Red Hat Response to Oracle and Microsoft/Novell Moves
November 5, 2006 Leave a comment
Here's a response from Red Hat on the recent upheaval in the Linux world. My take? Half really good points, half disingenuous and/or ridiculous. First, the good points.
Last time I looked, we were still in ring, and we are still standing. The big mistakes companies and employees make is to be focused on stock price in the short-term.
Think back to the Microsoft/Sun announcement from a couple years ago, and today, you haven't seen any of the promised technical collaboration from that partnership whatsoever.
Novell has fallen into the trap of allowing Microsoft to do exactly what it wants to do, which is to trumpet IP (intellectual property) solutions and promises.
He's completely right. These days, far too many people focus on short term stock price. Vision and long term planning is almost a thing of the past. In the end, I think this will be the undoing of many companies – Open Source or not. Second, the highly touted and much hyped Microsoft/Sun announcement from a couple years ago didn't really create anything substantial that I can think of. Whether the Novell/Microsoft deal will bear more fruit remains to be seen, but they both sure did draw a lot of media attention. The last sentence I think speaks for itself.
On to the bad:
Having said that, does Red Hat think either of them has taken the right approach, now that Microsoft and Novell have made 'Microvell'?
We still believe that we will be the dominant player in the Linux market, because by that time there won't be any other Linux players. We will have succeeded once again.
This is not about IP. This is about the freedom to meet customer needs and to create competition. That problem is, you can be either for freedom and collaboration, or you can take a different approach. These companies are trying to do both. I can at least respect Microsoft, because they don't pretend to be an open source company.
The first sentence is a bit disingenuous. This was a partnership (and a loose one at that), not anything close to a merger that would warrant a 'Microvell' moniker. Stating they will be the “only” Linux player is odd on multiple levels. First, they have always claimed that not being the only vendor was one of the big advantages for Linux. Second, in what world will every other Linux player disappear in the next 365 days? I'm not sure where he was going with this one, but this is the kind of hubris that gets companies in trouble. The last one is a nice backhanded jab, but he should have just come out and said what he meant – in his opinion Novell isn't an Open Source company, even thought they claim to be.
I remain interested in how this will play out, not only for Red Hat and Novell; but for Linux in general. As you may have guessed, I'll keep you updated.
Red Hat, RHAT, Novell, Microsoft, Linux, Open Source
Edit: There is now also a more marketing slanted official response on the Red Hat site.