I’ve been reading up on Novell’s history. So far it’s got some fascinating twists and turns. Wikipedia sums up the turning point well:
The inclusion of networking as a core system component in all mainstream PC operating systems after 1995 led to a steep decline in Novell’s market share.
That is, once networking become “commoditized,” the unique position Novell had with IPX changed. And then there’s some channel hijinks that happened.
I’m also obsessed with figuring out what went wrong at Sun in the 2000s – Novell seems like some good mental training wheels for that.