Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
SuSE Businesses

SuSE Lays Off (Most) U.S. Staff (Updated) 172

Posted by Hemos
from the bad-times-a-comin'? dept.
assbarn writes: "The title pretty much says it all, but LWN daily is reporting that SuSE is laying off almost all of its US staff. What does this mean for their English distribution? The details are short (and sketchy), but the link is at LWN. " I've tried reaching both the U.S. and German branches: SuSE has yet to return a call placed to the U.S. office, and at the German branch it won't be business hours for a while. I've left that message at the SuSE American office, though, and will update with any confirmation/denial. Update: 02/08 12:03 AM by H :A couple people have sent in the LinuxToday piece. SuSE's PR agency has denied it, but LWN is standing by it, and several other readers have substantiated it to LinuxToday and LWN, including the original source on LWN. As well, SuSE did say that a number of positions were being relocated. We'll keep the story updated. Update: 02/08 04:38 AM by T : LinuxGram has some great information -- with real details! Skeleton crew of 12 to remain in the U.S. What's also interesting is that it confirms that the PR agency had "bad communication," which is an interesting statement to say the least.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

SuSE Lays Off (Most) US Staff

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    >The English speaking world Red Hat This may be true for North America but I see little sign of it in thr UK. Over the last year I've seen Debian, Suse, Mandrake, Slakware and RedHat in use at differenet UK companies.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sorry, but I do not agree... This "you can not run a Linux shop" has become really popular these days, but this does not mean that it is true. I expect to see early starters (RH, SuSe and maybe VA linux) profitable this year, and Mandrakesoft may join them next year if it continues to grow the way it does now. Problem with SuSe is IMHO exactly oposite from what you think:

    SuSe is the only distribution i know of which activly fights "giving avay" of the distribution. To name two things only SuSe does:

    - Yast licence (not GPL at all)
    - downloads of new distribution are delayed in order to sell more boxes.

    Compare this with Mandrakesoft which activly encourages downloading of their distribution, and you will start getting a picture.

    If SuSe fails it will be because it failed to nurish a community of helpers and supporters (except in Germany).

  • You might as well ask instead: Maybe I'm being naive, but can anybody tell me how the Linux project supports itself?

    Sigh, an idiot or a troll, why did I bother..
    --

  • Yes, yes. We're glad you could enlighten us all with YALIGTH (Yet Another "Linux Is Going To Hell") post.

    Not like we haven't heard it a zillion times already. . .

  • Oh, and I know what the rest of you are thinking:

    YHBT YHL HAND

    [That's such a fun abbreviation.]

  • The US economy is definately on its way down. The turn actually came about three or four years ago, but the dot-com boom masked it to some extent and the liberal biased press masked it the rest of the way. Large amounts of mismanagement during the past presidency were the real root of the problem, with a lack of foreign policy being one of the main issues.

    The doomsaying going on now is actually only the numbers being reported accurately for the first time in quite a long time. It only seems a bit radical because of the sudden change out of skewed numbers.

    Granted the doom and gloom is slightly exaggerated because of the president trying to get a tax cut through the legislature, but on the whole yes, the US economy is going through a large slowdown, as it has been for about three or four years.
  • Non-partisan numbers probably don't exist either way. For that reason, I would simply trust the numbers that are most consistant with the rest of the news, and those happen to be the ones that point to an economic slowdown (or perhaps an economic speedup slowdown, as it's about a derivation away) beginning a couple of years ago.

    As far as the man who lost both popular and electoral votes, noone knows who that is :) I'm sorry, but the voting machines in the US are too inaccurate to say exactly who won the election. Count all you want, you'll never find out because voting machines with a 4% error can't tell who won in an election with a 3% difference.

    The real underlying problem is really people who do a large number of self serving things that hurt the rest of the country, and even the world. Take the past administration, for example...
  • If the Clinton administration's strongest side was its foreign policy, then thank got they're out. The administration's policies were all over the place, lacking any type of real consistancy or logic except for that logic which would benefit Clinton or his friends personally.

    Perhaps they had a policy, but it sure looked like they were playing by ear to me and many others. In any case, the foreign actions of the administration seemed only consistant in that they half-assed everything. Never fully devoting resources to anything only ended up wasting them and making things worse for the US and the other countries involved.

    I mean, come on, what good did he do internationally? And at the same time we have soaring oil prices causing major economic and industrial turmoil. The lack of a consistant, and consistantly good, foreign policy was a direct contributer to that.
  • When 12 out of 42 stay that's hardly "everyone", you liar. Plus, we never ever had an office in hyper-expensive San Francisco.

    --
    Michael Hasenstein
    http://www.suse.de/~mha/
  • The Linux crowd sometimes also forget that the big Internet sites run OpenBSD, NOT Linux (a good example is Yahoo!).

    First of all that's FreeBSD, not OpenBSD. I am not aware of any big web site that runs OpenBSD. Would you care to point one out?

    Secondly, I can name quite a few big web sites that do run Linux: dejanews, google, amazon, etoys, walmart, salon magazine,... I'm not trying to knock *BSD in here, but check your facts before you post.
    ___

  • He's also an asshole and a jackass.

    SuSE isn't going away, they've just announced
    a new version.
  • My, my...someone apparently discovered urine in his cornflakes this morning.
    It looks more like flour.
  • This is nonsense. I am an American, my mother
    tongue is French and I use SuSE.
  • by k8to (9046)
    Among other things, SuSE can be installed beginning to end using a braille reader.

    I'm sorry that your pet usability tool was not included, but that doesn't at all constitute an actual review of the usability features.

  • Actually it is more like zoo-za ...
  • I know of one way in which the NT4 APIs are badly designed...

    WaitForMultipleObjects
    At first, I thought it was wonderful. What a nice way to combine the ability to wait on all synchronization primitives.

    Then, I thought some more. I realized that this required all synchronization primitives make a system call. No spin locks. This is big. Spin locks are what make multi-threaded programming worth doing, instead of being merely an excercise in how to make your program both more intellectually challenging to debug, and slower. Oops.

    And don't get me started on the wide variety of IPC 'primitives' that have no model (like sockets/file descriptors in Unix) that tie them all together.

    Neither of these two things are inconsistencies. They're just badly thought out.

    One other badly thought out thing. The API for opening up a directory and scanning it makes too many assumptions about why you might be doing that. I can only be vague here because I can't recall the API exactly, only that quality of it.

  • Corel partly counts, but they haven't gone bankrupt. I forgot about Stormix.

