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Is Red Hat the Microsoft of Linux?

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished dept.

Red Hat Software 694

RadioheadKid writes "This article featured on eWeek asks the question 'Red Hat: Next Redmond?' It quotes an IBM VP who says, 'There is a backlash against Red Hat from many consumers and government agencies, who fear it is increasingly becoming the Microsoft of the Linux world with respect to its dominance and attitude,' while Red Hat states: 'Our commitment to open source remains absolute, no matter what our competitors are saying.' Is this just some pro-UnitedLinux spin, or a valid concern? What do you think?" Such characterizations are nothing new, but a response on NewsForge from Red Hat's Jeremy Hogan supplies a counterpoint to make the eWeek article worth reading. (Has anyone really seen a Red Hat backlash?)

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First post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145460)

The subject is a question, not a statement...

FP... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145462)

No, -this- article won't make the flamebaits flow like a river.

Redmond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145466)

Redmond seems a little close to RedHat.

OMG! You're right! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145480)

I bet the man behind RedHat is none other than... BILL GATES! It's all part of his master to plan to control computing. It's like he's some sort of Emperor/Sith Lord, plotting sides against each other so that he winds up with all the power.

It's always been a bit strange the way the CEO of RedHat wore a hooded cloak... but it all makes sense now.

Morgoth protect us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145586)

I bet the man behind RedHat is none other than... BILL GATES!

Yes, but who is the man behind Bill Gates?!

Conspiracy theories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145622)

The man behind Bill Gates is not a man, it's a space alien.

A space alien... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145639)

named... BILL GATES!!!!

They will never have the money.; Money == power. (5, Insightful)

RoundSparrow (341175) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145467)

They don't have the money that Microsoft has, and given that they aim for low prices... and not to "lock in customers" then

Can't you guys accept that RedHat might want to make money and still have _some ethics_?

MODS: We were ASKED what we thought!

Re:They will never have the money.; Money == power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145494)

MODS: We were ASKED what we thought!

Mmmmm.... GTA: Vice City looks really nice..

Re:They will never have the money.; Money == power (1)

wang33 (531044) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145607)

How can you say that redhat aims for low prices? 79.95$ for personal and 200$ for professional, I may be biased towards suse but they are .5 the price for personal, and about .2 for professional. But maybe that extra cost is incurred by hacking at kde to make it look like the inferior gnome My $.02 which btw will buy me 2.5 times more of the newest suse. Ya know if everyone wants this linux thing to stick around quit leeching their ftp bandwidth and just buy the bloody distro preferably directly from the respective distro's web site, so they get all of the profit instead of best buy/other stores here taking 3/4 of the profit.

Exactly, the difference is if you don't like MS (3, Insightful)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145624)

you're stuck with their OS. If you don't like RedHat there are 5-10 other good vendors OR you can make your own distribution.

Personally I think Apple is more like MS than RedHat. Seriously, look at the financials (for example):
MSFT 40billion in cash 90% of market
AAPL 4billion in cash 4-5% of market
RHAT 0billion in cash 1% of market

Apple is just a smaller scale monopoly than micosoft. Don't think for a minute if Apple were in the drivers seat that you could tell the difference between Microsoft of today. That being said, Linux is the true O/S with choice. And that is what makes RedHat NOT Redmond of linux.

BTW I love Linux, Apple (OS X), and Windows (not a fan of solaris however).

No, no, no... (5, Insightful)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145468)

RedHat pretty religiously releases its code under the GPL and works with third parties to make sure standards get implemented. They will be LSB compliant, for instance, in their next release.

Don't hate them because they're popular and (somewhat) successful; they are not evil, or power-lusting, etc. They do a pretty good job, and are good community citizens.

Re:No, no, no... (2, Insightful)

Libor Vanek (248963) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145560)

Exactly - some people likes to hate popular things, no matter how good or evil are they (things, not people ;o)))

Re:No, no, no... (1)

Josh (2625) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145610)

Totally agree. RedHat ethics good, but I can't understand why the distro is so popular. It is surpassed by other distribution on every dimension except size of user base.

Is Red Hat the Microsoft of Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145473)

Hell No.

What a troll of a "News" story.

Re:Is Red Hat the Microsoft of Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145578)

Yeah sure RedHat are the Microfoft of Linux, that's why I use their distro ... no wait.

bs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145474)

Does Microsoft release it's source code? Does Microsoft allow anyone to download its OS for free (legally)? enough said

Checks and balances (5, Insightful)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145476)

As long as SuSE and Mandrake stick around, then Red Hat will never be able to achieve all-out dominance in the world of Linux distros unless they suddenly come up with some neat features that really kick everyone else's butt... AND they give it away for free with no strings attached.

Re:Checks and balances (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145533)

... and it works properly and is free of security problems. I seem to recall that several of their .0 releases were very definitely buggy.

In addition, their installation process seems to reflect on the sentiment of the base article, particularly with respect to file systems. They have a prediliction for claiming any partition labelled as 'swap' for the Red Hat Linux installation, rather than querying the installer as to which one of the swap partitions seen is to be used. I had a Tru64 UNIX installation nearly trashed by this under RH7.1, I filed a bug report and the same problem showed up under Red Hat 7.3 Intel!

This may appear to be just a technical issue, but the underlying arrogance is NOT!

