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New Financing And Fewer Staff @ SuSE 132

Posted by Hemos
from the keeping-on-moving dept.
jdfox writes: "According to this press release from SuSE, they have just received another 15 million Euros (about 14 million $US) venture capital, with some big names listed in the consortium's membership. They have also announced that a quarter of their 500 staff will be let go, following on from similar recent cuts. This excellent distro deserves to succeed: I hope this move will see them through the current slowdown." The upcoming release (needs babelfishing from German) of SuSE's version 7.3 promised for October 13th is loaded with a ton of goodies, too -- Kernel 2.4.10, KDE 2.2.1 and GNOME 1.4.1 beta2, among other things.
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New Financing And Fewer Staff @ SuSE

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  • We're all busy trying to beg, steal, beg, or borrow the new StarOffice beta 6.0 ;-)
  • Love the SuSE (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lessthan0 (176618)
    I've run almost 10 different distros (counting the BSDs) and I always come back to SuSE. With the crypto now in the kernels by default and the firehose of apps, SuSE kicks it mack daddy fresh.

    I hope they can pull out of the general slump and get profitable again or we'll all be running RedHat XP.
    • bloat is nice and it seems to have mass appeal but it is NOT the answer.

      I have never run SuSE but from what I understand it is quite the hoarder of utilities. I personally don't appreciate having to sort through billions of packages picking what I want to install but I have to b/c I don't need to have command-line tetris games, vi, and whatever else is random and not to my liking.

      As far as "built-in cyrpto" another feature I don't feel I need as of right now. If I want to protect myself and my data I will but I don't need it bloating the kernel or my HD to do so.

      I do like the fact that they are releasing a version of their distrib in mid October running what is currently (and might be then) the latest kernel. I hate people who come asking for tech support about upgrading their kernel (when they have NO knowledge of it at all) b/c they are running 2.4.2-ac69.

      I doubt that we will all be running "RedHat XP" but I doubt that they will become "profitable". Venture capital doesn't tend to lead to profitable business in the computer world (as we have seen w/MANY companies -- especially Linux based ones)

      SuSE (as per the single fact that I need babelcrap to read their release) needs to market to people other than the Europeans in order to be profitable and they need to clean up their install (Mandrake I assume is the current leader).

      OpenSource is a Good Thing. Use e/o's shit. I have always wanted: Burger King burgers, McDonalds Fries, and Wendy's frosties all under one roof. Linux can do this people. Make it happen.
      • Re:Love the SuSE (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Chakat (320875)
        Actually, if you choose the default install of SuSE, it's no more bloated than any of the other distros. It's just that if you want a different program than what is the "default", chances are that it's in the collection somewhere. If you don't want a feature, you don't have to install it. Believe me, it's quite useful having those numerous CDs (or one 1337 DVD) to install software; you just have to pop in the CD as opposed to waiting for the software to download from the internet.

        Plus, SuSE, once they finish their english translations, are usually quite good at documentation, in some cases better than redhat, etc.

  • Good to see that some Linux firms are still managing to get new money after all the paranoia that's hounding the Tech industry these days. Sure, we've seen a lot of "We Can Do Linux Too!" chaff getting swept away lately (with a few really good companies getting taken out with them). Now it's time for the real companies to start delivering on the "Linux Rules" promises we all heard the last couple of years.
    • yes, so many good companies around. They can do Linux, Mac, Windows, Solaris, HP-UX, hardware, apache, sendmail, php, asp, jsp, etc. I mean, really, how fun can it be when they don't specialise in something?
  • by IanA (260196)
    No one 'deserves' to survive. It's capitalism, sell your product, make money, or go bankrupt.
    • No one 'deserves' to survive. It's capitalism

      Okay, then, how about....

      SuSE deserves to have the opportunity to compete. As do a lot of others.

      Most startups aren't profitable overnight. Maybe not even for awhile. Linux has to struggle against both MS, the small market share of Linux (at present), other distro vendors, the general economic downturn, and the legacy of the dot-bombs.

      If any company had to be profitable overnight to survive, without investors being willing to invest, and wait for their roi, then no Linux companies would probably exist, including Red Hat.

