What happens to Novell, post Microsoft?

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SUSE

Novell reported fiscal second quarter earnings of $110,000 on revenue of $239 million in a so-so quarter that illustrated how the company’s non-Linux businesses–Netware and its identity management software–struggle to grow.

The good news: SUSE Linux continues to deliver solid growth for Novell courtesy of the company’s partnership with Microsoft.

The bad news: Novell is becoming too reliant on Microsoft. And given the third version of the General Public License could hamper the partnership that’s no idle concern.

First let’s look at the numbers regarding just how important Microsoft is to SUSE Linux in the enterprise.

In the quarter Novell reported $19 million of revenue from its Linux platform products, up 83 percent from a year ago. Novell also added $29 million in invoicing for Linux products, up 114 percent from a year ago. A lot of that growth can be attributed to Microsoft reselling SUSE Enterprise Linux certificates.

The rub: The sales pop from Microsoft is waning for Novell. More optimistic analysts call this waning “normalizing.”

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Also: Microsoft Gets Novell Linux Code Ahead Of Open Source Community