Re:Checks and balances (3, Interesting)

highcaffeine (83298) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145631)

Well, if they did come out with some killer feature, and "[gave] it away for free with no strings attached" what would stop the other distros from simply incorporating that feature themselves? Unless it was a closed-source addition that, without the source code, could *not* be integrated with other distros, there wouldn't be anything stopping SuSE, Debian, Mandrake, etc. from doing so.

I'm pretty agnostic when it comes to distros. I've used extensively Slackware, RedHat, SuSE, Debian and RedHat (again) in that order on dozens of my machines over the years. I even used Yggdrasil and InfoMagic way back in the day. My switching around distros hasn't really been because I wanted to "get away" from a bad distro. It was pretty much always just, "I need to install Linux on another machine... which set of discs is closest?"

As far as RedHat goes, I've never felt like they were becoming the Microsoft of Linux distros. I've enjoyed using machines loaded with RedHat and will probably continue to do so -- assuming the RH discs are the closest ones to the next machine I set up. I think my current office workstation is running RedHat, but it's kind of hard to tell. I tend to bastardize my own installations by doing too much by hand instead of using all the new tools that have been coming with more recent distros. Old habits from my early Yggdrasil and Slackware days haven't completely died yet.

Loyalty is paper-thin (5, Interesting)

koreth (409849) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145477)

I like RedHat's Linux. It does what I need, it's organized sensibly, patches are usually released reasonably quickly, and I can look at the source code. If one of those things stops being true, I'll switch to another distro with minimal pain and keep using the same apps I was using before. That ability alone means RedHat will never be another Microsoft.

what this really means.... (4, Funny)

brad3378 (155304) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145478)

Must be a slow news day!

Re:what this really means.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145509)

let it go already. i like RedHat and will continue to use RH. what is wrong with making money? i bet most of us need money to eat. find something else to complain about already!

Dumbing it down (1)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145492)

In my opinion, Red Hat tries to dumb everything down too much. Nothing wrong with making it easy, but the diaper days of he omputer industry are over.

Re:Dumbing it down (0)

chez69 (135760) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145558)

So part of the linux experience means you need to fart around for hours? I Like linux like most of the folks around here, but I also like to get stuff done.

Re:Dumbing it down (1)

Not The Real Me (538784) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145626)

Define dumbing down.

I use RedHat because RPMs makes upgrades a hell of a lot easier than compiling the source from tarballs.

All I need to do is run a web server, samba networking, e-mail (SMTP, POP3), MySQL, Sybase, Oracle, Resin (JSP/servlets). I don't need to install/upgrade the kernel using tarballs. While spending days compiling the kernel with custom switches and tweaks might make some feel like Lord of the Dweebs, some of us need to spend our time creating real results. Yes, I run about two dozen pr0n sites on my servers, but that's besides the point.

Red Hat? Hah! (1, Flamebait)

Devil's BSD (562630) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145495)

If you think Red Hat is like Microsoft, look at Mandrake. For Christ's sake, their installer looks like Windows XP!!! But I guess it is a rather ingenious way to drag confused Windows-dependent newbies to the Linux world.

Sensationalism (5, Funny)

GreenPhreak (60944) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145497)

This is sensationalist journalism. Just because RedHat is in the OS business, and it happens to be somewhat successful does not automatically mean that it is becoming the next Microsoft. Journalists that have little idea of the architecture and licensing behind the two OS's are the only one that could propose this specious metaphor.

Redhat == Opensource (1)

Psx29 (538840) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145498)

Since Redhat is opensource they can't hide anything...if they ever go closed source they will lose many many people

Re:Redhat == Opensource (1)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145627)

I dont think Red Hat can go closed source. Not totally anyway. The day they do will be the day they write their own OS.

depends on how you think of MS. (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145499)

They are powerful in the distribution market, they are innovators, they use powerful marketing, and they run an EXTREMELY popular shop.

Do I believe that they try to inhibit freedom and choice? Do I believe that they are looking to corner the Linux market solely for themselves? Do I feel that they are ending my ability to use Linux as *I* see fit? Do I believe that they are going to create terribly expensive and prohibitive licensing?

No. I don't think that they are going to do anything of the sort. I believe that they are creating a positive spin on Linux and I believe they are doing it properly (at least for now).

Once they start pissing EVERYONE off, breaking the law, and breaking the GPL then I will think again. Until then I will happily stick w/Debian and let RedHat do their marketing thing with the "suits".

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145500)

Toyota is the Daewoo of America
The BigMac is the taco of Norway
The computer is the wooden boat of Germany
The internet is the baseball of a football game
Ford is the GM of Spain
The ______ is the ______ of ________ because study __________ reseached by _______Inc. said so.

hard talk.. (1)

L0gAn (256249) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145501)

it comes down to me being able to download the new version for FREE and giving it to anyone I want and installing it on any number of computers I want and making any changes I want (to the GLP stuff at least) and and and and and.....how is this like M$??????

Microsoft of Linux????? (1)

DecimalThree (524862) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145503)

Last I checked RedHat was still free....

Re: When is the last time that you checked? (0, Troll)

Xtraneous (594376) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145566)

And where may I ask did you check? Seriously, if the redhat distro of Linux is available for free, tell me where!

