Novell GroupWise on Ubuntu?
I stumbled onto this blog post earlier today — from dkpw’s Wikedfire — explaining how you can potentially install Novell’s GroupWise on Ubuntu. Novell doesn’t support GroupWise on Ubuntu. So, do dkpw’s step-by-step directions work? I must concede: I haven’t tried the install. But the mere mention of Novell GroupWise and Canonical’s Ubuntu in the same sentence raises some interesting considerations.
First a little background. In the 1990s, GroupWise was quite a popular groupware system. At one point, then Novell President Joe Marengi (now at Austin Ventures) predicted GroupWise could overcome either Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange to be the world’s No. 2 groupware platform. But GroupWise’s popularity faded as Novell retrenched throughout the late 1990s.
Of course, that’s super-old news. Fast forward a decade, and Novell has made considerable progress with its SUSE Linux focus. And yes, Novell still invests in GroupWise. It’s now a niche alternative in the groupware market. And I doubt Novell will ever take the step to support GroupWise on Ubuntu. This little thread from the Novell forums shows how Novell directs Ubuntu-related GroupWise inquiries to try OpenSUSE instead.
Open to Alternatives?
But here’s a potential twist: Novell continues to examine whether to shift GroupWise to an open source business model. And if GroupWise became open source, I suspect a GroupWise “community” would work hard to ensure the groupware system supported Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.
I’m not predicting that day will come anytime soon. I spoke with Novell Chief Marketing Officer John Dragoon in January 2009 about the possibility of GroupWise shifting to an open source model. Dragoon told me Novell regularly evaluates that possibility, but at the time no such plans for GroupWise were in place.
I wonder: Will the day come when GroupWise goes open source? And if so, would more Ubuntu shops give it a try?