Novell is excited to announce that the authorized beta for their flagship collaboration product – GroupWise – is underway! This last week, the authorized beta for Windermere was officially started. Code was sent to all authorized beta sites and the first conference call is scheduled for Thursday June 20th.
The GroupWise team is excited about this final phase of the development cycle. We are code/feature complete, we have done our first couple rounds of validation on the new features and our Quality Control team has also completed a test pass of current features.
Engineering will now concentrate their efforts on hardening the product and getting it ready for final release. We continue to plan and project final release by the end of the year. The authorized beta phase includes several significant and aggressive internal/external roll out initiatives. Of course, all of our BETA sites, will roll out the product in some fashion. Most will be in pilot systems with ever increasing deployment. We will also roll out GroupWise Windermere to an ever increasing population within Novell. This will eventually include all of the corporate production servers. The Windermere code has been in production on the internal development system for several weeks now. This system supports several dozen engineers, employees and Business Unit executives. My GroupWise system is a Windows Client running in caching mode on a Windows 8 laptop connected to a 64-bit Linux POA. The GWIA (GroupWise Internet Agent) is also running on Linux.
The engineering and product management team will also soon begin a Lighthouse program where we will invite a few of our customers to roll out GroupWise Windermere into their production environments before we officially ship the product to the general public.. We are still looking for candidates! If you or your organizations are interested, please email me and let me know. Engineering is looking for organizations that not only can help shape the final release of Windermere, but who are also willing to help test and deploy some of the new functionality in a production environment. Engineering wants to ride along during your planning and deployment. You will have access to engineers, the latest updates, and everyone will have a better product in the end. Please sign up and let me know!
Engineering is also planning on conducting a technical preview for Windermere. This program will provide customers access to the code and a support forum, but will not require participation in regular beta calls. Engineering expects to release the tech preview in a few months, once some of the initial feedback from beta sites is properly prioritized. The tech preview is a bit like a public beta, but it does require registration and an invitation. Issues reported by tech preview participants via the tech preview support forum will be periodically reviewed by engineering and other Novell support personnel.
While the product has been part of the SDK/ISV Partner beta since January, the transition to authorized beta is a significant milestone for any product release. We know that all of our customers and partners are excited about final release!