Surprise??? (1)

KraZy-KaT (248613) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145504)

Let's get some things together:

Red Hat Network
Red Hat recommended updates
Red Hat forcin..ahem, "recommending" you to use GNOME instead of KDE (I don't really like GNOME , it's too slow)

Doesn't that look familiar? Now don't say you weren't expecting it, because these signs were clear since many months ago. They provide a robust and reliable distribution, and it's not that hard to install it, even for a newbie, that's true. I'm not bashing Red Hat. But FEE FI FOE, I smell the scent of a monopoly rising. What do you guys think?

Re:Surprise??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145540)

As long as rhnbc.com [rhnbc.com] doesn't resolve to a news site we're ok.

Re:Surprise??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145632)

krazy kat, you must be out of your fu*kin' mind.

Re:Surprise??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145634)

I think you are a retard that has nothing worthwhile to talk about.

Re:Surprise??? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145641)

Redhat doesn't force you to run Gnome. I run KDE just fine on my Redhat 7.2 install for Kylix work.

Oh NO! Redhat is breaking in and forcing me at penguin point to remove KDE and only use Gnome. Please save me, here they co#@!@#@


Quality issues (2)

k8to (9046) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145505)

The only common thread I've seen regarding Red Hat has been along quality lines.

I am not certain that arguing these particular points is relevant here, but they are generally of a high level decision making nature, more than a low level goof-up nature.

They have gotten minor kickback here and there for making decisions that some people feel are 'loose cannon' type things. Examples include early deployment of glibc 2.0, and the original rollout of "gcc 2.96".

None of this, however, paints them in the light of a controlling "Microsoft" position.

As a strong SuSE partisan, I would be very very happy if my favourite distribution engineers would take a page from Red Hat's book and GPL their extremely effective build system for the benefit of all.

The Jews are using Mud People to tear down RHAT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145512)

The Jews can't stand to see success unless they own it. They feel they must tear down Red Hat and replace it with a Jew-spawned Linux distro [unitedlinux.com].

linux is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145514)

look at RHAT stock price. 'nuff said.

Not Redhat != UnitedLinux (2)

IRNI (5906) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145515)

There are other Linux distributions that are built with the LSB in mind that are not made by the red machine. Why would going away from RedHat be a good thing for United Linux? I would run from RedHat right to Mandrake. :)

Priorities? (3, Insightful)

Kragg (300602) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145517)

So, despite the fact that the open source movement is a baby bird that can barely fly, already the infighting begins.
Why on earth are people criticising redhat (who have made many contributions to the stability and usability of Linux? Shouldn't they be working on getting something that 99% of the population don't freak out over??
Ah well, I guess it's inevitable. Someone smelt money in opensource and so the crappy politicking starts.
My opinion : This isn't news, it's pulp journo-jism. Slashdot editors - do you have to throw this rubbish in our faces?

Sick and tired of Red Hat bashing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145520)

I am sick and tired of constant unsubstantiated Red Hat bashing. Without Red Hat, linux wouldn't be as far along as it is today. Not only are they one of the most generous distributions as far as always GPL'ing code, they pay for a good portion of development by employing people like Alan Cox, and paying him to continue developing for the community.

If you don't like the distribution, fine, don't use it... But at least recognize how much they are contributing to linux as a whole.

Redhat is not Evil (although occasionally stupid) (5, Insightful)

hagbard5235 (152810) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145521)

I switched from RedHat to Debian about 2 years ago, largely because of a series of technical decisions that RedHat made that I didn't want to have to put up with anymore ( gcc-2.96 anyone ).

I did not switch from RedHat because I question their ethics. To the best of my knowledge they have always opensourced anything they've done. They have eventually open sourced anything they've acquired. All under the GPL. I don't see how we can fault them for that.

RedHat has done things that I feel are stupid ( gcc-2.96, recent behavior towards KDE ). But NONE of these things are in anyway unethical. Some of them have been handled badly from a PR perspective. But I have yet to see RedHat do anything that even slighly had nefarious intent.

RedHat provides a very valuable service. They provide a familiar interface to the commercial world. Large companies want a standard distribution with support contracts to help them sleep well at night. Large commercial software producers who right rather overly rigid software NEED a platform to implement to ( because they can't implement to standards, or deal with minor variations ). RedHat provides all of these interests with what they need.

People should really leave RedHat alone on the Microsoft comparison front. Kick them around over some of the dumb technical decisions they make if you like. That's fair and decent criticism, but don't FUD them.

Re:Redhat is not Evil (although occasionally stupi (5, Insightful)

X (1235) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145613)

Actually, your whole critism about RedHat is why I love them, and why I love the fact that they GPL/LGPL their work. Personally, I was REALLY glad to have 2.96. It was the best, most stable g++ at the time. I'm not saying that people were wrong for hating it, I'm just saying that it suited me. And that's the great thing.... if you didn't like 2.96, you could do one of several things:

  • Install kgcc and just don't use 2.96 at all. Don't worry about the C++ issues.
  • Use another distribution... remember they have access to the same software
  • Build your own version of RedHat from the SRPM's and compiling it with gcc/g++ 2.95.x.
  • Do #3, but SELL your distribution.

    • Much like what happened back in the day when RedHat didn't bundle KDE and Mandrake did, the open source nature means that when RedHat fucks up (or more accurately makes choices that don't suit your needs), you can go with something else. The switching costs are minimal. How can you NOT be happy as a RedHat customer?

