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Novell Linux Business Spikes Since Microsoft Deal 147

Posted by Zonk
from the there's-a-linux-that-works-with-windows-now dept.
StonyandCher writes "Novell's divisive deal with Microsoft has apparently resulted in some financial success for the company. PC World is now reporting that the company's Linux business has risen about 250% since the deal was announced last November. From the article: '[Novell director of marketing Justin Steinman] said part of its growth was directly related to the Microsoft deal, adding that Novell has billed more than US$100 million in business through its Microsoft relationship. He added that the growth was also due to the halo effect of the arrangement. "When we're out there competing with Red Hat, [our salespeople] are saying, 'Our Linux is recommended by Microsoft,' and customers that already have a Windows investment say it seems to make sense to pick the Linux that works with Windows."'"
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Novell Linux Business Spikes Since Microsoft Deal

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  • It could be people are moving their business from SCO to Novell ;)
    I don't know how much novell charges for their Linux but its got to be less than $650 per seat.
  • Marketing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by porkThreeWays (895269) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:29AM (#20767509)

    and customers that already have a Windows investment say it seems to make sense to pick the Linux that works with Windows
    Which is pure marketing because all the major distributions work equally well (or not well) with Windows. What I guess people still don't get is you pay for a support contract, not the distribution. All the major distributions are all basically of the same quality and use almost the exact same software. Maaaaaaybe a few configuration tools are different, but they are configuring the same software so it doesn't matter.
    • by dumb_jedi (955432)
      Which in turns shows how knowledgeable people in decision positions are. I bet some guy will buy Suse thinking it's a cheaper version of Windows.
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Which in turns shows how knowledgeable people in decision positions are. I bet some guy will buy Suse thinking it's a cheaper version of Windows.

        Well, they did mutilate the Gnome desktop to look like Windows... Applcations/Places/Settings in the same place as the start menu, "quick launch" in the same place, taskbar in the same place, notification area in the same place, clock in the same place, "Computer" icon on desktop, urine-colored theme, etc.

        When I tried 10.1 it felt like a very slow, cheap knockoff of Windows 2000. Unlike Ubuntu, which despite the baby poop color scheme comes off as a polished* desktop that's not a ripoff of something else.

    • by psbrogna (611644)
      "all the major distributions work equally well" Your statement above conflicts with what my personal experience has been (which has primarily been limited to many versions of Suse, Redhat, Centos, Yellowdog &Slackware). What I think you're trying to say is that all the major distributions CAN work the same way. As far as what they do out of the box though, ie. without reading how-to's and tweaking alien configuration files (alien that is if you're coming over from the Windows world), that is a differen
    • this is also marketing but Novell does have that deal where they get access to certain bits of MS code
        (and supposedly MS coders are told not to do some stuff that will break the shared code)
      If I had a business that was part MS part Linux I would have a SLED farm just to make sure i could get
      THE CODE THAT THE EU COMMISSION SAID I COULD GET
    • Actually, Novell works better with windows. I currently manage an entire AD structure with tools on SuSE Linux (Novell version). Desktop OS cost is $50 US, but only if you want the support and some of the tools that are offered with the paid version. I like it!!
    • Re:Marketing (Score:5, Informative)

      by SpiritGod21 (884402) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @09:23AM (#20768311) Homepage
      This is blatantly incorrect. I can connect SuSE to our Active Directory during installation through a GUI quite easily, or after installation at any time through the YaST administrative utility. In a Microsoft environment, SuSE makes things easy.

      Ubuntu, on the other hand, requires roughly 3 hours of hacking and coding. Canonical has no interest whatsoever in making it play nice with Windows beyond implementing and supporting SMB.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Penguinisto (415985)

        Ubuntu, on the other hand, requires roughly 3 hours of hacking and coding. Canonical has no interest whatsoever in making it play nice with Windows beyond implementing and supporting SMB.

        Probably because Ubuntu and SuSE are aiming for two entirely different markets? (home desktop users v. enterprise business)?

        Sort of like the reason why I wouldn't expect a typical Dell desktop to come with multiple hot-swap drive bays, two built-in NICs, or a RAID controller, nor would I expect a Dell server to come with a pair of GeForce 8800's in SLI configuration, y'know?

