Novell Inc has said that as it extends the capabilities of its legacy NetWare operating system, it will also finally extend those capabilities, features and services to Linux.

In the next 18 months, Novell will introduce NetWare 7.0, which will have both NetWare and Linux services and applications. The company will also consolidate many of the applications and services into NetWare 6.5, announced Monday, and into the 32/64-bit version of NetWare. NetWare 6.5 will ship this summer.

While Novell declined to say which Linux distribution its future NetWare will use, the company did indicate that other products running on Linux are already being shown at BrainShare.

Among the products are a Linux client for GroupWise based on technology acquired from Newcomp Computer Systems, and an early, pre-release version of the GroupWise server. In addition, Novell announced the Novell Linux Engineer certification to qualify systems administrators and network managers on the Linux features already found in Novell's products. Also in this announcement is Macintosh client capability for GroupWise.

Novell in its cross-platform initiative already has extended Linux capabilities to its ZENworks suite of products and to eDirectory.

Further, the company announced it would fold all the modules of ZENworks into a single suite and add resource management and provisioning through integration of technology from Miramar.