  • Well, maybe the extra money to Microsoft is well spent by not having to worry that they'll go belly-up. Perhaps Amiga, Mac, OS/2, RedHat, SuSe (at least the U.S. users), Stormix, BeOS and Corel Linux fans know what I'm talking about here.

    And then subtract all the money that you could've been earning instead of fiddling around in vi with countless configuration files. Oh wait, I forgot most people around here don't have real jobs. ;) Carry on!


    Cheers,

  • Ahh yes, it's very comforting to know that Linux Today has taken it upon themselves to track down and identify any heathen who violates the Linux Groupthink and dares utter a disparaging word about Linux.

    Would you expect any less from Linux zealots?


    Cheers,

  • Christ lays out very clearly the way to salvation.The path is open to all.Of all of us that have lived here on earth only Jesus Christ is perfect, we are not.we are surrounded by sin.this age of sin will not last long.If you grow weary of killing and slavery, and murder and cons, don't worry too much, God will put a stop to it for all time, get ready.
  • Michael is a stand-up guy. I'm not employed by Suse but Michael and I have worked together in the past on Open Source projects. He's Suse's representative at Oracle headquarters in California, where he is based. IMHO he's done more to clear up this situation than all of Suse's PR, officers, and anonymous tipsters combined.

    Michael, nice to see you're still there.

    Matthew
    Orasoft

    ______________
    I guess the 8 developers that were laid off aren't really special enough to make anything. Plus, all of this coming from a guy employed by SuSE DE not INC. It's all about where your paychecks come from. idiot.
  • Bought Suse retail. $43.50. Promised to deliver support for handicapped. Bullshit. Not even a copy of Emacspeak on it. Bought Mandrake, $5 at user group meeting. Saved days to hours time setting up. See Ya Suse, you sucked anyways. And lied. Where's my $10 rebate now?
    Bitches.
  • As someone working for IBM I know that we are developing linux products specifically for use on SuSE's 390 distro. As I understand it there is a big demand for a solid linux distro for the 390 and companies with 390s are willing to pay big bucks for support too. SuSE has a great jump on the competition.
  • Hmm. The way I see it, my time is valuable too.

    Let's say my average rate is $25 an hour.

    I can spend $30 to get a Linux distro. (I bought SuSE 7.0 Pro for damn near $70 - what a crock!) Then I'd go to FTP sites here and there to pick up the latest versions of everything. Say I spend an hour installing it, and spend 3 hours tracking dependencies down so I can install the latest drivers/XFree86/etc.

    $30 + $25/hour * 4 hours = $130. (I can also get download the CD image, in 10 minutes; I can subtract, say, $25 from the original purchase, but I'm still at $105.)

    Or, I could go get the latest OS from your favorite vender (Be/MS/etc) for less and update all of it from just a handful of sources (nvidia.com, soundblaster.com, microsoft.com, and/or be.com).

    All in all, the price ratio seems pretty even to me.

    -Paxton
  • I disagree.
    At my work place, I use SuSE (i'm from the U.S.). one of my co-workers is Chinese and uses mandrake. One of my co-workers is Mexican and uses Red Hat. I had a co-worker (an intern) who was Russian. He used Red Hat, then switched to Slackware and then switched to Mandrake (he switched because he changed machines and used the cds that were closest to his computer). I'm also using Debian at work on a test machine and at home on a machine.

    ohyeah, I use gnome on SuSE, and the people on mandrake and Red Hat are all using KDE.

    i guess what i'm saying is that in my experience they distributions are doing just fine at being cross-cultural.


    Darth -- Nil Mortifi, Sine Lucre

  • I guess I'm just spoiled with this 1.5mbit down connection :/

    ----------
  • this is a problem with linux when it goes retail. A product that is a free download doesn't have much of a source of income. Working for something open source or gpl or whatever the hell it is comes at a price.

    Now be gentle when replying to this comment. I'm no linux buff, but I don't have to be one to see the obvious that more people are likely to download SuSE than buy it at the store...


    ----------
  • While it's true that some things in AIX are not where your typical Linux user would expect them to be, that is certainly not the standard that should be used to measure the OS's worth. AIX is stable, scalable, and downright dependable, so your statement smacks of ignorance. But then you go further and attach the label "Nazi" to it. This is a despicable ad hominem, marked by sheer, unadulterated hatred. You, sir, must be a sad, sorry, pitiful little man. Get help, quick.
  • Are you spitting bile out between your teeth as you write this shit? What am unimaginably hateful attitude. The problem you describe has been fixed, and it's been fixed for some time. Oh, that's right .. I forgot! Linux has never had any bugs! As a matter of fact, AIX is the only OS that's ever had a problem! Why don't you get a life? Go out on a date with a girl. Write some goddamn code. You're so full of pent-up hatred that I shudder even replying to your post.
  • My experience has been similar. We had an RS/6000 in our CS department that was up for slightly over a year (~370 days or thereabouts.) This was a heavily-used machine that ended up finally going down so that we could replace the UPS .. so there's no telling how long it would have stayed up if we had allowed it to keep going! I've never had the pleasure of looking after an AIX box since then, and (not surprisingly) I've never had a box as reliable as that one. My motto: "If you ain't using AIX, you ain't using SMIT."

    I have found that typical AIX bashers are mindless bigots who speak from zero experience.
  • Well, Jesus Christ on a corndog. I guess I missed the notification that the Jargon File is the end-all authority on OS quality. Yes, earlier versions of AIX had issues. So did earlier versions of IRIX, Solaris, and other commercial UNIX variants. By your argument, Windows 2000 should be avoided because Windows 1.0 was such a piece of shit. And only a moron would use Linux 2.4 because the original Linux kernel supported virtually no hardware. Makes perfect sense, right?

    Well, according to you, it does.

    Those who are under the impression that anti-AIX bigotry will be tolerated on Slashdot (or anywhere else, for that matter) are sadly mistaken. Get a life. Try using it instead of simply reading about it in the Jargon File.
  • That's a good trick. Note that I specifically mentioned kernel patches. You can do that without downtime? You must be able to also spin straw into gold because, take yer pick, both are bullshit.

    You must be a Linux or Windows user. This would explain your apparent reliance on upgrading your kernel every couple of weeks to eradicate the latest bug that was found. It will doubtless come as a shock to you to realize that real production operating systems don't need to be upgraded every time the wind changes directions. Hope you were sitting down, kiddo, because I can't be responsible for any head trauma you may have suffered during your fainting spell. Anyway, the next time you're downloading 2.4.2.1b39a to patch the latest exploit, I'll be thinking of you.