        /P

        • Exactly, which is why it's silly for the parent to write "Which is pure marketing because all the major distributions work equally well (or not well) with Windows." Ubuntu and SuSE do not work equally well with corporate Windows, particularly in respect to Microsoft Active Directory et. al.

          Was just trying to point out that different distros, developed for different markets, do not in fact work equally well (or not well). They are not all created equally in respects to Windows integration.
      • Same deal. Suse was the only thing able to easily integrate into our current environment. "Easily", being the operating words.

        Its a shame, since we use Ubuntu on all of our test systems. We would love to consolidate to Ubuntu, because they make it easy to do most other things.
    • Please remember that Novell offers much more than just the basic Linux stuff.
      It offers a Novell client for windows, eDirectory, ZENworks, iFolder, iPrint, Groupwise etc, etc.
      These are products targeted at managing Windows (and linux) workstations and servers but through a Linux server.
      Novell products integrate seamlessly with Windows and they even (implicitly) solve many of the typical windows problems for you.

      SLES on itself, however, does not offer a Windows advantage when compared to other distro's. It is
    • I totally disagree. Novell does some things that I am not happy about, but they have leveraged tools like Yast to make cumbersome configuration activities much easier and more reliable. Working with a Microsoft domain is a great example -- unless you have a heavily customized AD, Yast makes it VERY easy to become a member of the domain and authenticate users. Red Hat has the capability though Kerberos, LDAP and Samba, but it's harder to set it up.

      In the long term, Red Hat is going to need a tool like Yast a
    • by glug101 (911527)
      1.

      Which is pure marketing because all the major distributions work equally well (or not well) with Windows.

      Yes, I agree totally with this. Ubuntu (just to pick one) works beautifully with windows file formats and networking (or mac for that matter) with minimal configuration.

      2.

      All the major distributions are all basically of the same quality and use almost the exact same software. Maaaaaaybe a few configuration tools are different, but they are configuring the same software so it doesn't matter.

      Not

    • >>and customers that already have a Windows investment say it seems to make sense to pick the Linux
      >>that works with Windows

      >Which is pure marketing because all the major distributions work equally well (or not well) with
      >Windows.

      Makes about as much sense as someone using Windows in the first place doesn't it? :P

      YMMV
    • It's all about PERCEPTION. Novell made a very smart, pragmatic BUSINESS decision. Business in America is unfortunately very often not about merit or ethics or ideals. Business is about perception, playing to emotion, speculation, MARKETING.

      SuSE is no better or worse at Windows integration than Red Hat or Ubuntu or any other major distribution. Arguably, a purpose-built Linux server made independently of Novell or Microsoft tailored for such a purpose is probably superior to SuSE for such a task. Busine
  • by sammy baby (14909) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:29AM (#20767511) Journal

    "When we're out there competing with Red Hat, [our salespeople] are saying, 'Our Linux is recommended by Microsoft,' and customers that already have a Windows investment say it seems to make sense to pick the Linux that works with Windows."


    Translation 1:

    Wow! That "embrace" part was great, and this "extend" phase is fantastic! I wonder what's next?

    Translation 2:

    Wow! These guards are great - they gave me a delicious meal, and now they're taking me out to meet their "squad!" Wonder why they want me blindfolded?

    More seriously: I haven't worked with Novell stuff since this deal was announced. Anyone have any insight as to how much easier it really is to integrate with Microsoft stuff?
    • Wow, talk about OT.

      If you think MS has the power to E^3 Linux...

      Well, I have this bridge in Kansas, it connects two mountains, and has a great ocean view. Just $1,000,000.00 CAN.
      Send me the check/money order, the bridge will be in the mail after it clears.
      • by mhall119 (1035984)

        Wow, talk about OT.

        Really, you think so? If Novell is banking their business on selling their Microsoft relationship, what do you think is going to happen to that business when Microsoft backs out of their deal, and start publicly denouncing Suse's inability to remain compatible?

        This really is classic Microsoft strategy, make your competitor's success dependent on your compliance to something (HTML, Java, CIFS, OS/2), then stop complying with it. Microsoft's market weight guarantees that customers will follow them, and not

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jimstapleton (999106)

          what do you think is going to happen to that business when Microsoft backs out of their deal, and start publicly denouncing Suse's inability to remain compatible?

