Developer's Toolkit

Blog archive

In Memoriam

Ray Noorda, ex-CEO of Novell and networking visionary, passed away yesterday (http://money.cnn.com/2006/10/09/news/newsmakers/noorda.reut/index.htm?postversion=2006100919, and others). We hardly think of Novell as a networking company today, what with its merger with Cambridge Technology Partners and its acquisition of SuSE Linux over the past several years (Novell also owned AT&T System V Unix for a brief period). But there was a period of time in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Novell NetWare was synonymous with PC networking.

What happened? As is the case with many companies with innovative ideas, Microsoft eventually set its sights on the networking market. Because Microsoft owned the operating system, it was able to better integrate networking into the platform and eventually offer a less expensive and easier solution.

But Novell made his own mistakes. NetWare enabled PC networking, but did not make it easy. It required a dedicated PC server and significant skills (and perhaps also a measure of luck) to get NetWare installed and operating properly. And Novell did not expend a lot of effort in making it easier. Quite the contrary, in fact, because keeping it difficult enabled the company to develop an army of technical specialists who also evangelized the product.

Certified NetWare Engineer (CNE) training was the surest ticket to job security and financial success in the PC industry for several years. These skills were almost mandatory in installing and maintaining the software. While Novell was training over 50,000 CNEs, Microsoft was busy making networking simple enough in Windows 95 so that little or no training was required. Ultimately this was the right side of history.

Novell also used its own proprietary networking protocol (IPX/SPX), rather than invest in TCP/IP, the protocol of the Internet that eventually became the industry standard. While the company eventually offered TCP/IP in addition to its own protocol, NetWare's peak had already passed.

When Noorda retired from Novell, he founded Caldera Linux (for a while my preferred Linux distribution), which through a strange sequence of events eventually morphed into SCO (without involvement from Noorda), the company that has been attempting to assert legal flaws in Linux over the past several years (Novell, among others, is disputing those claims).

In retirement Noorda also founded the Canopy Group, a venture capital firm that invested in start-up companies based mostly in his home state ofUtah.

Posted by Peter Varhol on 10/10/2006 at 1:15 PM


comments powered by Disqus

Featured

  • How to Do Machine Learning Evolutionary Optimization Using C#

    Resident data scientist Dr. James McCaffrey of Microsoft Research turns his attention to evolutionary optimization, using a full code download, screenshots and graphics to explain this machine learning technique used to train many types of models by modeling the biological processes of natural selection, evolution, and mutation.

  • Old Stone Wall Graphic

    Visual Studio Code Boosts Java Dependency Viewer

    Easier management of project code dependencies and improvements to extensions for popular Java frameworks and runtimes highlight the February update to Java in Visual Studio Code functionality.

  • Blule Squares

    Visual Studio 2019 for Mac 8.5 Preview Adds ASP.NET Core Authentication

    Microsoft, after shipping Visual Studio 2019 for Mac v8.4 with support for ASP.NET Core Blazor Server applications last month, is now previewing the v8.5 series, adding new authentication templates for ASP.NET Core along with other improvements.

  • Q&A with Brice Wilson: What's New in Angular 9

    We caught up with expert web developer/trainer Brice Wilson to get his take on Angular, which always appears at or near the top of periodic rankings of the most popular JavaScript-based web development frameworks.

  • Entity Framework Core Migrations

    Eric Vogel uses code samples and screenshots to demonstrate how to use Entity Framework Core migrations in a .NET Core application through the command line and in code.

.NET Insight

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.

Upcoming Events