Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3349 mails)

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Re: was - Novell Linux Leaders Flee
  • From: "W.D.McKinney" <deem@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 20:55:59 -0800
  • Message-id: <428C1C5F.2010903@xxxxxxx>
its2am@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
A couple of people mentioned the statement of mine that Red Hat is the
flavor of choice in the US, and asking for corroborative evidence,

I don't understand the statement that RedHat is still the flavor of choice
in the U.S. That may have been the case in the past, but I don't think
it's true anymore.

My opinion is based solely on evidence in the news recently, and here
are some examples:


"Red Hat yesterday said its sales rose 55 per cent during its third
quarter of fiscal 2005, reaching $50.9m from the year-ago total,
Q3's sales were ten per cent higher than Q2's."


"...goes on to discuss why [IBM's Solaris-to-Linux migration
assessment program] involves Red Hat Linux and not Novell's SuSE

From Dave Kearn's (a well-known Novell fan) Newsletter, March 2005:

"...then I heard that the company needed to restate its earnings. It
seems that $6 million revenue reported as new license sales actually
came from maintenance agreements.

This doesn't change the bottom line, and everything I said about the
earnings last week is still valid, but as Novell watcher Bill Snyder
said on "...the money simply moves from one bucket to
another, but because license revenue is a key indicator of new
business, while maintenance revenue reflects ongoing payment from
current clients, the shift is disturbing...."

My overall impression has been for the last while (Dell, the number
one PC maker, pumping money into Red Hat, IBM, the 2nd-largest
software company, supporting Red Hat and not SuSE, Red Hat doing well
financially while SuSE/Novell struggles.

We just bought and very nice system from IBM at work and it comes with SuSE not RH. (over $80K)


Perhaps it's not an accurate opinion; but may I ask for supporting
evidence to help change my mind?

Original Post:

It seems to me there are a couple of points here:

1) Is the Inquirer a reliable news rag? Who knows, but the story was
also in eWeek, which, I think, has a better rep:,1759,1814335,00.asp

So, is the story factual? Yes.

2) Are the Novell "Linux leaders" leaving? Well, the following
paragraph is taken from the eWeek article:

"...after the departures of vice chairman Chris Stone last November
and of chief technology officer Alan Nugent this March, both of whom
were pivotal players in the company's decision to embrace Linux and
open source across all of its products and services...."

It would appear that some good brains have left Novell recently. What
the article doesn't answer is, "Why?"

3) What effect will this have on SuSE and Novell? Well, I've heard
SuSE described as Novell's "dying gasp", but that, obviously, is one
person's opinion. We'll see.

4) Is SuSE getting better? That, as has been seen on this list, is debatable.

My personal opinion is that Linux (in general) has improved
drastically over the past 5 years, but is still only about as usable
as Windows 98 was. SuSE is a pretty good flavor. So's Red Hat.

Red Hat has the advantage of being the flavor of choice in America,
which is a pretty big, unified market. There was also news yesterday
of Michael Dell's investment of $95.5 million into Red Hat. The
European market is fragmented, to say the least.

What does all this mean? Well, I'm sure some intelligent folk on this
list will chime in, but my opinion is that SuSE will maintain its
small sliver of a market share, and some new brains will be found to
replace those who've left Novell, and the world will continue to turn.

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