          SUSE will loose market share, and may even go to the Linux-distro graveyard. But remember, while SUSE is Linux, Linux is not SUSE.

          This really is classic Microsoft strategy, make your competitor's success dependent on your compliance to something (HTML, Java, CIFS, OS/2), then stop complying with it. Microsoft's market weight guarantees that custome

          • by mhall119 (1035984)

            SUSE will loose market share, and may even go to the Linux-distro graveyard. But remember, while SUSE is Linux, Linux is not SUSE.

            My post and, I suspect, the original post that started all of this, are talking about Suse, not Linux in general (since Linux in general hasn't signed a co-op agreement with Microsoft).

            Linux has a lot more loyalty than some of your examples

            True, but Suse really doesn't. Linux may have nothing to worry about, but Novell sure enough does.

            If MS is trying an E^3 with this, they might as well try putting their guns to their collective feet, because, they aren't going to decrease the popularity of Linux below what it would have been without their intervention. They may raise it above that level however...

            If Microsoft can kill off Novell, and Linspire and Xandros just for fun, I think they will be pleased with the result of their deal. Probably they would have liked to hook Red Hat as well to kill the top 2 commercial provide

            • I guess I don't see the big deal.

              MS might hurt some companies making less than brilliant decisions. So what? It won't hurt Linux.
              • by mhall119 (1035984)
                It never was a big deal, we're just mocking Novell for making "less than brilliant decisions".
        • Microsoft beating down Suse at this stage? Sure, I think they could do that much in the manner you describe.

          Question is, what does that really get you, if you're Microsoft?

          It doesn't make Linux in general go away.

          Even if we take as granted the idea that Microsoft is evil and focused on the utter destruction of all that is free, this isn't a smart way to do it. They're in a better position to influence the community and drive business their way by supporting Suse than by crushing it.
          • by mhall119 (1035984)

            Question is, what does that really get you, if you're Microsoft?

            It doesn't make Linux in general go away.

            It will make a competitor go away. Not just an OS competitor either, just about everything Novell sells is in competition with something Microsoft sells. If Microsoft can get Novell to bet the bank on MS-backed Suse, then pull the plug, it would seriously undermine Novell's business strength, and getting business going again around another product will take years.

            Even if we take as granted the idea that Microsoft is evil and focused on the utter destruction of all that is free, this isn't a smart way to do it. They're in a better position to influence the community and drive business their way by supporting Suse than by crushing it.

            It is in angler's best interest to let the fish eat the bait, but only for a time. For now Microsoft is backing Suse, because it gets them th

      • by sammy baby (14909)

        Wow, talk about OT.

        If you think MS has the power to E^3 Linux...

        For the record: I don't.

        But I absolutely think that Microsoft would like nothing better than to "control" the growth of Linux by partnering with a major Linux vendor. Let's say as a hypothetical that Novell managed to wrest a sizable majority of corporate/enterprise level business from Red Hat. Do you think that Microsoft would hesitate for a second to put a shiv in Novell's back if they thought it would remove a major competitor?

    • I think the Mandriva wizards for Samba and Active Directory integration are better than Novell's. However, the end result is the same - they both work and the both use Samba, Winbind and PAM.
    • Anyone have any insight as to how much easier it really is to integrate with Microsoft stuff?

      Same crap as before, no change on the front lines. You still have a gazillion different management interfaces ( imanager, remote manager, consoleone ). You still have a hodgepodge of software that make up their flagship products ( zenworks, groupwise ). Novell still has a pretty good file server, but actually administrating the software is painful still.
  • by tgatliff (311583) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:30AM (#20767529)
    If this isnt a PR pushed document, I dont know what is.... Of course Novell's business increased simply due to the fact of M$ handing out vouchers to people which M$ then ends up paying for when they give it to someone. What they would like to give the impression is that this makes people feel safe, so they go this route instead of the unsafe route with RedHat. You will also notice that they did not point out the Redhat had an amazing quarter as well with them attributing it to botched Vista rollout.... Hm... I wonder why they felt compelled to release this press release now?? :-)
    • by arivanov (12034) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:40AM (#20767667) Homepage
      Nothing to do with botched Vista rollouts or MSFT vouchers.

