Where oh where is the Vista client for Novell?

I see from logfiles that my post back in March about Novell client for Vista is a frequently hit blog entry. No surprise, as Novell doesn't yet have a client out for Vista and desktops are already showing up with it. By the time Novell will have a Beta out, mass quantaties of early adopters (and more importantly, students with shiny new Vista laptops) will have been on the scene.

Understandably, the question, when is Novell going to release a Client for Vista? is the #1 question in the support forums. So frequent, they've developed boiler plate for it. First off Novell hasn't formally answered the when question. Internal resources give hints.

So far the rumor mill has turned out the following predictions:
  • The closed beta will be opening up real soon, though we don't know when.
  • The public beta will open up sometime between February and April.
  • Release is dependant on the issues the beta comes up with
  • Novell isn't going to release massively buggy code just to get a client out the door. They caught hell with the Novell client for Linux 1.0, after all, and that's not an experience they really want to repeat.
  • Features that Novell needed to leverage to even build a client weren't solidified until Goldmaster (a.k.a. RTM), which has predictable impacts on the development cycle.
  • If a client isn't in open beta by the time BrainShare rolls around, the poor client people in the Tech Lab are going to be royally tired of that question.
In the mean time CIFS/Samba is your only real hope for connecting Vista machines to your NCP servers.

Procedures have been posted here.

There is a chance we might participate in the beta. But that decision needs to include our desktop people to a very great degree, as they're the ones who will have to do 80% of the leg work testing builds.