Novell Data Systems was founded 1979 and started as a computer manufacturer and maker of disk operating systems. In 1983 NDSI was reincorperated as Novell Inc. and Raymond J. Noorda became president and CEO. This was the beginning of a near total domination of the LAN market. In the early '90s Novell had 70% of the market but slowly lost most of it when MicrosoftWindows built in network capabilities matured.
It is famous for its NetWare network OperatingSystem, which is moving to Linux. They also have a MailServer product called GroupWise which will have a Linux client in the form of Evolution after their 2003 purchase of Ximian.
Novell now own SUSE as well.