YEAR IN REVIEW: November 2010

November marked the end of an era for one of the most significant tech companies of the 1990s.

Novell Inc. announced it had struck a deal with Seattle-based Attachmate Corp. for US$2.2 billion. Also part of the deal, Novell agreed to sell some of its intellectual property assets to a Microsoft Corp.-led technology consortium for $450 million.

The deal will eventually give Attachmate control of the Novel and SUSE brands and will close early next year.

Shortly after the agreement was announced, some industry watchers expressed concern about how the sale would impact Novell’s investment and overall standing in the Linux community.

Other big acquisitions included EMC Corp. purchasing network-attached storage vendor Isilon Systems for $2.25 billion and Mellanox Technologies buying up fellow networking vendor Voltaire for $218 million.

The month also saw a bevy of IT events in Toronto.

IT World Canada joined forces with the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance and the City of Toronto to launch the first annual Technicity event. The concept behind the show was to bring tech entrepreneurs, educators and IT professionals together to create and build a thriving city for tech start-ups.

Toronto also received two big visitors during the month, with McAfee CEO Dave DeWalt talking about future IT security models at a partner summit and Michael Calce retelling stories from his Mafiaboy days at a Hitachi storage event.

Toward the end of the month, 3D design and engineering software firm held its annual Autodesk University conference in Las Vegas. At the show, the company made a big push toward offering mobile and cloud-based versions of its software suite.

In wireless news, Industry Minister Tony Clement delayed a promised reform of Canada’s telecom foreign ownership rules until the government has set the rules for its upcoming 700 MHz wireless spectrum auction. Industry observers expect telecom ownership changes will be announced in the spring with an auction being held as late as 2012.

Apple Inc. also made news in November, but it wasn’t about iPads, iPhones, or iMacs. The company killed off its Xserve rack servers as it looked to continue along the path of a consumer-focused company.

And in a related story, security firm Sophos launched a free anti-virus tool for Mac OS X users. The company said that with “Mac malware” on the rise, many users will be looking for anti-virus protection in the coming year.

Vancouver-based security vendor Absolute Software Corp. also got in on the Apple play, releasing new software that lets IT administers manage their iPad and iPhone devices and apps — without the help of iTunes.

Closing out the month, the latest chapter of the Microsoft-i4i patent infringement case took another turn as the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant.

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