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Novell goes private as sale to Attachmate completed

Novell ceased to exist as a public entity at the end of trading in the US on Wednesday as the sale of the company to Attachmate Corporation was closed.

Attachmate paid $US2.2 billion for Novell; the closure of the sale brings to an end an era in the history of computing, with the company that once dominated PC networking now being run as separate entities, one for the Linux business under the SUSE name and one for the rest under the Novell name.

After 32 years, Novell will shift its headquarters back to Provo, Utah, from Waltham, Massachusetts where it moved in 2004; the Linux business will now be run from Nuremberg where SUSE Linux was originally headquartered before Novell bought the company in 2003.

Just a week ago, the final hurdle to the sale, the resolution of the sale of patents to a consortium headed by Microsoft, was cleared.

The consortium, CPTN Holdings, owned by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and EMC, had planned to buy 882 patents from Novell as part of the sale to Attachmate; this was delayed due to anti-trust concerns.

Under the revised arrangement, Microsoft will have to sell back the patents to Attachmate. The Redmond software giant will then receive a licence to use all the patents that CPTN is acquiring.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.