      SuSE deserves to survive. Yes. They have an excellent product. (The only one I use.) Excellent engineering. And they deserve a chance (for awhile) to compete, be profitable, and survive in a capitalistic way. Any company in SuSE's, RH's, or Mandrake's position has a lot going against them. I wish them all well.

      If they can't make it, then they don't deserve to survive.

      [Extra Credit Question. Should infants be expected to survive on their own? How long should they be dependant on the resources of others who hope they'll grow up and be able to compete on their own and fend for themselves?]
    • by Bilbo (7015)
      No one 'deserves' to survive. It's capitalism, sell your product, make money, or go bankrupt.
      True enough. No one "deserves" to survive, but there have been plenty of companies in the past couple of years that "deserved" a quick and painless death...
    • Why can't someone say. "these guys are doing it right, they deserve the rewards of their labor," without an economic Darwinist coming up with this scrap of useless dogma?

      Regardless of economic point of view, one can truthfully say, "I like these guys, I like what they are doing, it's right for the market -- they deserve success." I don't see where this violates the cutthroat principles you seem to hold so dear.

  • Deserves? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ChaoticCoyote (195677) on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @02:47PM (#2379902) Homepage

    While SuSE does have some good things going for it, whether or not it "deserves" to survive is a matter of natural selection in the marketplace. It might be the best damned Linux distro ever -- but if people don't buy it, it will go the way of other "deserving" but unsuccessful products.

    Perhaps SuSE can persevere by gaining a rabid following that doggedly and vehemently defends "their" distribution in fora like Slashdot... zealotry can be a potent force for survival.

    Me? I'm a distro agnostic; I've bought SuSE, and Red Hat, and Mandrake, and I've downloaded Debian, Slackware, and Mandrake (yes, again) for various projects. And that may be part of SuSE's problem: all distros have their good and bad points, but there isn't much in the way of overwhelming distinction.

    For my stuff, I prefer Debian, Slackware, and Mandrake, depending on circumstances. Your mileage may vary -- and SuSE needs to get better mileage if it wants to be here in five years.

    • Perhaps the fact that it has good points makes it good, and deserve to survive? Hey, it could be a terrible distro and deserve to die :)
    • I am sorry, but in market that is dominated with predatory monopoly which is continuously breaking laws is not even close to free. In such market all the other companies need all the help, support and good will they can get.
    • While SuSE does have some good things going for it, whether or not it "deserves" to survive is a matter of natural selection in the marketplace.

      They should bailed out forever for having such a cool sticker pack in the latest release.

      I like stickers.

      -- cm
  • As often as I voice an opinion that M$ needs competition (which they really don't have in a Win* compatible format, which is why the OS is such a bloated, unstable mess) I like to seel SuSE as a strong alternative distribution to RedHat. In a few months I'll be building up another machine and would like to run them head to head.
  • by Schoinobates Volans (443594) on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @02:50PM (#2379915)
    That announcement [www.suse.de] won't need babelfishing: It's the english version ;-)
    • Wow, they really DID call us Linux users "Freaks". I was giving them the benefit of the doubt that the Babelfish translation was just a bit off.

      I am, however, glad to see that there was a translation problem that created the exclamation "Linux and Windows on a PC - as simple as never".

      • Wow, they really DID call us Linux users "Freaks".

        Possibly a misguided translation attempt by a non-native-English German.

        Here in Germany, "Freak" has become part of German slang and is used much in the same way as you use "geek" or "nerd" - part insult, part joke, part praise of unusual talent.

        I do say "Ich bin ein Computer-Freak" about myself in German and don't mind being called that way by others, while the actual English translation would be "I'm a computer geek".

