Reading this headline on CNET http://news.com.com/Major+layoffs+expected+at+Novell/2100-1014_3-5907573.html?tag=html.alert found memories of my beginnings as a LAN consultant came to mind. Novell had 80% of the market and was the undisputed choice for LANs. Then in 1994, Windows NT 3.51 changed the landscape.
Market shifts from File and Print to Application servers was the final nail in coffin for Novell. NLM applications were difficult and proprietary, they tried a run at a Java server which bombed! I remember various IBM presentations at the time that leveraged this short coming to position OS/2 as the choice…remember OS/2 and its last version Warp? Yes, I worked with these products as well years ago when I was a senior consultant at an IBM shop integrating mainframes (AS400, 9370 etc.) with LANs.
Well, the world certainly has changed in the past 15 years…some forget how complex computeers were and we take Windows from granted. Imagine having to buy an IP protocol stack for your OS? Of having to fight multiple venders to get basic network services working. Windows has provided a solid platform that has quirks but is for the most part a suite of products that is easy to install, configure and build upon.