      The day this stuff stops being true is the day I'll stay up at night worrying about RedHat taking over the world. In the mean time, I think the risk of say Gillette taking over the world is much more significant. ;-)

Re:Redhat is not Evil (although occasionally stupi (1)

X (1235) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145636)

Apologies for screwing up the HTML and not using preview mode.

Recent behavior towards KDE??? (2)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145617)

If you are talking about the GUI changes that Redhat will ship with Redhat V8.x then you should know they made the same kind of changes to Gnome 2.x.

How can Red Hat be the next Microsoft? (5, Insightful)

VistaBoy (570995) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145524)

Red Hat is a Linux distribution. It must follow the free software licenses that it is built on or it can easily be taken down for copyright infringement. Through the GPL and other licenses thereof, we have Red Hat by the horns. If it ever gets out of line, (not releasing source code, etc), we can slap them in the face with the GPL. Also, nobody is forcing you to use Red Hat. If you don't like what Red Hat has to offer, use Debian, Mandrake, Slackware, etc.

The main point, though, is that if Red Hat tries to become a closed-source deal, it will have thousands, if not millions of hours of code to rewrite.

Debian (1)

sharph (171971) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145525)

Red Hat, bahhh...

UnitedLinux, bahhh...

As long as I have my non-commercially corrupt Debian, I'm fine.

Actually, I do have respect for Red Hat. They have by far the easiest distribution to set up, (my opinion, not a diss off) and I guess growing into a big company would worry people, and I think there should be some concern for making sure RedHat stays geeky and pure, but so far they have not forced you to use anything of theirs, for example you have choice between Tux and Apache.

Re:Debian (1)

bratgrrl (197603) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145640)

Do you carefully excise the Red Hat-funded code from your Debian? Perhaps you've forgotten who pays Alan Cox's salary, and who funds all manner of Linux development.

Uggghhh (5, Interesting)

bogie (31020) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145528)

1998 Is Redhat becoming like Microsoft?
1991 Is Redhat becoming like Microsoft?
2000 Is Redhat becoming like Microsoft?
2001 Is Redhat becoming like Microsoft?
2002 Is Redhat becoming like Microsoft?

How many times can you ask the same stupid question and how many more years can you be wrong?

Redhat continues to put out GPL software year after year and like it or not is the poster child for linux. Which commercial linux vendor from back in the day would you have rather have won out? Suse, Caldera, Turbolinux?

Redhat does not have a monopoly on linux and never will. It's just not possible. Now maybe they will be the leading commercial linux in the corporate world, but dam it they have earned it.

I know I like many other long time linux users have always wanted linux to make it big. World domination was always the joke, but really there is a bit truth in there. Why oh why did anyone think that all 450 linux distros would equally share in the fruits of commercial linux's success?

Re:Uggghhh (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145580)

it IS possible and it IS happening. As you said, "in the corporate world, but damn, they have earned it".

While I agree that their marketing is exceptional (compared to other vendors) why are you letting it go? Why aren't you pushing for another vendor? Are you letting them slip in like MS did?

They went unnoticed as a bully.

(note: Check my previous post, I am not against RedHat, I am just against your particular comment about them).

Re:Uggghhh (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145630)

Well, this being /. and all, I expect this to be asked about 2/3 times in the next 60 days.

Red Hat gets a pretty bad rap. (3, Insightful)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145530)

The deal with making Linux palatable to businesses is what makes Red Hat look so bad to people who aren't looking at Linux through corporate eyes. Red Hat, for better or worse, has become the Linux standard for business. Software companies that want to target applications to Linux are frightened by the type of support headaches that dealing with several distributions entails; so they target Red Hat instead. Hardware companies run with it because they've got proven support solutions that beat searching for a HOWTO anyday (provided you can afford them).

Basically, Red Hat is the perfect hybrid of commercial/open-source -- they can take advantage of the pool of free developers to get the bulk of their product developed, then work over the result in-house to make the various pieces work together seamlessly (well, mostly), and finally provide direct support to businesses implementing their solution. They are proof that the Microsoft strategy can be made even more effective with open source. Do they step on toes, as with the KDE/GNOME fiasco? Only where necessary to improve the user experience and to aim towards making a product better than Redmond.

does this mean a new icon for RH on /.? (1, Troll)

zentex (176409) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145535)

like some borg'd out guy in a red hat? :-)

go ahead..mod me down..see if i care. Wait, my psycic powers tell me i'll get a troll rating..

Even if Redhat did equal MS, so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145536)

I certainly don't agree with many of Microsoft's policies, but if Redhat was going to duplicate them so what?

How many Slashdot users rail against MS everyday, yet still use Windows or clamor for the latest Windows incarnation?

I know I don't like MS, but I still use it. Sometimes because customers force me, sometimes because of inertia. But the fact is that MS is the most powerful software company in the world. Perhaps THE most powerful company since they don't have to placate a union and they seem to have the DoJ on a tight leash. Now if Redhat acted the same way, but still use GPL, than whats the problem?

Open source means choice, every disto has a place (2, Insightful)

Longinus (601448) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145538)

As much as I personally dislike Redhat's distro (we all know Debian is The One True Distribution =P), I think Redhat holds an important place into open source world. The only way I would equate them to Microsoft is that they are the most business oriented distro, which is a good thing, and they have made many great contribution towards to acceptance of Linux in big business (many of these stemming from their relationship with Amazon and one of the best Linux migration sucess stories yet).

