BIZ WATCH: Mar 31, 1997

NOVELL HIRES A GEEK GODZILLA

Novell is a company that has been repeatedly torpedoed and nearly sunk by Microsoft. The Utah-based firm (1996 sales: $1.3 billion) owned the market for local- area-network software in the early 1990s, but has been losing share to Microsoft's Windows NT. Though Novell has tried to refocus, its stock recently traded at a near all-time low. Investors are doubting its chances of beating Big Geek (as Microsoft has become known).

But now Novell has a big geek of its own. Sun Microsystems' house genius, Eric Schmidt, 41, is going to head up the struggling company. Schmidt...

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