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Heads Up: SUSE Linux Openexchange Server Changes Name

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Posted: 23 Dec 2004

Netline Internet Service announced recently that in Europe Novell will sell and provide training, maintenance and support for Netline's market-leading Open-Xchange Server (not available in US). Novell will contribute SUSE Linux Openexchange code to the Open-Xchange community, and Novell will also provide sales, training, maintenance and first- and second level-support for the Open-Xchange Novell sells, with Netline supplying third-level support.

Netline's Open-Xchange Server, the engine behind Novell's SUSE Linux Openexchange Server, is a modular, standards-based communications tool that provides small to medium businesses with flexible groupware functions including e-mail, calendar, contacts, tasks and real-time document storage. The Open-Xchange Server brand will replace the former brand of SUSE LINUX Openexchange Server on Novell's price list.

Netline expects to release the commercial Open-Xchange server in the first quarter of 2005. The open source version of Open-Xchange is available free by download at ( and and features most of the award-winning attributes of the commercial product -- running on the major Linux operating systems -- but without support and maintenance, third-party applications and connectors.

As part of the agreement, Novell will contribute SUSE Linux Openexchange code to the Open-Xchange community and Netline will be fully integrated into Novell's DeveloperNet program -- enabling Netline to seamlessly integrate Open-Xchange with existing Novell technology (Evolution, Novell Linux Desktop, ZENworks).

Read Netline's full press release here.

For more about this change, see this eWeek article.


Q: Why is Novell doing away with the SUSE Linux Openexchange Server brand?

A: SUSE Linux Openexchange Server was a product name, not a brand. The product name reflected the fact that the product was a combination of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and the Openexchange collaboration technology. Moving forward, we would like to create a clear line of delineation between our Linux distribution, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and the applications that run on it, in this case NetLine's Open-Xchange.

Q: What does this mean for Novell's SLOX customers?

A: Novell remains committed to its SUSE Linux Openexchange Server customers, and this announcement ensures that current customers continue to receive support, training and maintenance of the product, whatever its name. There is a significant amount of interest in Open-Xchange, and we believe this agreement ensures continuity and support of the product.

Q: Do I have to migrate from Novell SUSE Linux Openexchange Server to Open-Xchange Server?

A: Novell will continue to offer maintenance for SUSE Linux Openexchange Server. However, if you wish to benefit from new features and functions, you should migrate to Open-Xchange Server. A migration tool for migrating from Novell SUSE Linux Openexchange Server to Open-Xchange Server is supplied with Open-Xchange Server.

Q: Netline has a "free" product. Will this impact the commercial product?

A: The license used by Netline has all the components of the GPL -- except that it prohibits others from profiting from their work without first working through Netline. We believe that this model is one that maintains the values and traditions of the open source community, while at the same time giving Linux vendors -- like Netline -- a real, sustainable business model. By open sourcing OX, both Netline and Novell have benefited from a significant injection of innovation -- a great attribute in working with open source. This will also allow customers the opportunity to "test drive" the product -- many of whom will turn to Novell for deployment. The GPL version of Open-Xchange Server will be provided without support, maintenance, third-party products, and connectors (e.g., Outlook Connector).

Q: So what will change?

A: Novell SUSE Linux Openexchange Server is now renamed to Open-Xchange Server, as the development of Open-Xchange Server is now handled by Netline. All other services such as support, maintenance, and training will continue to be offered by Novell. The technical structure will not change.

Q: What are the plans for further development of Open-Xchange Server?

A: Contact Netline for further product development details.

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