Re: Novell acquires Ximian.

On Mon, 2003-08-04 at 15:08, Christian Fredrik Kalager Schaller wrote:
> Hi Nat,
> So what does this mean in more practical terms? Will you get more
> developers working on GNOME, less developers, the same amount of
> developers? Will Ximian GNOME be used in a Novell linux distro toghether
> with their Novell services stuff? Did they buy Ximian because they are
> interested in GNOME or are they mostly interested in doing stuff around
> Red Carpet? or was it Mono? How much atonomy will the Ximian unit have?
> Will you and Miguell swim in champagne and spend your days watching polo
> games for the most part due to this deal? 

Hi Christian,

That's a lot of questions, and frankly I don't know the answer to all of
them yet.  That's because we haven't figured them all out yet; give us a
few weeks ;-).

I am taking the lead, with Miguel, on the Linux desktop strategy here at

We believe that the Linux desktop is nearing a tipping point which could
cause explosive growth in the next 12-18 months.  We see a growing
pattern of large-scale deployments: 400 systems in Largo, 10,000 in
Brazil, 14,000 in Munich, up to 200,000 in Extramadura/Andalucia, and up
to a million in Thailand.  We want to help make this happen.

Our Linux desktop strategy is GNOME-based.  We will work aggressively to
advance GNOME and make it the best it can be.  We are committed to
GNOME, but of course we are also committed to open standards and efforts
like freedesktop.  You can expect to see more activity from us in these
areas in the future.
We will do no Linux client development in a closed way.  In the past
we've done this with, for example, our printing UI work in XD2, which we
didn't release into CVS until we released the product.  
This pattern won't repeat in the future; we hope to move all our desktop
development into public CVS/the public eye over the next couple months.
Novell's strategy is to use the platform, including the desktop, to
drive sales of support and network services like ZEN, GroupWise,
eDirectory, etc.  There's no reason for us to swim upstream against open
source methodologies, so we won't do it.
Evolution will undergo a significant renaissance.  Besides building
S/MIME support and, obviously, a groupwise connector, we are going to do
some things to make Evolution into the best candidate for a deeply
integrated GNOME groupware suite.
We're going to open up the development a lot more, stabilize and freeze
the integration APIs, and move to a time-based release schedule.  We
really want Evolution to be a part of the desktop, not just a separate
Watch this space; in a few weeks Ettore will bust onto the scene with a
roadmap and many more details.  I don't want to steal his thunder now
with a half-assed explanation :-).

As for why Novell bought us, you can read their own statements on that. 
But I'll tell you that it wasn't for any one thing we're doing; every
project we have underway was a factor in their decision, and we intend
to push harder than ever before in each of our projects.


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