The recent story that the University of Coventry is dumping Novell for Microsoftwould not have raised any eyebrows: such has been the way of the world for many years. But our sister publication, Network World, had an interesting follow-up after the university's "dogsbody", Colin Bruce contacted the paper.

What Bruce revealed is that, far from being a decision where Microsoft sold a particular vision to the non-techie staff over the techies' heads (although there was an element of that), it was Novell's own behaviour that caused the move.

What would be even more worrying to the Utah-based company is that the Bruce, who decries Novell's efforts is a Linux fan, who has been using open source for many years, not someone instinctively welcoming of Microsoft. Yet the culture that he describes, where salespeople try to sell an inappropriate technical product will be anathema to nearly all users and is as far from the ideals behind open source as it's possible to be.

All this is not the best endorsement for a company that is trying to re-invent itself as an open-source powerhouse. A question of clashing cultures perhaps?

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