Novell Inc. has long been a company acknowledged to provide high quality software products in the networking space. Indeed, in the early years when organisations had a requirement to link together computers, Netware was the market-leading product frequently selected ahead of a host of competing systems. However, over time the company consistently lost market share, especially to Microsoft, a trend that continued almost unhindered until the recent launch of Netware 6. The unveiling of Novell's new baby unleashed a torrent of mostly favourable reviews and a positive deluge of chat room comment hoping that the fortunes of Utah headquartered company could be revived.
Novell's stated aim was to move squarely to become a cornerstone supplier of Internet infrastructure tools and services. An early indicator of the potential success of these moves can be seen in the announcement of a major deal between Novell and Deutsche Lufthansa, one of Europe's leading airlines.