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Surfing the High Tech Wave:
A story of Novell's early years,

by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright 2010



First come some Preliminaries. This Overview and an Introduction provide context and define some terms I will be using throughout. If you want to know why this is an interesting story, start with the Introduction.

Part One: The Foundation Years, 1980–84, is Chapters 1–4. Here I tell how Novell struggled to find the right vision and the right people to make that vision happen.

Part Two: Novell Emerges, 1985–88, covers the years when Novell prospered mightily in sales and grew mightily in numbers of people as the vision was implemented. Because this second part of the story is more complex, I break it into two timelines: The technical thread, Chapter 5, followed by the cultural thread, Chapters 6 and 7, including one example of how not all the projects implemented by Novell turned to gold—the story of the NetWare Centers.

The last section is Chapters 8 and 9, Part Three: Novell Matures, 1988–94. At that time, Novell was more complex than ever, still profitable and growing, but no longer a company trying to make an entirely new industry. The story of Craig Burton and Judith Clarke’s departure is emblematic of Novell’s transition from visionary company to well managed “Statue of Liberty” company.

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