Windows really was bad compared to NetWare, at first; but NetWare was bad compared to VINES, too.
Didn't matter. NetWare killed VINES; Windows killed NetWare.
Novell helped sue Microsoft for being an evil monopoly and break its power forever.
That didn't work, either.
It wandered some more.
In March a hedge fund tried to buy it. Novell said no.
VMware tried to buy it. Novell said no.
Today Novell announced it was allowing itself to be bought, by a trio of private-equity companies to provide the funding and perhaps the least sexy company in the computer industry as a front.
It's hard to know what benefit Attachmate -- which makes invisible systems software found only so deep in the data center even dedicated geeks fear to go there.
Maybe they could package the user-unfriendly Groupwise with its Legacy Modernization software. Why not? Couldn't make Groupwise any less successful.
Finance people liked the $2.2 billion deal. They wear suspenders; solid-color collars with striped shirts; French cuffs and giant, ugly Rolexes set with stones mined only in Ostentatia.