        Just as with every language, lots of foreign words find their way into German and sometimes change their original meaning a little bit during assimilation.
  • by kikensei (518689) <joshua@ingaugemedia. c o m> on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @02:52PM (#2379931) Homepage
    SuSE puts out a very nice mail server product (I'm running our 40 user office on it) using Cyrus IMAP, LDAP and IMP web access. So easy, all our netscape users get LDAP access via their netscape address book so our mail lists are centrally administrated and current. Upon ordering their server, I got a quick call from Suse customer support asking for input about things I'd like to see in their future products and asking for feedback regarding any problems I may have. Very responsive. Their linux distro is current and top notch. I've been using it exclusively for 6 months. The Yast utilities can make things VERY easy for newbies, but you can stick to the CLI and completely forego the Suse utilities entirely. I believe that they're getting major funding from IBM and Intel so those outfits can get into the server room on the IA-64 cpu's. Here's hoping this distro has legs...
  • Check it out here in English.
  • "I hope this move will see them through the current slowdown"

    I hope you don't have the idea that it's temporary?

    Many companies (dotcoms, open source etc) gave away their products for free or charged insuffient for them. They still got huge amount of $$$ from VC's and the public and what is best described as gambling.

    This is gone and will hopefully never come back.
  • Why is it that SuSE gets a relatively large amount of money for a smaller company, and then they slash more employees. I understand they want to "stay in the game" and want to save alot of that money, but are we going to notice the quality of their output lessen as more and more workers get slashed, and yet they get more financial support from other companies? Cutting 500 jobs from a company such as SuSE sounds like quote a bit. Does anyone know how many people are currently employed with SuSE?
  • pronunciation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by quannump (310933)
    how do you pronounce SuSE? sue-see? sue-zee? sooz?
    • Re:pronunciation (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Technically it should be pronounced like "ZOO-zuh" but the Americanized pronounciation of "SOO- zuh" is fine (pronounced like last name of John Philip Sousa the famous marching band music writer of the late 1800's thru early 1900's).
    • Well, SuSE stands for 'Software- und System-Entwicklung' (software and system-development). So the first 'S' should be pronounced like in 'software'. The 'u' is like the 'oo' in boot, mood, etc. The second 'S' is a soft one, something like in 'zee'. The 'E' is similar to the 'a' in adrenalin, anarchy, abbreviation, arrested, elegant, anyway... :-)

      But: If you don't know what the abbreviation stands for, you would speak the first 'S' like the second: Soft. That's how I pronounce it and everybody else I know (I'm german.). Something like 'Zoo-Za'.

      btw: The emphasis is on the 'u'.
  • Babelfished (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 02, 2001 @02:58PM (#2379984)
    SuSE Linux 7,3 - entering and driving off
    Available starting from 13 October

    The new SuSE Linux - simply, independently, stably, surely!
    Select between the personnel edition - Linux for the whole family and the Professional edition - Linux without boundaries . The new SuSE Linux 7,3 in the overview .

    With its function abundance, its proverbial stability and its efficient protective mechanisms against bad accesses SuSE Linux 7,3 is the umfassendeste, most stable and safest operating system, which was developed ever for the privatgebrauch.

    SuSE Linux 7,3 - fast and simply like never before!
    Within minutes you operate with an operating system to serve that very easy are and at it stably and safe like no different one. Look forward to a system, which makes the work with its graphic surface so comfortable and simple that it is a true joy. Profited from the new A riser over the experienced home user up to the system administrator, everyone from the new features , the life with Linux becomes still simpler - for all! With SuSE Linux 7,3 applies now finally:

    Linux - now everyone understands!

    Linux and Windows on a PC? - naturally!
    The best is: They do not have to transfer at all , you must only enter ! They do not need to do without your used Windows *. SuSE Linux 7,3 can be installed fast and problem-free beside other operating systems on your computer. None is impaired by the other one!

    Fall and viruses? - not under Linux!
    Perhaps they know that:

    Blue display with incomprehensible messages over protection violations , which request for the restart of the computer?
    Overruns by viruses , which happened to you by Mail?
    Attacks by hackers on your computer?
    All things, about which you can smile only tired from now on, if to you your acquaintance ensureful on it report.

    Linux only for Freaks? - the times are past! From now on applies:
    Linux for the whole family!
    SuSE Linux 7,3 is an operating system for the whole family . Linux in the hands of your children? No problem:

    very easy : SuSE Linux 7,3 is to be served with its surface KDE very easy.
    : No system file can be damaged by mistake or in the case of doubt intentionally.
    playful : SuSE Linux 7,3 contains a large number of plays, the play series was strongly extended and improved. Likewise Multimedia applications were improved, like television under Linux and sound applications substantially extended and.
    multimedially : DS burn, videos see and processing, sound to mix, cut schnittstudio, Synthesizer are only some the many Multimedia possibilities.
    privately : Each user has his own private environment, which no different one sees when desired, let alone to change or delete may.
    interlaced : Do not create your own family network, with SuSE Linux, to the network operating system par excellence, a problem.
    A riser or old hare? - for everyone the correct version!
    Are you already a new A riser or an old Linux hare? - you have the selection: Personal or Professional . Decide, what you need! As a risers you will likewise estimate the high comfort of the operation the personnel edition as as an expert the many Client and server applications in the Professional edition .

  • SuSE Linux 7,3 - entering and driving off

    With its function abundance, its proverbial stability and its efficient protective mechanisms against bad accesses SuSE Linux 7,3 is the umfassendeste, most stable and safest operating system, which was developed ever for the privatgebrauch.

    Linux only for Freaks? - the times are past! From now on applies: Linux for the whole family!

  • Buy Linux Incentive (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sabinm (447146)
    With this 14 million dollars, they should focus marketing on their Distro in EU circles.
    The popularity of SuSe is great in Europe and it wouldn't be as great of a challenge to convert users and organizations to Linux.

    If they gave corporations and govt. incentives to purchase SuSe, like deals w/the OEMs to make systems that were preinstalled and came w/loads of Tech Support, they could throw a monky wrench in the Software licensing scheme.



    Say for instance the incentives that companies had with Compaq 7 years ago. My dad got a 386/sx with windows 3x for about 1500 - a cost that was footed by the company.The same thing could be done for Linux today. Get a significant cash incentive, install some killer apps, along with a smooth game (Quake) for after hours and a internet connection and you can hook the average consumer on Linux. Next time they go out to buy a box, the consumer will most likely stick with SuSe.



    Worked for MS, should work for SuSe.
    All I'm saying is that you already have a product that is good, it's time to put it on display. Let it sink or float according to its merits.

    Don't spend too much more time on a near perfect product. It's time to let it out to play with the big boys.

  • No iso. They only have that pitiful eval crap. Now I know you don't have to have an iso to install it but thats the only way its getting on one of my machines. And I am certainly not buying it without having it on machine first.

    I am not sure what goes on in that suse brain, not sure if I want to, either.
    • FYI, the evaluation CD will do just fine. I installed 6.4 (IIRC) from the eval cd. When I needed packages not included on the eval, I just changed the installation medium to "ftp" in the setup program, and suddenly I had access to the full distribution which usually takes six cds.

  • I love SuSE.

    I've been using it for years and it just keeps getting better and better. As much as I like the distro though, the main user mailing list (suse-linux-e) just rocks, it's probably the nicest online community that I have ever participated in except perhaps ISCA in it's day.

  • The management from SuSE and Mandrake are actually competing to see who can manage a company worse.

    Mandrake:

    (1) Hand over control of operations to an American group who decide that Mandrake is now all about E-Learning. Later, fire said group when it becomes obvious that MandrakeExpert won't be bringing in the bacon.

    (2) Hire an elementry school child to design the Mandrake logo and graphics.

    SuSE:

    (1) Waste and overspend existing investment dollars by building a consultancy group that is about 1/3 larger than the market can support.
    (2) Original school child who designed logo and marketing material is stolen away by rival distro.

  • I picked up a copy of 6.1(?) many many months ago, as a possible alternative to Windows (which I despised). Ended up buying a Mac (needed a reliable comp for school), and never really used it. Trashed that particular PC, pieced together a new one from Frys, and picked up a copy of Mandrake 7.0 'cause it was on sale. Gotta admit, I really like Mandrakes setup app. PartionMagic is pretty slick, IMHO. However, whenever Mandrake would try to 'query' any of the expansion slots (PCI and ISA), it'd lock up. Windows 98SE has similar problems (won't shut down, sees things that aren't there, and doesn't see stuff that is). Think I got mainboard problems. But I have NONE of these problems with SuSE. Not a one. And while yast may be kinda clumsy, it works. I look forward to SuSE's latest offering. They will be getting my $$$.

