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Novell to Sell WordPerfect

Novell to Sell WordPerfect — Sixteen months after spending over a billion dollars to get into the desktop applications market with WordPerfect and Quattro Pro, Novell Inc. announced last week that its word-processing and spreadsheet product lines are for sale. The move got a positive reaction from Wall Street and investors – who’d much rather see Novell concentrate on networking products than diverting effort to competing with Microsoft’s Office application suite – but drew sharp criticism from users, since the future of these applications is now foggier than ever. Though Novell declined to give names, it said that there are at least two serious bidders for the products, one of which is rumored to be Ray Noorda (former CEO of Novell and the architect of Novell’s original purchase of the applications), who now controls commercial rights to Linux, a popular shareware version of Unix. [GD]

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