    And keep driving that car without ever taking it "down" for maintenance too, and we'll who makes it further in our travels in the same vechicle.

    This is a laughable, juvenile comparison that serves only to illustrate the impassible gulf between my vast experience and your lack thereof. My peals of loud, braying laughter are most likely disturbing the neighbors. Servers do not need to have fluids changed every 3,000 hours of uptime. Nor do they need to have brake lines inspected. If your preferred method of system administration is to pour 10W-30 into your server's air slots, then it is little wonder that you have no chance whatsoever of approaching uptimes that even resemble those attained by real admins running real operating systems.

    Nice try, though. Have fun tinkering with your "vechicle" (sic).
  • Gee, that's funny; I thought I specifically mentioned in the previous reply that the machine was heavily used. And as far as security holes are concerned, there are actually systems that can be patched without taking them down. With the system in question, I had to patch a bug in rlogind to fix a root exploit, but that was it; no reboot involved. The rest of your post sounds like sour grapes from somebody who's never acheived a similar uptime. Hey, don't sweat it, guy. It's not your fault. Not everybody is lucky enough to run AIX. Maybe one of these days you'll trade up.

    Until then, happy downtime to you!
  • I don't have the sources handy but these are pretty close to the actual words they said when asked about the economy.

    Gearge Bush: "It looks like we are headed for a recession"

    Dick Cheney: "It looks like we are headed for a recession"

    Bill Clinton: "The economy has been growing at near 5% for a while now and it would be unreasonable to expect it to keep growing that fast. A two to two and half percent growth is much more reasonable"

    Which comments do you think put the fear of god into the consumers of this country just before christmas?
  • He deliberately talked down the economy so he can those get those tax cuts through.
  • I hope moderators get this moderated up to a 5. This is importanant stuff. I particularly think it's important to read the last paragraph about the charges for the boxed version. This is why I have no problems what-so-ever paying for SuSE (although I'll admit I only buy about once a year now).
  • Why the hell has this been classified as a troll? I see more spam about how superior Debian is than this and it isn't mod'd as a troll. Biased mofos. This is actually a little informative don't you think? Bah!!! Crack-heads!
  • Since when has Christianity gone down as a con?

    Well, I don't know about "gone down", but you have to admit that a lot of things which have been done in the name of Christianity have been cons (which is not quite the original claim, I know). Things like the millions of people killed in the crusades. Things like Jews getting knifed because they are "christ-killers". Things like fighting a war against China to obtain the right to sell drugs there. Things like theological justifications of slavery.


    Nothing against Christianity there per se, but a lot against the way many supposed Christians have used it as a con trick.

  • I only hope they keep the English version. I still like SuSE the best of all the Distro's. Good old German engineering!!! I hate to say it but German programmers are far superior to American progamers. (this comming from an American programmer who has worked with German programmers).
  • Here's a link [linuxtoday.com] to the story if anyone's interested.

    It raises some interesting questions.
    __ __ ____ _ ______
    \ V .V / _` (_-&#60_-&#60
    .\_/\_/\__,_/__/__/

  • I've done this as well. I think you'll find it more common in the community than people think.

    I bought Caldera's Linux 2.4 preview edition and didn't mail in the rebate.

    These companies need our support to stay in business.

    Then there's also the convienience factor. It alot easier installing a distro than it is to piece together your own. Sure there's iso's but my connection to the internet isn't that fast.
  • Top line numbers (total revenue) are up 9%. The growth rate is slowing; sales are still up.
  • ...for the poor buggers who've been laid off.

    Much as I love Linux, I'm not in the least bit interested in how this affects it in comparison with how this affects my (now former) colleagues, and their families.

    I know how I'd feel if I suddenly found out I was losing my job, had a mortgage to pay, maybe kids to feed and no obvious way of doing so.

    The real tragedy is the people here, not the company, and while I'm sure that most if not all of them will get new jobs very soon, this is a very scary time, and my thoughts are with them.

    James Ogley, SuSE UK (until 23rd Feb)

    --
  • A product that is a free download doesn't have much of a source of income.

    The distribution comes with some really decent manuals, and free installation support. I think that's worth something. Even if you don't need the support, having a dead tree version around is nice for some people.

    (Nice fact: the e2fsck(?) man page is printed in the manual -- which makes sense, since if you need to use the tool, your hard disk may not be in a shape that allows you to read the docs :-)

  • Funny, every time I ask a Japanese person about Turbolinux, I get blank stares. They all use Redhat.

    Well, looking around my lab here in Tokyo, we've got machines running Red Hat, Slackware, Kondara (a RH spinoff), Omoikane (a Debian spinoff) and quite a few others... but not a single TurboLinux box as far as I know. But they're all specially tweaked for Japanese support, which most "Western" distros handle really poorly.

    On a more global scale, to some extent I think the spread of localized distributions is unfortunate, but it really is crucial to have decent support for one's language -- remember the Israeli guy complaining about Hebrew under Linux yesterday? I'm still dreaming of a Unicode-based distro that would be able to handle everything under the sun, and KDE has taken a few steps in the right direction lately. Someday, someday...

    Cheers,
    -j.

  • Dear Linux Users,

    please find below the official statement to our
    realignment of the US business.

    *** SuSE Linux AG realigns its US business

    With its subsidiary in Oakland, California, the company has been active in the US market since 1997. In the course of the coming weeks the company will introduce new products to the US market. At the same time, endeavors are made to increase the efficiency and reduce costs. For this reason, SuSE Linux AG has decided to relocate certain tasks such as the technical support from the US to Europe.

    "While SuSE remains fully committed to the US market and our US customers, we can be more effective by streamlining our on-site presence in the US and integrating certain functions such as the technical support into our operations in Europe. Here our 100+ staff members already provide expert services to customers in the UK and other English-speaking countries," explains Roland Dyroff, CEO, SuSE Linux AG.

    Consequently, the personnel will be reduced by 30 employees. Henceforth 15 staff members will operate in the US, continuing to develop and expand the location in accordance with the strategic orientation of SuSE Linux AG.

    "A lean team will handle on-site tasks like sales which are best done in close proximity to the clients in this market. By restructuring our activities in the US we will increase our efficiency and better serve our customers with high-quality Linux products and services," says Roland Dyroff.