I really don't see how Redhat's attitude and dominance can be equated to Microsoft's. Somebody has to be number one, and Redhat's dominance is of a far smaller margin that Microsoft's. Microsoft is closed source, Redhat is not. Period, end of story.

If any distro approaches MS style arrogance, it's United Linux.

RedHat == Linux (1)

mfago (514801) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145542)

... or at least that is what many "uninformed" people think. Especially corporate types.

RedHat is also unfortunately the only distro supported at LLNL.

IMHO I think that they have too much dominance. I also don't like some of the things that they have done (gcc for example). So that's why I use something else when I can.

Good lord.. (1)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145545)

"Is Red Hat the Microsoft of Linux?"

Is it possible to come up with a more inflammatory title for a story? Red Hat is not my distro of choice, but I have never seen any instances of the company acting anti-competitively, and I certainly have never seen them act bastardly when it comes to releasing their source code.

Hell, they still provide full ISOs of their distro, when SuSe releases a crappy "demo" iso, and OpenBSD copyrights the layout of their retail discs.

The only "evidence" this article presents is the fact that Red Hat's "advanced server" distro might possibly have some chance of becoming proprietary. And monkeys might fly out of my butt.

And why did they repeatedly mention UnitedLinux? It makes one wonder..

Same shit, different day (1)

bratgrrl (197603) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145546)

Love the underdog until he becomes successful, then try to pull him down.

These same losers who bitch about Red Hat being successful lap up all the freebies they can get their hands on, but of course must themselves be paid handsomely for whatever vocation they practice.

Go away. You are annoying and useless. Get out of the way of the people doing useful work.

Third time's the charm (2)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145548)

This must be about the third time this sort of story has appears on Slashdot. It's almost too bad that the GPL makes it impossible for any Linux distributor to be as evil as Microsoft. All GPLed code must remain open. As long as it is open, consumers always have the option to switch to a different but equivalent distribution or to make their own. This eliminates any possibility of the monopolization of Linux.

Redhat office (1)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145549)

Redhat's office is close to where I work (they're both on NCSU's Centinnial Campus) and its definately not as immense as the Redmond campus. I don't think we can call them the next Microsoft until they expand their offices some more.

Although, the fact that they have their own workout room (and we don't) means they do have a twinge if evil.

Do writers make accusations just to get attention? (5, Funny)

back@slash (176564) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145551)

I guess so. Not much back up in the article but the headline is sure catchy.

The situation remains that changing between Linux distributions is like changing your underwear while changing from Windows to Linux (depending on what services you are running) is like a sex change. I know this i've done both. Changed a small server farm between linux distros and changed over from windows to linux that is, not a sex change. I do change my underwear though. I'll just stop typing now....

Re:Do writers make accusations just to get attenti (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145601)

changing between Linux distributions is like changing your underwear while changing from Windows to Linux (depending on what services you are running) is like a sex change. I know this i've done both.

Uh, would that be both changed your underwear and had a sex change?

My opinion (5, Insightful)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145552)

Unless they stop selling GPL'd Linux, and move to their own blend of proprietary Unix... In my opinion it seems that the GPL's main purpose is to keep software vendors from doing the MS shuffle. Just because RedHat is seen as the corporate Linux solution does not make them MS. MS got that way by being the only solution due to their marketing juggernaut. I just don't see this possible with open source products. RedHat sells services, and last I checked there was no monopoly on services... Not even MS can do that. But the business world can't seem to function without finger-pointing...

Absolutely Not (1)

aivic (468344) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145553)

Red Hat still continues to deliver freely distributed distro's without any hassles at all (unlike some *cough* SuSe *cough*).

What I think is that over the next few years we will be seeing RedHat improving RPM and adapting Gentoo's way of thinking.

We need to improve upon the interface. This has been overlooked many times due to many "console" users out there.

KDE = Feels Like MacOS combined with Play School Software... I suppose we can customize it to an extent but still...
Gnome = Too Windows 95...
BlackBox/Fluxbox = We need more mods ;)
WindowMaker = Too Chunky...
Enlightenment = Too Buggy... Though, the animations are sweet...

Some ways to tell the difference (5, Interesting)

r_j_prahad (309298) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145554)

1. Is Redhat a convicted monopolist?

2. Is Redhat a convicted monopolist yet again, after ignoring the court the first time?

3. Has Redhat's license agreement recently morphed into legalized extortion?

4. If Dell and HP and Compaq stop pre-loading Redhat will Redhat be able to drive them out of business?

5. Does Redhat force end-users to agree to license audits as part of their EULA?

6. Has Redhat ever descended on an end-user demanding unnecessary and duplicative license payments the way the BSA has?

I could go on, but there is just no comparison, none at all, there is no similarity whatsoever, by any stretch of the imagination. None. Zilch. Zip. Nada. Microsoft is in a league by themselves here.

Rediculous (1)

diakka (2281) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145556)

I have to say that this is one of the most rediculous ideas I have ever come across. Now granted, Redhat has a lot of momentum in the Linux market, but Look at the number of competing products and how similar they are to Redhat. Now how many products exist with that same level of similarity to Windows? ZERO.