      Linux vendors best quarters are the quarters when the financial market looks plain ugly. As a result people presenting projects to CIOs have to start making "immediate savings" noises instead of the usual TCO noises to get budgets approved. As a result the Linux vendors get a jump in revenue.

      Disclaimer: I very well knoe that Linux TCO is considerably less than MSFT (as most of Slashdot). I am not a CIO though :-)
    • by MagicBox (576175)
      Put that tin-foil hat back on......they are reading your thoughts.....
    • by AmaDaden (794446)
      So the question is how different would things be if there was no Novell and MS deal? Or better yet is this MS backed Novell growth a bad or a good thing for Linux? I get the feeling that it's a good thing in the long run. Getting people to switch to Linux is the hard part, switching to a different distro should be easy after that.
    • by therevan (312663)
      As pointed out by Computer Business review earlier this month [cbronline.com], Novell had already collected about 44% of its total $240 million in MSFT vouchers ... (maybe) not coincidentally, that adds up to about $105 million. Not to shamelessly plug here, but this reads as a stark contrast [thepurdman.com] to what's happening in Europe over the same "inter-operability" issue.
  • by sayfawa (1099071) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:35AM (#20767599)
    The Aussie PC World has a current article [idg.com.au] about Red Hat's profits which are also up heavily since last year.

    So maybe Novell and Red Hat's recent success is independent of the MS deal.
    • 64% vs. 243% ... slightly different orders of magnitude. Note both articles make different attributions to success: Novell to subscriptions and Red Hat to overseas expansion, particularly in Japan.
  • They've had a huge financial gain from Microsoft's wallet that translated directly. Now not only do the numbers look good but they can easily point and say that the transaction resulted in greater numbers in the sales department. It is a "feel good" story to justify more than anything else. I'm still waiting for the man to step out from behind the curtain and admit that it is all a sham and then I can click my heels and say, "Home, home, home."
  • One or two customers (Score:4, Informative)

    by xzvf (924443) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:41AM (#20767679)
    Wal Mart going to Novell is enough to spike the numbers 250%. Red Hat had a solid quarter even with the drag of JBoss. Maybe the increase has a lot to do with Linux moving past the "Replace expensive proprietary Unix Phase" where hardware costs in addition to software costs made the savings obvious to pin head bosses, and is now moving into the "Replace hard to manage and support Windows phase" where the initial cost advantage is lower and required the establishment and training of quality Linux administrators? Unix replacement phase created the staff and cost advantages to allow for easier justification of Windows replacement. The fact that Novell is up significantly from practically nothing, and Red Hat is growing solidly from a strong base, indicates deeper market penetration for Linux.
    • Lots of it is probably, "Replace the rest of our proprietary Unix on x86 because SCO's not going to be around to support us and that whole specter of them suing anyone else is long gone", combined with "Well, if there are any conflicts between Unix and Linux, Novell is surely aware of them now and is willing to sell Linux under the GPL anyway. So there's no chance they can claim what SCO tried to claim."

      Do you expect SCO customers to all switch to Solaris or AIX? I sure don't.
  • I'm confused at how Linux can work 'with' Windows. How do two OS'es work with each other...

    I can only assume that they are actually refering to the fact that this is a Linux distribution being backed by MS, as opposed to 'working with Windows'.

    My Beetle also works with my Porshe, as long as I don't try and drive both at the same time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by psbrogna (611644)
      They usually mean common (shared) file sharing & authentication service. I'm sure in certain cases this extends to other services but I'm pretty sure these two cover the vast majority of the functionality referred to.
      • No, no no. You've got it wrong. He gave you a car analogy. You have to do the same otherwise the OP won't know what you're talking about.

        Let's try this:

        - Your Beetle and your Porsche can coexist in the same garage without starting a fire.
        - For some iterations of Beetles and Porsches you can use the same distributor and spark plugs (think the very old 914's).
        - They both have documentation available in German.

        Got the idea now?

    • SuSE integrates with Microsoft Active Directory much more easily than any distro I've used.
  • From the summary:

    "customers that already have a Windows investment say it seems to make sense to pick the Linux that works with Windows."

    Define "works with Windows".

    Can speak TCP/IP? Yep, no problem. (I've met plenty of Windows-centric IT people who seem to think networking is some sort of black magic and two different operating systems cannot coexist on a network.)

