Novell Data Systems began life in 1979 as a computer manufacturer and maker of disk operating systems. In January 1983, SafeguardScientifics, a venture capital firm, reincorporated NDSI as Novell, Inc., to design and market software and hardware used for data networks. In May 1983, Raymond J. Noorda, an experienced engineer and marketer, became president and CEO of the new company.
Under Noorda, Novell helped found the corporate network market with the introduction of the LAN. In 1983, Novell introduced NetWare®, the firstLAN software based on file-server technology. Novell developed a PC networking system that designated one machine to manage the network and control access to shared devices, such as disk drives and printers. Through the 1980s, corporate requirements for networks grew significantly, with LANs being increasingly replaced by wide area networks, which unified large corporate environments. By the early1990s, Novell's NetWare operating system, updated to add key features for distributed enterprises, led this market with a nearly 70 % share.
In 1996, recognizing that the Internet was beginning to revolutionize the traditional network market, interim CEO John Young initiated a program to make the company's products Internet ready.
Eric Schmidt took over the reins at Novell in March 1997,accelerating efforts to leverage Novell's core networking strengths in the Internet arena. The following year both NetWare 5, the server operating system, and Novell Directory Services (NDS®) began shipping with native support for IP, the Internet communications protocol.
With the increased heterogeneity in corporate networks and the need for interoperability across the Internet, in 1998, Novell began topromote NDS as a means to tie diverse platforms together. The company also began shipping products that used information stored in the directory to simplify the management of networks and better secure access based on the identities of users. In late 1999, Novell released eDirectory™, a true cross-platform directory service that epitomized Novell's commitment to interoperability and openstandards which are key Internet requirements.
In July 2001, Novell acquired consulting firm Cambridge Technology Partners to strengthen its ability to deliver both services and products to customers. The combination of Novell's industry-leading technology and Cambridge's business expertise gave Novell new strength to deliver networking solutions to help companies solve their business challenges. JackMessman, the CEO of Cambridge, became president and CEO of Novell.
In July 2002, Novell took another significant step forward with its acquisition of SilverStream Software, a leader in web services-oriented application development. The addition of SilverStream gave Novell a powerful, three-pronged web services story: the expertise to convert business processes to web services, a leading webservices application platform, and Novell's traditional secure, scalable, and reliable networking and identity management infrastructure on which to run web services-based applications.
Novell's acquisition of Ximian in August 2003 added another key component to Novell's cross-platform story. With top Linux developers and leading solutions for Linux on the desktop, management of Linux desktops and...