Slashdot dictionary:Rediculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145623)

"Rediculous", noun.
Common Slashdot term for "ridiculous".
Often used in place of correct spelling for comedic effect.

Isn't it interesting.. (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145559)

That as soon as a company begins to become successful, every ally yells out slander.

I'm not flaming or anything, but Microsoft is quite successful, whether their business practices are "nice" or not is irrelevant. Now Redhat has begun to fall into the same success, for reasons I havn't really looked into, but I would assume better advertising because many people I know know of Redhat even when they aren't real "techies".

I think if they become successful they will still most certainly stand by open source (as they claimed), so perhaps the open source community should be supporting their success rather than making allegations.

I'm more of a Microsoft supporter myself (that doesn't mean I dislike open source -- I love it), but I would like to see some competition to them. A monopoly is never good.

This made me think.... (1)

mallie_mcg (161403) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145565)

"...said the kind of activities Red Hat could engage in are in no way equivalent to what Microsoft could pull off. "Things like Product Activation and more stringent end-user license agreements would drive Red Hat customers away in a heartbeat..."

Does any one here believe that if Microsoft get WPA to work, that within a few years people will begin to be driven to Linux based OSes? I say in a few years, when new apps no longer work on Win2K or similar scenarios?

I am slowing moving to linux for that reason (partialially), as I dont consider a Win32 to be a good value proposition, yet i enjoy gaming so I keep a Win2K partition around, which I admit, is what I generally use. But slowly I am booting into linux more and more, and using it for the every day things that I would use Win2K for. So when i read that line in the article, i wondered if people will eventually get fed up enough to like me start to make a switch, which could end up becoming permenant.

Red Hat has been there for K12Linux... (5, Informative)

pnelson (411151) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145573)

When MS was sending out audit letters to schools [slashdot.org] in OR and WA the first phone call I got was from Red Hat to see if they could help. When Eric H. was having trouble hacking RH's install code to modify their distribution to make it easier for schools he called RH and got all the help he needed. I'd like to see what would happen with a call like that to Redmond! RH has helped send us to conferences and provides free support to schools using Linux.

Time will tell if other distributions will be as well managed and forward thinking but for now I don't think we should slam RH because they got off to a good start and hired some smart people. They are working hard to produce free software for us and just happen to be doing it very well.

At K12LTSP.org [k12ltsp.org] we base our distribution for schools on RH for all of the above and the fact that over time, it's been one of the easiest and most stable versions of Linux for us to use in schools. They have been 100% supportive of us hacking their distribution and redistributing it to schools. That's about as far from Redmond as you can get. There are some good folks there in NC! Let's give some credit where credit is due.

Can You Say FUD? (2)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145576)

I knew you could. RedHat, despite the upstarts around it, have succeeded. Mandrake aimed straight for the Desktop, and is in financial trouble, while RedHat went for the big bucks in the server market first, and will move to the desktop later. In no way has RedHat used the tactics that MS did to gain their position of dominance.

I use RedHat sometimes, but I prefer Debian. The only way that I could see that RedHat could be compared to Microsoft is that they aren't the best in everything, but they're decent in everything. If you want to set up a server, a RedHat CD works. If you want to show Linux off to a newbie, RedHat works.

You could probably say the same about SuSE....the only difference is that RedHat had a head start being based in the US. European software manufacturers have always been at a disadvantage in the US market (which is the majority of computer users, like it or not).

Re:Can You Say FUD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145604)

The EU market is bigger than the US (more people in the EU). But the EU market is fargmented (different languages etc), so it is easyer to market for the US (only one language).

I have always been happy with RedHat (5, Interesting)

Kiwi (5214) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145577)

I don't much to say besides what the articles already went over. Basically, RedHat, unlike SuSE and Caldera (and some other distributions) is 100% free. There is no difference between the RedHat ISO images that anyone can download off of various FTP sites and the CDs for the core distribution which come from official RedHat. Unlike Mandrake, RedHat also makes official ISOs of the source. Mandrake only offers binary ISOs; people have to make their own ISO cd images from their source directory.

Unlike Debian, the stable release has recent libaries and binaries; they also have a much more formal SQA methodology than what Debian has (Debian testing works, of course, but it just takes longer for Debian to declare something stable). Unlike gentoo/sorcerer/etc., no one has to wait while all of the programs compile. While this is an excellent learning experience, a.k.a. Slackware (another great platform for learning the internals of Linux on a very intimate level), it is, in my opinion, not necessary for daily production usage.

I like knowing that I can buy (or download; the two are 100% identical) RedHat and not have to upgrade my system for a year or two; RedHat will "freeze" on a given release and release only critical bug fixes (mainly security updates) for a period of two years for a given release. This is very useful; it allows people to use systems without having to be on the constant upgrade treadmill.

I am very pleased to see RedHat merging KDE and Gnome; having different applications on the desktop having different user interfaces looks, IMHO, unprofessional and I am glad to see RedHat resolving this.

RedHat has always strongly belived in free software. They took a stand aginst the old Free/Qt licensing by strongly supporting Gnome; their actions undoubtably contributed to QT's decision to allow the free versions of their libraies be GPL'd.

