor.