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Novell Software Businesses Red Hat Software Linux

Red Hat Reaping Benefits From Novell/MSFT deal? 71

Posted by Zonk
from the don't-like-their-dance-partner dept.
Ho Kooshy Fly writes "It seems that at least one software group has seen the use of Red Hat substantially increase over Novell as of late. EWeek theorizes that this may be backlash from the patent deal with Microsoft. From the article: 'The survey's findings can also be extrapolated to the broader open-source software industry and are not limited to those enterprise customers using Alfresco software "because of the wide range of open-source and proprietary software use cases captured and the large sample size of the survey," [Ian Howells, Alfresco's chief marketing officer] said. "We think these findings accurately reflect the broad technology trends across modern stacks in organizations of all sizes." Gallup polls about U.S. presidential candidates typically survey about 1,000 likely voters, while Alfresco surveyed more than 10,000 people, he said.'"
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Red Hat Reaping Benefits From Novell/MSFT deal?

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  • no bias? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vfrex (866606) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @07:59AM (#19968301)
    I'm not convinced that this is unbiased, especially the claims that Novell adoption is slowing due to backlash. Give us the stats if you want, but let us draw our own conclusions. Also, why did the report separate Fedora and RHEL while not separating openSuSE and Novell SuSE? Certainly interesting data, but like I said, I don't really want their conclusions. On a side note, PostgreSQL seems to be used a lot more than I originally thought.
    • by kaiwai (765866)
      My experience so far has been different - I don't know what customers in the US are smoking but Novell has historically had good sales outside the US, the big question to ask, maybe they should just simply give up on the US, move their development team and head quarters back to the old German SuSE headquarters and leave the USA to the wrath of Microsoft.

      The patent deal I doubt would cause any impact on sales - I mean, unless there are high powered idiots making decisions based on emotive overtones rather th
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BVis (267028)

        The patent deal I doubt would cause any impact on sales - I mean, unless there are high powered idiots making decisions based on emotive overtones rather than on a factual basis.

        You've just described every executive at every large company in the US. The executive washroom is a logic-free zone.

        If anything it'll be due to the same issue it has always had, terrible marketing, terrible sales people, terrible communication with customers and developers. The lack a leader with charisma and charm that can not onl

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by vfrex (866606)
          Not sure if I agree with you there. In theory, products quality should stand alone. In reality, there are a lot of directors of IT and CIOs who believe that Linux is a science project, and not a suitable server platform for important tasks. Until that sentiment is eroded, Linux and OSS will never gain the share it deserves. Strong marketing will help to erode that sentiment faster.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by kaiwai (765866)
            You're right. In theory, it should be nice for products to stand on their own merits, people look beyond the marketing hype, and customers do their own research rather than relying on biased studies funded by companies - be they Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat or Novell.

            Sun suffers from the same problem - awesome products marketing terribly; heck, its proven here with idiots making stupid statements that Solaris is only for SPARC, that Sun doesn't sell x86/x64 machines etc. etc. Ignorant goes both ways, and I'm alw
          • In reality, there are a lot of directors of IT and CIOs who believe that Linux is a science project, and not a suitable server platform for important tasks.

            In reality, there are a lot of *Linux users* who think that Linux is a science project, not suitable for important tasks. I remember Ubuntu users lecturing me how I should have my Windows CD ready when installing Ubuntu, in case Ubuntu has problems installing. And it did. And they asked why I didn't "play it safe" by having my Windows CD ... in antici
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by vfrex (866606)
              If that makes Linux a science project, I'm not sure what we should call an OS that doesn't bother attempting to play nice with others. I'm sure most sysadmin won't need to bother with dual booting Ubuntu next to Windows, somehow...
            • by VagaStorm (691999)
              I would hardly call windows a science project just because I keep a knopix cd around when installing it, just in cast something goes to wrong.... Like windows messing up my boot loader.... One of these days I should play dumb an call microsoft to have em explain to me what happened there :p
          • In reality, there are a lot of directors of IT and CIOs who believe that Linux is a science project, and not a suitable server platform for important tasks.
            Sometimes it just takes a generational change to get new ideas accepted by the mainstream. It took about 20 years for the PC to almost completely replace the mainframe -- roughly 1977 (TRS-80) to 1996 (WinNT4.0). We may be in for another 8-10 years before Linux completely replaces MS Windows regardless of marketing tactics.
          • by RockDoctor (15477)

            In reality, there are a lot of directors of IT and CIOs who believe that Linux is a science project, and not a suitable server platform for important tasks.

            Implicit in this statment is that "directors of IT and CIOs" do not consider "science" to be "important" (all dependant, of course, on broad generalisations of "directors ...", "science" and "important"). Which would be quite worrying, were it true, as a description of the general "importance" of "science" in the society you describe.
            What is very worryin

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by spun (1352)
          The executive washroom is a logic-free zone.

          But that's impossible! The free market for executive labor ensures that only the absolute best and brightest ever make it to executive positions. I mean, come one! There's no government interference in the executive salary market, so it has to be working perfectly. We all know that the only time markets fail to be the closest solution to God-like perfection is when government interferes. Therefore, these executives are making all the right decisions, based solely
    • by FudRucker (866063)
      sandbagging for novell, huh?
    • PostgreSQL (Score:2, Informative)

      by Bacon Bits (926911)
      PostgreSQL has grown dramatically since 8.x was released. Easy Windows support really helps because, like it or not, a lot of developers write on Windows and publish on Linux.

      People tend to move to PostgreSQL when they find they need features MySQL lacks, get hung up on some of the odd issues MySQL can have, or find they have licensing issues with MySQL. The biggest drawback for PostgreSQL is that you actually have to configure it when you install it, or it will think it's running on a system with very mi
  • Why Microsoft went into these deals anyway? Sure: "FUD".. Whatever, that's not a good reason enough. You can't stop Linux with just some random deals with minor distros and some FUD.

    Does anyone have a hint of what their actual strategy is? So far they are just eliminating some smaller distros on the market and making it easier for the bigger distros to gain further traction.

    Is this the idea? Help consolidate the market, so you have only 2-3 major distros to sue eventually for patent infringement?
    • by NeoTerra (986979)
      It's a lot easier to run down 2 or 3 groups, as to staying up at night, hoping you have them all when you just caught #200.
    • by dattaway (3088)
      Is this the idea? Help consolidate the market, so you have only 2-3 major distros to sue eventually for patent infringement?

      There's always going to be change. That's why I recommend grabbing the small script to generate your own Linux distribution. With the only investment being a DNS registration for your new site, run the distro build script, watch it generate user forums with its AI to help build your wiki site, wait for Microsoft to send the forms, sign them, and wait for the multimillion dollar check
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Talisman (39902)

      Can someone explain it to me...why Microsoft went into these deals anyway?


      Yes.

      Winux
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by suv4x4 (956391)
        > Can someone explain it to me...why Microsoft went into these deals anyway?

        Yes.
        Winux


        And it'll be free and released under GPL3, right.
      • by badriram (699489)

        Divide and Rule [wikipedia.org]. It is a good stategy, and some open source people really do fall for it. GPL3 from a corporate perspective is not a very positive thing. So i would think that community is already showing lots of divide, although that could just be because there are lots more people in it now.

        $%*@)%#$.... I have not idea what happened there, but i must have missed the a close tag.... Divide and Rule.

      • by suv4x4 (956391)
        Good point about GPL3, but I don't think many people will jump on that bandwagon. The Linux kernel itself won't. Some marginal projects moved to GPL3, and they have much more popular GPL2/BSD/Mozilla (or whatever) licensed and corporate supported alternatives.

        The OSS world is already quite divided and I've the feeling Microsoft is consolidating them (in the face of a threat) rather than diving them. Some marginal folks will always think up something weird but that's not so important.
        • by Serveert (102805)
          Good point about GPL3, but I don't think many people will jump on that bandwagon.

          Excellent point except the main targets for a lawsuit are moving to GPL3, like Samba. Otherwise, the threats are mere threats, with no source code or anything except hot air backing them up. Microsoft will never bring this into court, they will merely attempt to create an air of hysteria, hoping people like yourself make a big deal out of it so they don't have to substantiate their claims. Much like the SCO case, we know how
        • by AvitarX (172628)
          Marginal like samba?
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Why Microsoft went into these deals anyway? Sure: "FUD".. Whatever, that's not a good reason enough. You can't stop Linux with just some random deals with minor distros and some FUD.

      FUD may not be so far from the mark. Large corporations are fairly conservative and risk-averse entities. If you can sew the seed of doubt with the people who control the money, they may be leery about using Linux in their enterprise unless they have the soothing lie of being free from any patent encumberance. By signing thes

    • My best guess is that Microsoft wants to tell the world (especially those that are watching their anti-trust behavior and those they are trying to convice that their OOXML should be a standard) that Linux companies CAN and DO license their POS IP.

  • Surveys (Score:3, Funny)

    by ireallylovelinux (589360) <brianherman@bria n j h e r man.com> on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @08:01AM (#19968337) Homepage
    I did a survey of surveys and found them only 88.1% accurate.
  • by darthcamaro (735685) * on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @08:10AM (#19968423)
    The eWeek story got it wrong. Internetnews.com got it right. From their article [internetnews.com]: "in an interview with internetnews.com, Howells admitted that he lacked that empirical evidence to back up his allegation. "All we've got is the raw statistics," Howells said. "We expected general trends to be similar, but what we saw was a big divergence going from the two platforms being almost the same to one tripling in size. We were looking at various reasons for that, and there may be a number of reasons for that but we don't actually know the specific reason." Among the other reasons why Red Hat users may well have increased is the emergence of a new Red Hat release -- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (RHEL) -- which was released in mid-March just a few weeks ahead of when the Alfresco study began. Novell on the other hand had no similar product launch event at any point near the Alfresco study. http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3 690141 [internetnews.com]
  • by zerogeewhiz (73483) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @08:10AM (#19968427)
    No, Novell's marketing is spot-on, it's the MS deal that's done it.

    Novell haven't the faintest idea how to promote and articulate SUSE (do most people even know it's SUSE outside the geek community?) and are bleeding the people who can at a rapid rate, at least the ones I know.

    CxO's don't give a toss about deals with MS, they care about brands and RedHat are as strong as they come backed up with better marketing.

    I don't work for RedHat and I'm a Mac bigot, so I think I'm reasonably balanced.
  • by alucinor (849600) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @08:21AM (#19968537) Journal
    So if I were a company evaluating whether to choose Novell over Redhat based solely on the Microsoft deal, I would definitely choose Redhat. Novel's deal with Microsoft has so many exceptions in it (doesn't cover "clone" or "foundry" or "other" products) and contridictions between the two companies (GPLv3 is/isn't covered) that all it seems to do get Microsoft's attention better for their "who could we sue" list. Because the deal surely doesn't protect you from getting sued, given all the exceptions.

    I would rather go with Redhat where there's far less confusion going on. They offer protection anyways, through OIN.
    • by hitest (713334)
      "So if I were a company evaluating whether to choose Novell over Redhat based solely on the Microsoft deal, I would definitely choose Redhat."
      Agreed. I personally don't run RH (I'm a Slackware/Debian user), but if I was choosing Linux for a company I'd go with the industry standard: Red Hat. Interesting to note that RH predicted that Novell would suffer as a result of the deal with MS. I think it is still too early to forecast the demise of Novell, but the survey results are interesting.
    • We used Suse way before Novell bought it, and the deal with Microsoft while good for the board of Novell fails in every other respect. Open means choice - not fud or payments to Microsoft for 'mob insurance'.

      Instead of keeping Suse - we moved distro and yes we are happy. Move back to Novell ? - no thank you.

    • by jayp00001 (267507)
      OIN is not protection simply an attempt to use the same mechanism Microsoft uses via aquiring patents and covenenting not to sue for patent violations. The difference is that Microsoft claims to already own the patents and OIN attempts to buy patent rights from holders. If OIN wanted to protect redhat users they would have to pay Microsoft on behalf of those users prior to the violation.
    • An alternative perspective - suppose I'm an MS customer, yet I decide I need a Linux-based system for enterprise-level business-critical task. Which Linux-based OS do I choose? Well, when my friendly MS rep hands me a coupon for SuSE, I don't think I'd be doing much looking elsewhere. Disclaimer: I'm a Fedora user; I'd choose RedHat or Centos
  • Alfresco? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Mikkeles (698461) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @08:30AM (#19968647)
    '... are not limited to those enterprise customers using Alfresco software...'

    Sorry, I don't programme outdoors; I'm in my parents' basement!

  • Good for Alfresco. They've gotten loads of publicity over a non-scientific survey, a poorly written eWeek article and now, the Slashdot front page. And way to go Slashdot, maybe an editor will dupe the false story about FreeType and the MS/Novell patent agreement as well. Apparently, neither eWeek or Slashdot employ editors.

    So, why would trash like this get published on Slashdot instead of something actually interesting, like http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/novell-hac k-week-an-experiment-in-inn [arstechnica.com]
  • by rar (110454) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @08:40AM (#19968771) Homepage
    Gallup polls about U.S. presidential candidates typically survey about 1,000 likely voters, while Alfresco surveyed more than 10,000 people, he said.'"

    I recall that my statistics professor explicitly pointed out a common mistake in statistics: "Contrary to what people typically believe, the size of the sample is often not as critical as getting an unbiased sample." If you call the home phone number of people during daytime and ask the ones who answer whether they are employed or not, you will not get good statistics. Regardless if you reach 1 000 or 10 000 people.

    I have no idea if there is such a problem with the statistics presented here. I just want to point out their claim of sample size can not be taken to mean that their statistics are better than Gallup's.
  • by SocietyoftheFist (316444) * on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @09:34AM (#19969393)
    I have a buddy in the oil and gas industry, he has a small geophysics firm. The firm writes software and their customers have eschewed Windows, they don't want windows server/client components anymore, they want Linux. It used to be that they got quite a bit of requests for Linux and Windows but nobody is asking for Windows anymore. Nine times out of ten the customers want the software available as an RPM for RHEL. They also test on CentOS and Fedora but the vast majority of their customers want it to work on RHEL. I found it very interesting when I discussed it with him.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      And also, they use QT because they like it's C++ API and they also believe KDevelop is the best IDE under Linux. These guys aren't UNIX/Linux geeks, they just work with what their customers ask for and use the tools they find to be the best after much testing.
  • by gsslay (807818) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @10:08AM (#19969917)
    The important phrase to take out of the article;

    "Alfresco did not specifically ask community members the reason for their Linux choice"

    So we have a self selecting sample, from which they've drawn conclusions on an issue they didn't even ask about. We're also left in the dark as to how Redhat compared to the other distros (like, for instance, flavour of the month Ubuntu) in recent months. So we don't know if the supposed surge in Redhat is more down to Redhat itself than disapproval of SUSE.

    My analysis; this report is insignificant PR fluff, to which some fanboy has added cherry picked data to "prove" a political point he wished to make regardless.
  • Am I the only one that read "Alfresco" and started thinking italian food?
  • release the survey weasels now, they're known for their impartiality and ethicality in these matters, possibly backed up by some ombudsman badgers, what could go wrong?, at the very least they'll stop the squirrels from spying
  • My read is that once you sign with Microsoft, Microsoft is free to attack you. Or Novell is doing better than Redhat. Or Redhat doesn't have to sign because they are partners with Microsoft in Microsoft's linux.
    But who cares, this is Microsoft's stupid marketing because ... Novell Content Exchange ('00), IBM Workplace ('04), Zenworks 7 Management ('00), Extend Director 4 ('03) ... Novell users simply don't use Alfresco. Not before signing or after.
  • If you check out here [redhat.com] you will notice that Alfresco is listed at the number one project on the Red Hat Exchange. So maybe their downloads are three-times higher because Red Hat advertises for them for free. I dunno about you, but I would won't believe the results until they adjust for that (i.e. "Where did you hear about Alfresco?").
  • Event 1: Microsoft and Novell sign patent deal
    Event 2: Redhat has better sales than Novell
    Conclusion: there is a backlash against Novell and is losing customers.

    This a logical fallacy of the type "Post Hoc ergo propter Hoc", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter _hoc [wikipedia.org].

    Because Redhat's increased sales happened after Microsoft/Novell deal, doesn't mean there is a fallout. I doubt that is the case especially among 'corporate' customers. It could've been just better and targeted marketing on the par
  • As much as I like Red Hat based systems I'd switch to Debian in the blink of an eye if Red Hat signed an agreement with Microsoft, like Novell did.

    Microsoft opposes everything that Linux has come to stand for. Linux is the best OS on the planet and it's completely free. If Microsoft was ever able to gain control of it those ass hats would start selling CALS for Linux servers, OEM stickers for Linux workstations, and sue your ass off if you didn't buy them. If you give Microsoft an inch they will walk all ov

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