Novell Hires in India After Buying Ximian

Novell Hires in India After Buying Ximian

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BANGALORE, India (AP) -- Utah's Novell Inc., which acquired Boston, Massachusetts-based Linux software company Ximian in August, has hired 40 software programmers in India to enhance Ximian's product features.

"This team would work with the open source community ... making the Ximian desktop more suitable for global and local needs," a company statement said Monday.

Novell, which bets on the Linux operating system to challenge the domination of its rival, Microsoft, bought Ximian for an undisclosed sum. Ximian has a family of Linux-based software meant for businesses.

The new team would work at Novell's center in the southern city of Bangalore, considered the technology hub of India, said the statement. The city houses more than 1,000 software units, including those of many Fortune 500 firms, and earns an annual income of US$2.5 billion from software exports and back office work for firms abroad.

Novell, known for its networking software, has been trying to branch into Linux, as a strategy to provide an alternative to Microsoft's dominant Windows operating system.

The company said in early November that it agreed to buy Germany's SuSE, which offers a flavor of the Linux operating system, for US$210 million. The company expects the transaction to be completed in January.

However, Novell did not say whether the Indian center would also work on SuSE.

Unlike proprietary systems such as Windows, Linux does not restrict its users from making copies or modifying the software. It was developed primarily by unpaid volunteers.

In recent years, Linux has become increasingly popular among business users.

The Bangalore center is Novell's only research and development center outside the United States.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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