I read that Novell is planning, or at least considering, launching its own app store for open source applications.
I certainly agree with Novell’s VP of business development, Holger Dyroff, when he compares what’s happening on netbooks to what’s happening on the smartphones. Personally, I think netbooks are a short-term trend that will pass in the next few years, as the gap between laptops and smartphones continues to diminish. But as Dyroff underlines, the ability to customize the experience for the end user can’t be overlooked, and with open source, you can’t beat the price point.
With the App Store, Apple has taught the world how cloud-based development and distribution models are changing the way developers and customers interact with software. In that sense, open source and “app stores” simply have too many synergies for Novell not to make this move. While nobody will credit Novell with coming up with something original, the company is simply looking to leverage open source and SaaS to foster commerce in a more seamless manner…nothing more, nothing less.
And while giving away free apps online doesn’t represent a clear cut revenue stream for Novell, it does do a great job of marketing and supporting their other product offerings via community-generated content and software, giving customer’s one more reason to stick with Novell.