    -Peter
    "We don't inherit the land from our ancestors"
    "We borrow it from our children"
  • My problem with SuSe is that I have not yet found a way to download ISOs of it's full installation.

    Because of this I am not prepared to leave the distribution that I have worked with for nearly seven years (here [slackware.com]).

    I've heard a lot of good things about SuSe, but as Linux can be a finneckety thing to get used to I am not prepared to spend money on it until I know what it's like, including exactly what packages come with it. (I'm a bit stubborn when it comes to console text editors... hear that, Patrick?)

    I'm not a Linux freeloader - I've pumped more money into Slackware than I have Windows, and I'm proud of it.

    But until SuSe join the Open Source Revolution it's unlikely that they'll be seeing my $
    • Like I said in another post, get the evaluation CD. It is not crippled in any way. It just contains fewer packages. You can later change the source medium to "ftp" if you need the full distribution.

    • This [sdb.suse.de] tells you how to download the SuSE distro from the net. The page also gives their rationale for this approach to net distribution.

      To make God laugh, tell him your plans.
  • English Version (Score:2, Informative)

    by starphish (256015)
    Replace the .de with .com and the /de/ with /en/ and bingo! You have the English version of this link. No Babelfish needed. http://www.suse.com/en/produkte/susesoft/linux/ind ex.html [suse.com]
  • by geekoid (135745)
    I just bought the latest Suse, yes I actually pay for linux distros these days, And I have to admit, it's pretty sweet. I also purchased the latest RH(as of 6 months ago) and between those two, Suse was the easiest to install, and Yast was very nice and easy.

    I would love to see there accounting sheets, because I would like to know the details. they sure have recieved a lot of money recently.
  • In addition to the german and general engliush info, there's UK specific info here [suse.co.uk].
  • 1. It's - what ever Anti-YaST-FUD(TM) may say - very well organized. Even if you havn't got a DVD drive you won't get a stiff arm from changing CDs for a normal install. If you do have a DVD, you can use that all-on-one disk. (iirc that was SuSEs idea)

    2. It's transparent! Again, that Anti-SuSE talk is nothing but FUD. They come great lengths to tell people what they do and change and why - much unlike lots of other people who tend to spread their apps across tons of directories and seem to have no sense for tidyness. The X-Window desaster [catalog.com] has a nice remark on this somewhere in the middle. (Allthough it's not quite up to date :-) )

    3. It has top-of-the-pops documentation. Half of my Linux-specific bookshelf are made up of those books that come with that heavy box. And they are the ones I go for the most, because they offer answers fast!

    4. Since 7.2 you can update with a couple of mouseclicks. YOU (YaST Online Update) implements that buisnessmodel that Mickeysoft thries to achieve with XP, to the full extent. And for once, it makes sense to do a speedy update of of an app or system component inbetween. Even third partys are starting to make dowloads YOU compliant (nVidia for an instance).

    5. Even though it IS transparent and easy to modify for expierienced users, it's extremly easy to handle for anybody who is used to a GUI based OS. I consider SuSE the most likely candidate to get Windozers to see the advantage fo using a modern and professional OS. (After all, they, along with E and Loki :-), got me to ditch Mickeysoft for good)

    Just my observations, but I think they make some points. If you're considering to purchase a distro or have a friend who is, get SuSE, you'll like it.
  • SuSE is the cat's ass and all that but WTF do they make a distro which is the bowlegged whore of all distros from a security standpoint? SuSE is unique in that almost everything is turned on by default and hardening an installation is very time consuming and error prone. Once we have a standard build locked down we are loathe to change anything because of all the handwork involved. If SuSE could do one thing I would ask that they change their policies so that the default install is locked down at least as tightly as RH.
  • same press release, only on the us site. most've probably found it, but here 'tis. http://www.suse.com/us/products/susesoft/suse73/in dex.html [suse.com]

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. -- Albert Einstein

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