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Comdex coverage by CNN and

NetWare Small Business 4.2 debuts

November 17, 1998
Web posted at: 2:33 PM ET

by Kristi Essick

(IDG) -- LAS VEGAS -- Novell on Monday announced NetWare for Small Business 4.2, a new version of its network operating system with management and Internet features designed specifically for companies with less than 100 employees.

Shipping on Monday, NetWare for Small Business 4.2 includes installation wizards -- including an Internet connection wizard -- that lead users through the set-up process, said Rick Balazs, product manager for NetWare for Small Business at Novell. The product is designed to make it easy to use for those who don't have a lot of experience setting up networks, he said.

While Novell began shipping the newest version of its flagship operating system, NetWare 5.0, in September, small business users will have to be content with a product based on the NetWare 4.0 core for now, Balazs said. Many small businesses don't even have networks yet, and they are worried about getting "the cutting edge" of network technology, he said.
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Another factor in deciding to base the newest version of NetWare for Small Business on NetWare 4.0 is that about 60 percent of the product sales in this area have been outside the U.S., Balazs said. In order to get the product out quickly in as many languages as possible, it was easier to base it on 4.0, which already ships in many languages. NetWare 5.0 is available in fewer languages, he pointed out.

NetWare for Small Business 4.2 includes several new features, including Novell's BorderManager FastCache technology that aims to improve the speed of connection between the user's network and the Internet. In addition, the package includes NetObjects' Fusion Web, an Internet design and hosting tool, and FaxWare from Tobit Software, which provides inbound and outbound faxing capabilities from each workstation on the network.

Another change in the package is that it can now support as many as 50 users, up from the previous maximum of 25, Balazs said. Companies can add users one at a time in a licensing scheme that lets companies pay as they go.

"It's good that Novell is taking the lead for small businesses," said Edward Poshkus, chief executive officer of Creative Strategies Ventures, a research firm based in Sacramento, California. "Novell does have the possibility to be the leader in the small-business market if it provides education," he added, meaning that Novell should offer help to companies in setting up virtual private networks, intranets, and other added-value networks on top of Novell's products.

However, Poshkus admitted that Novell will have "run to keep ahead" of Microsoft , which is also targeting small businesses with Windows NT 5.0. Many small businesses have heard about Windows NT and assume it is the easiest way forward in setting up network servers, he said. Novell will have to offer something extra to get companies to use its products, he added.

In other news on Monday, Novell announced a partnership with Intuit in which buyers of NetWare for Small Business 4.2 can also get Intuit's accounting software QuickBooks Pro 6.0. The bundle will be available from resellers TechData and Ingram Micro, Novell said. QuickBooks Pro is an accounting and financial management software package aimed at small businesses.

NetWare for Small Business 4.2 with QuickBooks Pro 6.0 is available only in the U.S. and costs $1595 -- a savings of $300 over buying the products separately -- Novell said. Without QuickBooks Pro, NetWare for Small Business 4.2 costs $1295 for five users, with additional user licenses costing $70 each. Upgrade pricing is available for 5, 10 and 25 users at $695, $995, and $1695 respectively.

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