    Can see windows file shares and share files with Windows servers through SMB? Any distribution will do that.

    Integrates perfectly with Active
    • by badfish99 (826052) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @09:12AM (#20768107)
      I've met plenty of Windows-centric IT people who seem to think networking is some sort of black magic

      I'm not surprised. Getting two Windows boxes to talk to each other on a network is black magic.
      • by Pecisk (688001)
        Wtf moderators, it's not *Funny*, it's *Insightful* post! :)

        What Microsoft have done to SMB protocol is similar how Orcs where created - twisted, tragic parody of real stuff. Starting from Windows 2000, SAMBA actually are more realible than Windows server, from my expierence (For others it could be different. It is also one element of that black magic :)).
      • by deets (1072072)
        I actually had one windows admin ask me if TCP/IP would work on a Linux box. They seemed to think it was a MS only networking option.
    • by hairyfeet (841228)
      try Xandros.Built in Crossover and thanks to the MS interoperability deal they have licensed most of the MS protocols(like Exchange) for their products. Here is an article about the exchange deal and their home page.
      http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2171324,00.asp [eweek.com]
      http://www.xandros.com/products/business/dsk_professional.html [xandros.com]

      After using their Business OS for 2+ years I can't be happier. It authenticates to the AD faster than my Windows did,accesses all the resources without a complaint,Crossover l

  • Describe 'works with windows.' Are you having a cluster of mix OSs or is one managing the other?

    You have to figure that should another desktop start to take over that MS would just buy them.

  • by TemporalBeing (803363) <bm_witness&yahoo,com> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:57AM (#20767891) Homepage Journal

    "When we're out there competing with Red Hat, [our salespeople] are saying, 'Our Linux is recommended by Microsoft,' and customers that already have a Windows investment say it seems to make sense to pick the Linux that works with Windows."'"
    So they're basically taking advantage of dumb customers that don't know much, if anything, about Linux as basically all Linux distros use the same software (e.g. Samba) - however, they vary in their packaging and support software & tools - to achieve that interoperability. It has nothing to do with being "blessed" by Microsoft - which is really just a death sentence - kind of like the one Hitler had in mind for Japan, and Italy, and the one he did try to carry out on Russia:
    1. Make some "allies" and sign some "treaties"
    2. Let your "allies" help you carry out your "war" on the "enemy"
    3. Wipe out most everyone together with your "allies"
    4. Turn on your "allies" one by one without telling the others
    5. Wipe out your "allies" last when they are least suspecting it
    Funny - Hitler had and Microsoft has the same basic plans. Just substitute "competitors" for "enemies" and "partners" for "allies".
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by e4g4 (533831)
      Hehe - looks like Godwin kicked in a little early in this discussion :P
    • by Draek (916851)
      you could've replaced "Hitler" with "the US government during the recent decades" to avoid Godwin but still prove your point.

      in fact, it's such a popular strategy it's a wonder anyone still falls for it, but I guess as they say, "there's a sucker born every minute", both in governments and in businesses.
  • "Works with Windows" (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Using pure marketing like that with clueless CIOs to make sales is going to backfire something fierce in the long term. As soon as there are any problems with compatibility they'll drop Novell and move back to Windows for whatever they were doing and it'll get counted as a win for Microsoft (cue the "xxxx switched from Linux to Windows!" tripe).
  • and I approve this Linux.

  • He added that the growth was also due to the halo effect of the arrangement.

    Maybe all the problems with Active Directory is what causes A.I. Rampancy [wikipedia.org]
  • When you sell your soul to the devil you tend to make more money. Of course the price is eternal damnation. I guess Novell made their choice clear.
  • I for one welcome our new SuSE overlords.
  • No one ever went broke counting on the stupidity of the corporate manager.

  • Of course MS says that it recommends Novells version of Linux, because now they make money off the people that are fed up with Windows problems, yes Novell benefits heavily, but MS has its very calculated reasons to be helpful at all. My father worked for Novell for over a decade and he used to get mad at me a kid when I hosed a machine trying out different distros of Linux, then Novell bought SUSE and he had to buy a four inch thick Linux programming bible! Well he moved back to Canada (where we are all
    • by Stu101 (1031686)
      You may jest, but we run Netware 6 / 6.5 and ill tell you what, its a whole world easier that the BS MS servers gives you. The netware boxes just sit there and hum away. With Novell we don't have "patch Tuesday", we don't have script kiddies trying to crack it, we dont have to spend significant time doing repairs on it. Our uptime on Netware is easily 99.99 on a month to month basis, wheres as the windows servers are still up there, but noticably less uptime.

