Novell NetWare, the workhorse network operating system (NOS) from the early 1990s, apparently continues to chug along on some business servers. But current owner Micro Focus will end Extended Support for NetWare on December 31, 2016.

Time for a handful of customers (hundreds? thousands?) and partners to panic? Perhaps not. Micro Focus has introduced NetWare Premium Lifeline Support so that customers can "continue to enjoy coverage while you run NetWare in your environment or migrate to Open Enterprise Server."

Pricing for the support starts at $3,500. (Toss in some free AppWare, UnixWare, GroupWise and NetWare for SAA licenses and perhaps I'll pay for support.)

Customers who are not current with maintenance must purchase Standard or Priority maintenance for licensed users to qualify for this offer. Academic customers must have a current subscription for Open Enterprise Server, Micro Focus added.

Why the heck is ChannelE2E blogging about this? Hmmm... Perhaps it was one last excuse to work the words Novell and Ray Noorda into a channel-related blog.

NetWare is dead. Long live NetWare Premium Lifeline Support. And thank you to all the Novell veterans who helped to pioneer the IT channel, certification, coopetition and plenty more.