Noorda, who was often referred to as the “Father of Network Computing,” had been battling Alzheimer’s for years and he passed away on Monday at his residence in Orem, Utah, outside Salt Lake City, his family said, according to the AP.
The Novell founder became chief executive officer in 1983, at which time he and the firm revolutionized the way computers connect via networks and employ group resources, such as printers and shared drives, the AP reports. Microsoft was one of Novell’s biggest competitors in the mid-1990s, and Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman, is said to have referred to Noorda as technology’s “grumpy grandfather,” according to the AP.
Noorda left his post with Novell in 1995 to create The Canopy Group, which funds startups, the AP reports.
Following Noorda’s death, Michael Dell, chairman of PC maker Dell, and firm President and Chief Executive Kevin Rollins released a statement, according to the AP.
“He helped drive the extension of the PC by building a successful file sharing system…that is now the de facto standard in local area networks,” the statement read, the AP reports.