Microsoft woos Novell Netware Users

This week, Martin Taylor, Microsoft’s general manager for platform strategy, isn’t touting any new Microsoft-funded studies aimed to demonstrate that Microsoft’s total-cost-of-ownership numbers beat those of its Linux competitors.

Instead,Microsoft is offering U.S.-based NetWare customers a voucher worth $600 toward channel-partner migration services for each NetWare server they are willing to convert to a Windows Server 2003 one.

News source: eWeek Each of these Windows Server 2003 systems must include 50 client-access licenses. The maximum value redeemable per customer is 25 systems, worth a total of $15,000. The Microsoft offer lasts until May 1, 2005, or until the first 1,000 redemptions are made, whichever comes sooner.

Microsoft also is offering NetWare customers considering moving to Windows Server one online training voucher and unlimited technical support via newsgroups at no cost.

“Novell, with its SuSE [Linux] acquisition created a new wave of momentum for themselves,” Taylor said. “But they also created a bit of an inflection point,” in terms of requiring NetWare users to choose whether to upgrade to Linux or switch to an entirely new platform.

“The NetWare installed base feels a little like the NT 4.0 and Unix installed bases,” Taylor said. “They know they are going to move to a new platform at some point. But the question is, to what?”

Taylor said Microsoft’s decision to launch the NetWare program one week after announcing that it had settled most of its antitrust complaints with Novell was purely coincidental. He said that Microsoft had been working on the details of the migration program for several months and “we knew we needed to get going.”

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