Novell offers cheaper license for Web services

Novell Inc. on Tuesday announced discount license pricing for businesses and government agencies that use Novell’s software to provide Web services to customers and citizens.

The new license pricing will make Web services, including such things as accessing bank accounts or government records, more affordable, Novell said in a news release.

The new pricing categories recognize that Web-based systems have many different types of users and that those users are different from employees, therefore the price of the license should be different, said Novell spokesperson Bruce Lowry.

Novell’s license price is based on the number of individual users of a software service, as opposed to the number of computing devices connected to the network. This model allows companies and government agencies to avoid paying licenses for each PC, personal digital assistant (PDA) or other devices that single user may use.

Companies and government agencies shouldn’t have to pay for software licenses as if everyone who accessed the software were an employee, Lowry said. Customers and citizens use the software differently from employees. A customer might glance at an online catalogue once, for example, or a taxpayer might want to see his tax return only once a year, while employees use it much more intensely, he explained.

Novell’s new business-to-consumer user license price for Web services software is only 25 per cent of the standard user license, while the government-to-citizen user license is only 10 per cent of the standard price, Lowry said. Until now businesses and agencies paid the same license price for customers and citizens as they pay for their employee software licenses.

Provo, Utah-based Novell expects its NetMail e-mail application and its secure identity management suite, including the authentication component iChain, to be software products that will become particularly attractive under the new pricing scheme, Lowry said.

Novell’s standard user license remains the license that companies and governments must choose for employees and suppliers.