    ...
    Best regards

    Your SuSE-Team

    Michaela Finnie

  • You have to remember that not everyone has a broadband connection. Before I had DSL I would buy boxed versions of the software, or sometime order from cheapbytes if i just wanted a slightly updated version. But now that I have DSL it's easy to just download the ISO. The boxed versions are for people new to linux, or don't have the bandwidth to grag a new version every few months.
  • Actually it's pronounced soo-za, more or less, being a German acronym.
    ----
  • ESR and others behind the Open Source movement have been preaching that Open Source is a viable business model, those in the RMS Free Software camp have been preaching that business model or no business model, this is about freedom. I think we are starting to see that Free Software/Open Source is great for society, but not so great for those who hope to make money from producing it. Giving to charity is a good thing, but you are never going to get rich doing it. I am not criticising free software, or those who create it, merely saying that it is disingenuous to tell people that you can get rich from writing open source.

    --

  • Why would SuSE send you a price list?

    All you have to do is go buy one copy and redistribute it as many times as you like with no charge.

    Seems like for the price of mailing you a pricelist they could just send you that CD instead.

  • > D. J. Bernstein's software is Open Source

    Actually, djb's software is not open source, because it does not come with permission to distribute modified packages.

    djb's qmail license [cr.yp.to] is very famous in distributor circles. Its restrictiveness is the primary reason why qmail is not included in most major linux distributions.

    As for djbdns, as near as I can tell the djbdns package comes with NO license at all (please someone correct me if I'm wrong), which means that with regards to djbdns you and I have only the rights allowed under fair use, and nothing more. (Interestingly, djb has written an entire page [cr.yp.to] addressing this very point.)

    I agree that open source software offers business opportunities, but djb's software sadly is not open source.

  • >European companies here have always the difficulty to understand what it means to distribute something in a _continent_ like the US.

    Er, sorry, but you got that mixed up.
    Europe=continent.
    US=country.
    :-)

    But I do agree with you that US companies have done better at expanding internationally. However, there are some very notable exceptions. Just looking at Scandinavia, I can think of Ericsson, Nokia, IKEA, Electrolux, Volvo, Saab, Bang & Olufsen. And as the European markets have become more competetive I think the number will increase a lot in the next couple of years.


    ************************************************ ** *

  • Boy, you better run real fast with your remarks. ;-)

    I personally look at all the major industrial-grade Internet applications running out there on the major shopping web sites and most of them are running on Sun Solaris, not exactly an Open Source operating system.

    The Linux crowd sometimes also forget that the big Internet sites run OpenBSD, NOT Linux (a good example is Yahoo!). Let's see how long before Linux 2.4.x's I/O throughput improvements will allow it to run high-volume Internet sites on a large scale.
  • I carefully read over the post you pointed at, and all the reply threads. You are being premature, and are most likely wrong.

    As far as I know, RedHat made a profit before they went IPO. SuSe makes a lot of money doing support and special customizations. Cygnus made money that same way.

    Open Source has also been the host to many interesting innovations. DNS, for example, is a widely distributed database designed to handle a certain kind of hierarchical searching. Quite innovative for its time. D. J. Bernstein [slashdot.org]'s software is Open Source, and is quite innovative in its approach to security issues.

    I think Open Source represents a viable business model. If I can find a job doing Open Source, I'll take it. I currently do write stuff that's not yet very popular [omnifarious.org].

    Some Linux companies have overextended themselves during the past few years of IPO madness. Some haven't bothered to figure out how to make money yet because of the aforementioned IPO madness. It doesn't mean they won't. No Linux company I know of has gone bankrupt yet.

    As I said, I think your assessment is premature, and partially already disproven. You're letting your biases overly affect your perception.

  • I personally know some guys at IBM. The best way to sum it up is the managers look at Linux the way you describe, the coders and technicians truely believe in it and many use it daily. The push inside IBM (from what I understand) is coming from the bottom up, and it's getting stronger.

    Also the linux/390 stuff is probably not going to encourage many people to go out and buy an s/390 (or a z/390) but those who already have one are jumping into this quickly. Several are already using it in a production enviornment.

    Finkployd
  • I must admit, i may be ditching redhat for Suse since Suse seems to understand that it is the applications that make the system and not just the OS. Keep up the good work on Suse, and keep working with Oracle and all the other vendors to provide a stable and successfull distro.
  • How about "SuSE layoffs less than 1% of planned Dell layoffs" - see this [linuxgram.com]
  • Conclusion: so the US market didn't respond the way SuSE expected...

    Maybe this has more to do with the US than SuSE...

    big deal. In Europe (all of Europe, not just Germany and german-speaking countries) SuSE rules!!

    For quite a while the population of the EU has been rather higher than the US. The population of the whole of Europe considerably excedes that.
  • I'll certainly be glad when this little fad is over so we ("we" of course being professional developers) can go back to programming as usual.

    <BEGIN Inconsistent rant>
    What platform do you want to develop for? Embedded systems? Big databases (which means Oracle or DB/2)? Mainframes (love that COBOL...)? Macintrash?

    Or do you mean Microsoft Windows? The joys of developing for at least ten different operating systems, which have *huge* inconsistencies in APIs. Gods, even the NT4 API has glaring, terrifying inconsintency in *it's own API*.

    Or, maybe, you think that MFC/ATL/.NET is a nice place to work. Perhaps it is. If so, may I direct you to a supplier of antipsychotic drugs?

    The Internet runs Unix. The *real* money is in Unix. Unless you are familiar with the POSIX standards and have a good knowledge of several implementations, you are doomed to a lifetime of unemployment, recriminations and boring stories about "when I was a fuckwit, Visual Basic programmers used to get *paid*".

    It's not about operating systems. It's not even about platforms. It's about information. If you aren't adding value to data, you're going the way of the dotcoms.

    </END Inconsistent rant>
  • Is it true the US economy is "falling off a cliff" [...] a claim which is being made in several newspapers?

    Nope, but we have a number of administration officials, including Bush, who are doomsaying and doing their best to push us over it. Me, I love it - makes it cheap to buy good stocks.

    I would expect S.u.S.e. cutbacks have more to do with two things:
    1. sales in the US/Canada of their distro must not be high enough.
    2. it's easier and cheaper to lay off US workers than German or European workers (trust me on this one)

  • I'm a little biased towards SuSE. It's a nice distro and I'm impressed with what they have done and are doing for the Linux community. However, my preference of SuSE has nothing to do with what I'm going to say now. Shut up and get a clue! Sweet Lord, I can't believe all the mindless drivel flowing on this discussion. SuSE is not going tits-up. So what if they trim some fat in the states. Just because they aren't strong here, doesn't mean they are dead. My friend and co-worker (who has used SuSE for a long time) used to be classified as a distributor a few years back. He receieved free updates from SuSE in the mail because they had no distribution here. Even if they closed up all offices, and did business from Germany only, I'm sure they'll keep an English distro going.