      • by HartDev (1155203)
        No I do not jest, I really do like Netware, that was the first file server I ever ran, my dad had that at home since he was a programmer there, and I almost got my CNA in Netware 5.1, and the new things they were rolling out with for Netware 6 was Awesome! I sincerely meant it when I said they should continue their Netware project. In the future when I got out of my microscopic apartment I want to run a Netware file server or a Linux Media center that will double as a file server. I also really enjoyed the
        • by gallwapa (909389)
          You guys make it sound like Netware is gone - its not - infact this job and my previous job rely on it pretty heavily. The former more so. Heck, I saw an eDirectory logo on the CNN.com front page recently...
  • That's sounds to be wonderul. Mr.Gates had already declared that its a process of embrase and expand.
  • Most of the companies I've heard that are switching to Suse on desktop or server from MS Windows are doing it because they're still Novell shops, where Novell has been the way of doing things, and MS has been a necessary evil. Now that SLE[S/D] has a lot of built-in Novell goodness, these companies are buying up Suse like crazy. The Novell/MS deal may have triggered minor sales via advertising that Novell has a linux option, but I doubt any serious Novell admins would have been blind to that fact before t
  • I have SUSE Enterprise Desktop at work (we are in MS Srv2003 world).
    It's very nice as a corporate desktop.

    Pros:
    It has connected to our Directory seamlessly during installation.
    All network printers and shares are OK, with correct access rights.
    Installation and driver support, IMO is the best among all Linuxen( ~xes? :).
    The domain controller recognized it as a domain member and listed it as such.
    Nice and laconic KDE (but the installation defaults to Gnome).
    Slack-derived init scripts and layout (well, I person
  • So, please try defending the deal now, where it is clear Novell is actively FUDing against other distros and Microsoft is succeeding in the embrace part of the strategy.

    If you want Linux's success go anything but Novell, if you want Novell's success and eventual dead + MS keeping the desktop monopoly go Novell, please, I don't want the apologists to ever say again that the deal was good for Linux, I am tired of reading BS.

    • by JonJ (907502)
      You mean, fuding like... The way Ubuntu people berate Red Hat at every chance they get? Or that Debian users has made snide remarks about SUSE since long before they actually signed a deal with Microsoft? They are selling their distro, and if someone asks "What about Red Hat?", they have to give a meaningful answer. After that it's all up to the customer. I guess Red Hat salespersons also has some answers to give if you ask them to compare the distros. Please, you geeks couldn't sell water in the sahara des
  • Speaking from a marketing perspective, this seems like boder line great marketing on Novell's part, border-line FUD. I would guess that quote started in the marketing department, got rewritten by the CEO to something a bit more honest, then went back to the marketing department where they changed a couple words back to give us that dumb "already works with Windows." For the first time, though, this whole Novell/MS thing makes sense to me from Novell's standpoint: get MS on your side, and knock down that
  • it's windows that must work with GNU/Linux.... it's the closed protocols that must operate with standards e not the other way around....
  • "When we're out there competing with Red Hat, [our salespeople] are saying, 'Our Linux is recommended by Microsoft"

    Gotta laugh at this one. I know the guy really means that Microsoft is saying the SUSE works better with Windows (which isn't necessarily true except in specific areas where they have produced some interoperability), but it doesn't read like that.

    Anybody who can say that line with a straight face should dump being a Linux salesperson and go into stand-up.

  • Over the last two weeks we ported a complex webapp to current RHEL and SLES in parallel. SLES feels like a much more modern product. RHEL felt like it hasn't advanced since RH 6.0. Configuration tools (nothing on RHEL compares to YAST), java compatibility (the RHEL required gcj/tomcat doesn't get along with sunjava/tomcat jars), yum vs. the suse updater, and numerous other little improvements.

    Based on reputation, it was the opposite result from what we had expected.

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