Novell has announced in a press release that they will release the Exchange Connector for Ximian Evolution, previously a $75/seat plugin, as open source.
Novell today announced its Connector for Microsoft* Exchange Server will be integrated into EvolutionTM 2.0 and made available as open source, beginning today with the current Connector 1.4. Evolution is Novell’s award-winning e-mail and workgroup client for Linux* systems and is the most widely used collaboration suite on Linux. Evolution Connector allows Microsoft Exchange Server 2000/2003 users to easily manage their e-mail, calendars, group schedules, address books, public folders and tasks from Linux desktops.
I was thrilled to hear this. Evolution (particularly the current betas) is the equal of MS Outlook in features, but without many of the problems. The only downside was that you had to pony up the cash to natively connect with an Exchange server. My guess is that Novell feels that having this out there will speed the adoption of Linux, and that will provide them more revenue than they had been making by selling the plugin. A positive side effect of Ximian being purchased by Novell.
It appears that Novell has recognized their increasing irrelevance in their old niche, LAN products, and is jumping in to open source with both feet. Could this approach put them back into dominant position?