    Just pan and scan this forum to see what I'm talking about. People assuming this means that the 7.1 release isn't coming (which ships 2/12). Going tits-up. Proves they weren't a player or shit like that. Blah Blah! I think most people here post for the thrill of it. Karma whoring? I don't give a fuck about /. karma. I'd rather not have posted this at all, but it's just so damned pathetic.

    So, rather than just being another post that says "Oh, so sorry" to SuSE. Let me say, congratulations on their upcoming release with the new 2.4 kernel. Let me also thank them for their development work on the ATA-100 development for UDMA EIDE hard drives. A tip of the hat should go to them for being IBMs distro of choice on the S/390s. And finally, it's good to see AMD working with SuSE on porting Linux to Sledgehammer [slashdot.org].


  • IHPBT. IAHAND. One of the mistakes you make in your post is to assume that most of the software market consists of home users. In fact, most software sales go to businesses. And this is an area where people *will* pay for support - more, quite often, than they pay for software licenses.
    One of the mistakes you make in the post you reference is to assume that people like IBM are funding Linux development for charity. Public companies are not *allowed* to do that - everything they do has to be designed to maximise the return for their shareholders. The only reason IBM funds Linux development is because they think it will profit their shareholders in some way - whether that's by bashing Microsoft, or by creating open standards, or by helping IBM to make a profit selling Linux services.
  • Hear hear!

    Red Hat and others look at sales of box sets as a metric for how well a platform distribution is doing. I suspect that many of the folks just download the ISO from a mirror. The distributions look and see that the box sets aren't selling. They then ask "Why should we do anything further on the
    ? It's only sold xxxx boxes!"

    Folks, if you are at a big site and use a particular distro on a particular platform, even if you download the ISO, spend the $79 or so and order the box. Even if you never open it, the distro will know it's important to you!

    Disclaimer: The platform I use is Alpha. I work at API NetWorks.
  • Well some people actually buy the boxed distributions to get some of the extra goodies (commercial bundlings) or to get a manual.

    How many companies selling the same thing can exist in a given market anyway? Redhat got a big chunk of US market by being early and decent. Mandrake is doing well because it's quality is/was perceived to be better.
    This is just consolidation and retrenching. Nothing bad about it, it's quite normal.
  • Not only does SuSE have a huge following in Germany/Europe in general (it's their RedHat), but they also make a fair amount off of services [suse.com]...couldn't find the article, but they set up a major German bank's internet servers a while ago.

    Also, while you can download a functional SuSE iso, you're missing a lot. The "evaluation version" doesn't come with anywhere near what the full version does -- 6 CDs worth. Sure, you can download it all, but it's a pain.

    --

  • How many people did they have to begin with? Two?

    This is humor, folks. Lighten up.

  • Conversely it's also silly to think that people are going to get rich selly overpriced software. Who will buy another operating system when Linux works just fine and is available for free?

  • I work for a company that has close ties with a recruitment agency so I have good news about their work. And they recruit for SuSE branch in our country (CZ). Also few of my friends were used to work for them earlier.

    From what I know, SuSE used to pay really good salaries here to quality guys (some of them long time kernel contributors). But at some point there came a change. I've heard some rumors about exchange in management.

    Since then the recruiters complain all the time that SuSE wants Linux professionals for below average salaries. This would not be that bad as that they are (since what kind of people they employed earlier) incredible picky about the people. Its hell to find someone who would work for SuSE here, since these guys would get anywhere 2 times more.

    So it seems to me like SuSE management come to conclusion that their expenses are too high and that its mostly in the HR, paying people too much. And you can imagine that in US are salaries WAY TOO HIGH when German manager consider them. So they just decided to shut US branch and for every US guy they get easy several russians with good english skills :)

  • What's slashdot coming to? If this investigative reporting trend keeps up, good 'ole slashdot could be on its way (eventually) to becoming a credible news source.
  • And I suppose that IBM, Compaq & Oracle don't know anything about making money.
  • However it's still a bit suss that the story about SuSE laying off some employees came from Microsoft, hardly the most honest source of information.
  • I don't totally agree with you. I don't have any specific materials to cite, but I have read that IBM looks at Linux as a way to have one scalable OS which they can use for everything within the company. This may be marketing BS, but it was said in an interview with someone who really knows where the company is going. They consider Linux as important as the "Internet Revolution." Sure, they have plenty of PR to gain, but I think they also really believe in Linux and what it can do.

    Or maybe I'm just gullible
  • That the lizard is drained?
  • Considering how much people think I'm a Microsoft softie...

    Hemos said: I've tried reaching both the U.S. and German branches: SuSE has yet to return a call placed to the U.S. office, and at the German branch it won't be business hours for a while. I've left that message at the SuSE American office, though, and will update with any confirmation/denial.

    In other news, a water cooler replacement boy was laid off at Microsoft's headquaters in Redmond, WA.

    Fervent had this to say: "I've tried reaching both Microsoft's main number and my personal red hot private line to Bill Gates. I've also tried to call his mother, but nap time at her nursing home won't be over for a while. I've left the message at Bill Gates's personal spa number, though, and will update with any confirmation/denial. This, of course, is a serious issue. Try to stay calm, people".

  • Is Microsoft Astro-Turfing Linux Today? [linuxtoday.com]

    Would you expect any less from Microsoft

  • Has anyone checked their homepage? [www.suse.de]

    Not only are they shipping 7.1 [with da 2.4 kernel] on the 12th - they are also hiring... [www.suse.de]

    What's going on?

  • Where exactly did I mention either AIX or Nazis?
    -
  • Just to say "Heads Up". I have seen SuSE boxes only in the CompUSA stores here and found even this already amazing that SuSE got so courageous to tackle the task of distributing their boxes here in the U.S.

    European companies here have always the difficulty to understand what it means to distribute something in a _continent_ like the US. US companies are masters in going from zero to covering each corner in the US in a few months to a few years (look at Starbucks) and they are miserable in detail oriented, local services.

    Germans are good at servicing their customers "neatly". If something is a bit sloppy, the quick fix and throw out uncooked versions, would never work with most of Germany's clients.

    Germans are not that fanatic and don't expect from companies to give something away at no cost. (Ironically, SuSE's box is much cheaper than RedHat's and I have no idea, why they didn't raise their prices in the US, as the box has definitely an advantage in their documentation). So, I think SuSE will do very fine in Europe and Germany and should stick to that first.