If you don't like RedHat, you are free to make your own fork of RedHat which fixes the things you don't like. Mandrake did this because they wanted a RedHat with KDE five years ago; they are a RedHat fork which still exists today (knock on wood; I hope they get past their financial problems). I think the person at tummy.com [tummy.com] is still selling RedHat-derived distributions (RedHat + whatever updates he feels are needed).

I have been using RedHat for over five years, since RedHat 4.2, and have been very happy with RedHat. I feel that they have made an excellent compromise between making the settings configurable with a GUI or with a text editor--I happyily use a text editor to configure my RedHat box (currently only one: A laptop with 7.2). Some old Sun greybeards (too lazy to learn a new tool) complain about Xinetd; I think RedHat is remarkably conservative about intorducing new things which force users to relearn; I think replacing the old, crufty inetd.conf with Xinetd is perfectly reasonable. Now, if only Microsoft were so reasonable about keeping the UI so consistant between releases.

Speaking of Microsoft, RedHat, as the articles pointed out, can not be the next Microsoft. The GPL protects us from that.

- Sam

No. (2)

El (94934) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145581)

You can't become a Micro$oft without acheiving customer lock-in. Red Hat is easily replaced by other Linux distributions, thus they are forced to compete on the quality of their product where they are only as good as their latest release. Until they start deliberately breaking compatibility with other distros, I certainly wouldn't accuse them of being anything like Micro$oft. Half the pens sold in the US are made by BIC, does that make them an evil monopoly? You can't have a monopoly on a commodity market!

As a non RH user (2)

nuggz (69912) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145582)

Redhat has a strong market position, I don't think they have the best or strongest distribution. Their upgrades between major releases or dependancy tracking isn't best.
They are quite concerned with what the market wants, not what the best solution is.
They have a pretty strong market position and use it to expand into weaker areas.

But they don't limit interoperability. They release improvements. They don't really interfere with their competitors, just pretty much fair honsest competition.

So no, they aren't MS, they compete fairly and openly on the technical merit of their solution. Not artificial lock in.

Hmm (1)

viol2001 (117857) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145587)

Red Hat may be the biggest player in the Linux market, but that doesn't make them like Microsoft. They have done very good business to get to the point they are, and this type of story seems to me like jealousy coming out. Red Hat's products are completely opensource, with none of the activation crap that MS pulls. As Mr. Hogan said, how can they become like MS when everything they have is wide open. They can't. Unless Red Hat takes a turn for the worse and starts closing up and hiding code (which they can't do, they'd ruin their customer base), all of this is nonsense. They have some great ideas ( here [slashdot.org]), and they have capitalized on them. Good for them.

Spin about spin (1)

TheLastUser (550621) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145589)

Sounds strange coming from IBM. Then Hogan's reply is even more spin, Sun == MS in his estimation. I guess he would love it we all started slagging Sun with the enthusiasm we have for MS.

I sure get sick of corps waving their flags and inciting the community towards one revolution or another.

Evidence is startling (3, Interesting)

konmaskisin (213498) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145590)

Over the years Red Hat has stifled the competition so effectively that the number of Linux distributions has "declined" from 2 (Red Hat and Slackware) to 42 with new distributions arriving on the scene every week (Gentoo, Lycoris). Now they are actively sabotaging other projects by *gasp* changing their color schemes and graphics and paying developpers to work on projects that are used in dozens of their competitors products. ... Sheesh .... In other words: there is *no* evidence RH is "bad". They are an OSS company living by the GPL.

The only thing bad about RH is *.rpm (which is what's bad about SuSE and Mandrake etc. etc.). The weakness of RPM is why competitors like Gentoo, Debian and FreeBSD are so damn uhh ... competitive ...

The KDE project's leadership being all over the age of 25 and somewhat more mature don't to lose sleep over this: they distribute RPMs built for 7.3 and limbo: both official and "unofficial" builds.

GPL should keep Red Hat in check (5, Insightful)

pbryan (83482) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145591)

Make no mistake, Red Hat is a commerical organization, whose sole purpose is to make money and increase its value for its shareholders.

However, what could keep RH from devolving into another-business-that-has-achieved-market-dominanc e is the GNU General Public License. RH was founded on the GPL, which places significant constraints on distributors.

I'm sure if RH finds a dangerous loophole, it'll be quickly shored up by RMS, and unless RH decides to fork all of its packages and take on development itself, will be obliged to adhere to the terms of the software it distributes.

Finally, there is a bellweather I would watch to determine whether RH has become too powerful: Alan Cox. Cox seems a man of principle, and wouldn't stand for too much BS from his employer.

Smaller distributions (1)

paladin_tom (533027) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145592)

I could see how some people using smaller distributions could be annoyed that a lot of popular commercial software is targeted to Red Hat.For example, back when I used Mandrake, I couldn't get Java to work, because Sun only offered it as a Red Hat RPM (which didn't work on Mandrake 8.0). Of course, Sun has gotten better now, offering the JDK in a distribution-independent format.

This doesn't make Red Hat evil, but I can see how many people could target their frustrations at Red Hat. They are the market leader, and the fact that they are well-supported makes people more likely to use thier distro.