    RedHat should become more detail oriented, if it wants to compete in Germany and tone down their rethoric. Who cares about all your "freedom" discussions. In the end, we want something what works and we want to make a living. Nothing wrong with that. What gets thoroughly on my nerves is that the "real Unix hacker style consultant" would tell any youngster, who wants to get help: "There is no free lunch, RTFM", but when it comes to admit that open source code can't survive, if it doesn't get a price tag from somewhere, the logic goes belly down. All of the sudden there is a free lunch possible.

    SusE is just plain better in servicing most of Germany's ISDN customers. It took RedHat too long to come up with an easy and reliable, usable ISDN support. At leasts that it what it looked like to an outsider and "Null acht fuenfzehn" customer.

  • Free software isn't about SuSE or RedHat. Those companies are largely opportunists with no obvious long-term business model. Free software was around before SuSE and RedHat, and it will be around long afterwards. Why? Because it makes a lot more economic sense for customers to help create free software than it makes for them to buy software.

    If you buy commercial software, you pay a lot more for each release than the incremental enhancements that actually occurred. You do this because it would be too costly to switch. To add insult to injury, many of the enhancements in commercial software come from the customers in the first place.

  • Wiegand compared Linux to a "fallen angel," and claimed that actually it had "fallen more than it had climbed." Under the new economy, he said, "expectations were greater than the deliverables" and that "expectations are now below zero," suggesting that that's where SUSE business prospects are too.

    There is nothing wrong with Linux. There is plenty wrong with companies that think they can build huge business empires on repackaged free software. Packaging distributions will at best be a small margin business. Actually, it will probably turn into a loss leader for other services. With better package systems and Internet upgrade support, "distributions" themselves may become an anachronism.

    SuSE, of course, seems to be trying particularly hard to turn Linux into something commercial. The demo disks I have gotten from them have not been all that useful, and unlike many other vendors, they do not seem to provide ISO images of their distribution on-line.

    Let's hope that all this greed from VCs and business people won't end up giving Linux and free software a bad name. Those people placed poor bets, and they only have themselves to blame.

  • My biggest fear is that the Open Source 'Revolution' will go down in history as the biggest con since Christanity.

    Open source is not, and has never been a revolution. Open source development techniques existed long before commercial ones. Indeed, most modern operating systems have their roots in an open source project.

    Every day it seems that another Linux-centric organisation gets sued or goes out of business

    Name three.

    Sure, RMS claims that you can sell support - but if the product is good then any required support will be minimal, or nil. Idealistic dreaming, or idiocy?

    My company's product is good, and it requires a large amount of support. Also, my previous company's product was good. It too required a lot of support. I think your claim that good products require minimal support is false.

    I'm astonished that such a (generally) intelligent selection of people as the Slashdot community buy into RMS's rabid bumblings wholesale. I understand the desire to remain open-minded, to at least consider what he has to say - I'm not suggesting that everything he says is bullshit by any means - but, please, people WAKE UP!

    I was committed to open source development and use and integration of open source products before I even knew who Richard Stallman was.

    You are being brainwashed by Stallman, who is (gasp!) the ONLY person who makes money from Free Software. Your figurehead is fleecing you. Every time you assign copyright to the FSF Stallman's pockets bulge a little more. Every donation buys him more twinkies and tea-bags. Every time you release your hard work under the GPL parasite you are bringing the GNUworld closer. Every GPL release decreases the 'freedom entropy level'.

    I make money as a direct result of the existence of free software. Also, I am payed for writing free software.

    I don't care if my contributions to the free software community make Richard Stallman, you, Bill Gates, or Commander Taco more rich. In fact, I hope they do. Consider it a gift, not a tribute.

    My hope is that my job, and the jobs of my peers is made easier by my contributions. I hope my code is used to educate people. I hope it's used to entertain people. Kinda like Music, I guess.

    Once everything is GPL there can be no going back. RMS knows this, and he knows that in a 'brave GNU world' he would be God!

    Meh. Whatever. Whether he's god, I'm god, or you're god, it doesn't make much of a difference to me. What's god anyway?

    As long as my code is used and enjoyed, I don't mind submitting it. That's my stance.

    --
    All men are great
    before declaring war

  • Well, it's hard for anyone other than Daimler's board members to answer that, but since I have two family members who work for Chrysler, I can tell you that within the rank & file, no one at Chrysler wanted to be part of a German-run company. Almost immediately after the SEC approved the 'merger', the head of the board of directors (majority German) started firing American members who'd come from Chrysler, then tried to appyl monies that Chrysler had set aside for employee pensions to fun a new product line. That's when some big shareholders started suing. I didn't necessarily think there was a close parallel, it was a mostly off-handed remark. :)
  • Large amounts of mismanagement during the past presidency were the real root of the problem, with a lack of foreign policy being one of the main issues.

    You're joking right? You do know that one of the main reasons most of the world hoped Gore would win the US presidential elections (in most European countries, something like 75% of those polled hoped Gore would win) was that people hoping to the last minute that George "I'm not quite sure where Europe is, but I'm sure it's nice" Bush wouldn't win.

    If anything the Clinton administrations strongest side was it's foreign policy, which it actually cared a lot about. Some say too much - that it actually hurt them in the US, because it took time away from internal matters.

    You can say a lot of things about the Clinton administration, and a lot of them bad, but lack of foreign policy is certainly not among them.

  • With all the news surrounding Microsoft taking the offensive against Linux lately, we at Linux Today have been especially watchful over the talkbacks. One talkback regarding recent layoffs at SuSE caught our attention: it was a direct cut and paste from Client Server News, confirming the layoffs at SuSE.

    Normally, we don't get a lot of postings like this: our readers do not take delight in the demise of Linux companies -- let's face it, readers of Linux Today are here because they are fans of Linux -- so a posting of this tone raised my suspicions.

    Since there was something fishy about this posting, we decided to check out the IP address of the person doing the posting, 131.107.3.83. Normally we don't actively track these IP addresses, as where our readers come from usually isn't an issue, but I decided to dig into the logs anyway to see where the talkback originated.

    Here's what we found:

    Microsoft Corporation (NET-MICROSOFT)
    One Microsoft Way
    Redmond, WA 98052
    US

    Netname: MICROSOFT
    Netblock: 131.107.0.0 - 131.107.255.255

    Coordinator:
    Microsoft Corporation (ZM23-ARIN) noc@microsoft.com
    425 882 8080

    Domain System inverse mapping provided by:

    DNS4.CP.MSFT.NET 207.46.138.11
    DNS5.CP.MSFT.NET 207.46.138.12
    DNS1.MICROSOFT.COM 131.107.1.7
    DNS2.MICROSOFT.COM 131.107.1.240

    Record last updated on 18-Jan-2001.
    Database last updated on 7-Feb-2001 18:34:32 EDT.
    Does this mean that Microsoft is astro-turfing Linux Today? Given the recent declaration of war against Linux by Microsoft -- and the fact that Microsoft is renowned for its astroturfing actions in the past -- we'll let you decide.
  • Just called a friend who is rather high up in SuSE, and they confirmed that the U.S. office has more-or-less been vaporized. The P.R. departmet has not been told what to tell the press at present, and I can't really get any further information, as my friend is bound by an NDA on releasing internal information (standard practice, nowadays).

    The good news is, most of the SuSE staff has been offered jobs at either companies, or for SuSE GmbH (aus Deutschland).

    --

  • Of course now that I go read it again, it says.


    Update: after several readers commented that the rumors SuSE denied are, indeed true, and LWN asserted that their coverage is accurate, a followup call to both the US offices of SuSE and Ms. Von Wedel revealed that while no one at the company is willing to comment further on whether layoffs are happening or not, some employees are being moved to a different office. Ms. Von Wedel said she could provide no information on layoffs. We'll continue to cover the story as it unfolds. -mph


    So I guess we'll see, but I have real trouble believing SuSE's US operations are closing up.
  • by divec (48748) on Thursday February 08, 2001 @02:05AM (#448117) Homepage
    We are seeing the germination of different developer communities based on language, and not on a shared enthusiasm for Linux.

    This may be true to some extent as a general rule about *users*. However, I don't think it's true for the people actually writing the software in the first place. Both GNOME and KDE have developers all over the world and are localised into many different languages. Mozilla too. Wine is headed by someone from Switzerland and has contributors all over the world. Linux is headed by a Finn living in America and has contributors from all over the world. Apache is headed by a group of people from many different places, and has contributors all over the world. Samba, Perl, etc. You get the idea. Smaller projects do not necessarily have developers worldwide, but they still often have developers from more than one continent.


    For as long as the developers are not balkanised, the actual potential danger of fragmentation is quite small. There's no reason why developers will balkanise, cos there's no reason to turn away good patches just because the contributor is from Baklaliviatatlaglooshen.

  • by Smitty825 (114634) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @02:50PM (#448118) Homepage Journal
    I've tried reaching both the U.S. and German branches: SuSE has yet to return a call placed to the U.S. office, and at the German branch it won't be business hours for a while

    Whoa, doing research twice in a week?!? That has to be a first for Slashdot!
  • by mdb31 (132237) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @07:37PM (#448119)
    Ow, please -- the IP you mentioned is one of Microsoft's many proxy servers (just doing a reverse DNS lookup would have been sufficient to show it's a microsoft.com address, by the way, instead of posting a hopelessly verbose whois lookup...). MS has a few gazillion employees on their network, and, like employees of other companies, many of them like to surf the net on the boss' time. Conspiracy? Hardly - I would care more if you saw this kind of stuff being posted by MS' PR firm... (wagged.com)
  • by SClitheroe (132403) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @02:55PM (#448120) Homepage
    > Is this good or bad for linux?

    It depends on how you look at it. If the big boys (eg IBM) start charging prices for distros that more accurately reflect the costs of the enhancements they contribute, the support, marketing, and distribution aspects, I don't think it would be a bad thing. It would ensure that the bug companies have a revenue stream that justifies their efforts.

    If, on the other hand, the big companies simply continue to rebrand their own distros based on the work of others (a la Corel), and don't contribute to the spirit, energy, and development of Linux, then it is certainly a bad thing. The smaller companies like SuSE, Slackware, Debian, etc. bring more than just code to the table. They contribute to the driving force and energy that has really helped to propel Linux.
  • Linuxtoday [linuxtoday.com] contacted SuSE. They said, this is a total rumour. They've only let ONE person go.

    Sigh.

  • by LoneCoder (161808) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @03:26PM (#448122)
    This is just another example of how sensitive the community has become. Whenever someonse says "job cuts" or "stock plumbers" regarding Linux companies, people start jumping conclusions. I work at a VAR which uses exclusively the SuSE distro, mainly because they have a version for our language (Portuguese, if you must know), and I can install a server from scratch using ReiserFS in under an hour. Just yesterday we received info from SuSE stating prices for the 7.1 release, together with lots of other bits and pieces. Conclusion: so the US market didn't respond the way SuSE expected... big deal. In Europe (all of Europe, not just Germany and german-speaking countries) SuSE rules!!
  • by Elrin (217246) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @11:35PM (#448123) Homepage
    Aaargh! This makes me want to scream...

    SuSE is a GERMAN company!

    SuSE, Inc. in USA goes down does NOT mean SuSE GmbH in Germany is going down! You savvy?

    Contrary to popular belief(mostly in the US), the USA is only a small part of this planet.
    People living elsewhere on this ball actually don't allways give a damn about the US.
    All this means is that the US sales were dissapointing, (due to an over-loaded distro market in the US anyway) and SuSE will merely return their focus outside the USA.

    SuSE have, and will still Rock!
  • by WillSeattle (239206) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @03:41PM (#448124) Homepage
    Coincidence? I don't think so.

    Or ... maybe all the techies are just being a teensy bit paranoid about downsizing nowadays, since so many firms have unsustainable business models and the VC equity holders and IPO institutional holders are pulling the plug.

    I'd be more concerned with news like Attachmate downsizing due to the low volume of Win2K Data Server sales, especially with Active Directory almost nonexistent than I would be about S.u.S.e. problems.

    At least you've got the source code ... imagine if it were a closed source OS/Apps company ... what would you do?

  • by Urban Existentialist (307726) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @02:53PM (#448125) Homepage
    This is just another step in the regionalisation of Linux. I have mentioned this before on this site, and it is clear to me that what I have said is coming to pass.

    Linux is splitting into different Distro's for different cultural areas of the world. The German speaking world has SuSE. The English speaking world Red Hat. The French speaking world goes with Mandrake, and the Japanese with turbo Linux.

    Now, this shouldn't affect Linux at all, but I fear it will, and indeed I fear it already is. We are seeing the germination of different developer communities based on language, and not on a shared enthusiasm for Linux. For example, the german speaking world moves with KDE, and the Enflish with Gnome, and each have their own respective developer communities with their own cultural values. The recent establishment of a European branch of the FSF can only worsen this, IMO. The European Linux community is expediant - witness KDE liscensing issues - while the American is idealistic, and not really practical, as can be seen with its adherence to the values of the FSF.