What a load of hoo-ey (2)

coupland (160334) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145595)

Of course RedHat wants to make money, everyone does. However this is sensationalism of the highest sort. RedHat is one of the *only* publicly traded companies that even feigns support for free software. Compare RedHat to IBM, Sun, and Oracle. All support free software and I think we appreciate their contributions, but only one seems to be in it to "keep the faith". And this while being a publicly-traded company, not easy! I think the guys deserve some credit. As does the GPL which would make any attempt to screw us out of our beloved OS utterly futile. Kudos to both...

"Mod Parent Down!" and related mumblings (2, Informative)

sam31415 (558641) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145596)

... I wish. Blasted flamebait.

First, is there actually any locking in being done by Red Hat? No, it's been discussed before: they're adhering to the GPL, so if they make a change, you can get the source and change it back.

Secondly, are they making money off the sales of Linux? Not really; if you want Red Hat 7.3, you can download it and burn it to 3 or 5 CDs for connect time/blank media. If you buy a boxed set, you're getting printed documentation and support in addition. I may be oversimplifing, but it seems that the product for sale must be the printed docs and support. Red Hat does, I suppose, have a virtual monopoly on selling Red Hat-specific information... but, at a guess, most of the information in the docs and obtainable from support staff are also availible somewhere on the net for those with clues.

I'm sure just about every entity that people think is good and wholesome has its detractors, but just because you're a detractor doesn't mean you have to call Red Hat a monopoly.

Yes, and Debian is the faggot of Lunix (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4145609)

Because Debian is gay.

incomparable (3, Interesting)

g4dget (579145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145616)

I think the comparison is absolutely silly. Not only does RedHat sponsor a lot of GPL'ed projects, they actually make their ISO images and distribution available for download. I have seen no evidence that RedHat has done anything to threaten open source software.

Here are the companies I'd rather worry about:

  • SuSE does not make available their distribution as ISOs (do they make their installation and maintenance tools available under the GPL?), although at least you can download the FTP tree.
  • Troll Tech has tried to monopolize the market for Linux based handhelds by replacing X11 with a framebuffer-based system (which is less efficient to boot). Authors of GPL'ed software using Troll Tech's system are OK, but other kinds of free software, or commercial developers, need to pay more than they would for GUI development on just about any other platform. If Qt/Embedded catches on widely, you can kiss handheld Linux as an affordable commercial platform goodbye. And if Qt catches on on the desktop, it will harm Linux as well.
  • Apple tries to move developers to a proprietary windowing system, incompatible with open source applications. At least, unlike Troll Tech, you can develop commercial GUI apps for Apple without paying anybody an arm and a leg. I doubt Apple will succeed with this--if they did, it would be bad for open source. More likely, however, they'll just be shooting themselves in the foot, until finally someone integrates X11 into OSX more smoothly than XDarwin.

But the solution is simple: if you don't like what a company is doing, promote and use something different. I wouldn't use Qt or Apple's proprietary windowing system even if I liked their design.

RedHat is a simple install, period. (5, Interesting)

toupsie (88295) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145619)

RedHat's default install is not the one I use, ever. However, if I want to install GNU/Linux on a computer, I use RedHat. Reason? I can pop in a Net Install floppy, boot the box, and choose a mirror site for Redhat. About an hour later, I have the basic building block on the server I need. I do this both for x86 and Alpha -- never need to remember to bring software. A couple of trips to RPMFind.Net [rpmfind.net], a tweek of rc3.d and an update -u...that's it. You have a functional, decent performance server for your need...NFS, Samba, AppleTalkIP, HTTPD, WebDAV, FTP, POP3, SMTP, RTSP, X11, etc. Just go nuts tightning down the default install and you have a box that can stay up 365+, no problem.

RedHat has good name recognition for a reason, they make getting Linux on your box simple. I am sure you can on and on again about your favorite distro and you will have valid points. I just love quick and simple net installs--free of charge--Microsoft ain't never gonna do that for me!!!

What Red Hat Says (1)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145620)

'Our commitment to open source remains absolute, no matter what our competitors are saying.'

And M$ might say:

'Our commitment to proprietary code remains absolute, no matter what our competitors are saying.'

Anyhow, if people see Red Hat as becoming like M$, then I must be in unhappy camp since I use both M$ software (or crashware), and Red Hat Linux.

I guess there is no satisfying some people...

Red Hat is ok by me (1)

cpex (601202) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145633)

I personally use redhat 7.3 I think its fine, if you don't like the version of gcc that comes with it replace it with what you want. You dont like the way the stock kernel is built, build your own. I see a distro as a starting point. A collection of apps that I get to choose and pick from. I heard ppl call red hat bloat ware, sure it has a ton of needless apps but you can always not-install or remove what you dont want. And if you need a tool that doesnt come with the distro go download it. Red hat is doing nothing nor can it to stop this.

Pull the other one.. it plays "Jingle Bells" (1)

marcushnk (90744) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145637)

GPL, which RedHat has always been a VERY strong supporter of, is pertly designed to STOP Monopolies.

Even if they wanted to.. they'ed find it VERY dificult to do a MS on us..

Whoa, Cool (1)

Adhoc (132137) | more than 11 years ago | (#4145638)

From the article
...said Jamin Gray, a programmer in St. Louis and a contributor to the GNU Network Object Model Environment Project.

Wow. that sounds like a neat new project!! About time we had some innovation in the Linux desktop space. That ought to give a kick in the pants to KDE and GNO... oh, wait.

Stupid reporters.
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