    I think this is bad news for Linux. We need to see more cross cultural integration, like we used to have in the early days of Linux.

    You know exactly what to do-
    Your kiss, your fingers on my thigh-

  • by sharkticon (312992) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @02:51PM (#448126)

    Is very little. After all given that the business model of selling Linux distributions means that companies operate on razor-thin profit margins at best (without other value added services anyway) it's not suprising that several, or perhaps most, of these companies will experiance the financial pinch and be forced to lay off staff to cut costs.

    But it doesn't really mean all that much for SuSe as a whole, just for their promotion and distribution teams in America I'd assume. You'll still be able to get it over the net I'm sure, you just might have to miss out on a fancy box :)

  • by mha (1305) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @04:44PM (#448127) Homepage
    Greetings from SuSE Inc., from one of those left.

    Just to keep things in perspective, SuSE lost about 30 out of more than 600 employees. It's a very big issue for those leaving, and - I wouldn't have thought it would be that big - also for those staying who see those guys leave.

    However, from the companies perspective:
    - No development for SuSE Linux took place here at all, so nothing will happen to the product.
    - We had hired a lot of people in expectation of things to come in the US - and then the box sales (for ALL Linux boxes) didn't really jump up a lot, and the little was absorbed by much increased competition. That left a lot more people than needed.

    I would also like to point out the difference between Europe and the US for SuSE. In Europe we have used the revenue from the box sales in a not nearly as competitive, but equally big or even larger market, to grow into the service business. T-Online, Europes largest ISP, for example, is a SuSE reference customer. And the great thing is they don't just use the distribution - damn, that's next to free! - they actually used and use our _services_ and give us real $$$.

    Different in the US, here we only sold the boxed product (and started building Services only recently, which will continue!), and for that the workforce was way too big for that in the current market. If people bought as many packages as they download from the ftp-server, and that's true for all distros,...

    So, basically, we got rid of a lot of functions needed for expected strong box sales which now will be done by the already established bigger organisation in Europe. you don't need two call centers for installation support if in the territory that the US one was to cover you sell much less than in the over one's territory (so that one is a big call center already anyway). So people here weren't as busy as expected.

    The problems together:
    - market situation now lets investors demand IMMEDIATE profitibility
    - box sales were the largest contributor for SuSE Inc. revenue
    - box sales for Linux in general didn't rise too much...
    - ...but competition in this area rose a lot Which basically means for the boxes alone we wouldn't have needed nearly as many additional people as we had hired.

    The good news is that SuSE in general doesn't depend on this. Sales in Europe has risen much more, and service revenue of our consulting company - which was founded only in 1999 and is about to become bigger than the "original" SuSE - has reached levels where the box sales have a hard time following, and it's increasing much faster than those as well. Yes, there are a lot more RedHat boxes out there - but unlike for SuSE Linux where we get money for every single one they don't get any money for by far most of it. Of course, now some people might call this bad because Linux is supposed to be free - and I respond yes, "Linux" is supposed to be free, and we still pay the most Linux developers and their stuff goes back to Linux, but "SuSE Linux" is not free. (Well, the ftp version even is, plus the usual stuff, i.e. buy on epackage, install a million times, etc.; we just don't want anyone else to take our final product and sell it filling _their_ own pockets.)

    Michael Hasenstein

    BEST Oracle on Linux support in town: http://www.suse.com/en/support/oracle/ [suse.com]
    ...and our engineering presence at Oracle HQ will _increase_, not decrease. Yeah, I'm one of the Oracle guys around here ;-)

    --
    Michael Hasenstein
    http://www.suse.de/~mha/

  • by finkployd (12902) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @02:59PM (#448128) Homepage
    Interestingly, SuSE is the ONLY good, up to date (imho) distro for the s/390, which is a pretty emerging market that will have plenty to spend on support contracts. IBM does not have a distro.

    Finkployd
  • by metacosm (45796) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @03:01PM (#448129)
    Part of the great thing about Linux is that your can download it for free - which is definately a good thing. But, if you can afford it, please support your distro of choice, else - you may not have too much choice left. Think about how much that distro has been worth to you, how much it would have cost in MS software to replace what you setup with a Linux based box. I am not saying buy a copy for every computer you put it on, or anything silly like that. But if you use it day in and day out - go get the pro version from (Insert local store that carries distros here), and give back a little to the people that work so hard producing that distro for you. -- MetaCosm
  • by The_Messenger (110966) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @03:19PM (#448130) Homepage Journal
    This is Very Simple: OSS is not a viable option for businesses interested in making money.

    The only people getting rich off of the current "open-source wannabe UNIX" trend are CheapBytes.com and others who sell $.99 CD-Rs of the same product which Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSE et al expect you to pay upwards of $40 for. Yeah, right.

    How OSS works in the Real World

    l337 Linux luser: Hey, d00d, try out this Linux thing, it will make you l337 and it's 0p3n 50urc3!!!@

    Average PC user: Hmm, Open Source, you say? So it's available free of charge.

    l337 Linux luser: No, man, even though you can get it for free, you're supposed to pay money for it, to make OSS a v14bL3 bu5in355 m0d3L!!

    Average PC user: Well, sure, I'm willing to pay for it. Given, of course, that it has better hardware support, software support, and a user interface more suited to me, the Average PC User, than my current Windows 98 installation.

    l337 Linux luser: Well, um, it's a hacked copy of a real operating system, which is looked down upon by real UNIX users, and is lambasted by Windows users for its incredibly poor hardware support and nonexistent consumer software market, but...

    Average PC user: So you're telling me I should stop using Windows, which I know well and works fine, and instead use an immature UNIX-ripoff that...

    l337 Linux luser: No, d00d, wait!

    Average PC user: ...and that even if I did want to run this OS, I should pay money for it when it's freely available? That I should support a business model which even the dumbest PHB understands doesn't make sense in the real world?

    l337 Linux luser: Fuck j00, man! I guess j00 just aren't l337!

    Average PC user: For me to poop on.

    The End

    The moral of that story is, NO FUCKING SHIT!! SuSE and Red Hat are fools if they envision themselves as anything other than charities. At least when I give money to the FSF (which I do regularly), I know that they aren't kidding themselves.

    It's been said [slashdot.org] countless times in the past. I'll certainly be glad when this little fad is over so we ("we" of course being professional developers) can go back to programming as usual.

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

Working...