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Red Hat CEO Szulik on Linux Distro Consolidation

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the from-your-first-drawing-breath-to-your-last-dying-day dept.

Red Hat Software 197

Rob writes "Red Hat's CEO has rejected the idea that a reduction in the number of Linux distributions would be good for the industry, and described Novell's acquisition of SUSE Linux as "theatre". There are over 300 distributions listed on DistroWatch.com, but Raleigh, North Carolina-based Red Hat's CEO, Matthew Szulik, maintained that choice and specialization outweighed any advantage that might be gained by focusing customer attention on a smaller number of offerings. He was particularly disdainful of acquiring other distributions for the sake of protecting or expanding market share. "We have zero ambition to do that," he said. "I think when people approach the problem with an eye on consolidation it destroys the idea of natural selection.""

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distro watch survivor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13756716)

natural selection has come home!

Dark matter and Macintosh faggots (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13756750)

Attention all barking Mac feebs: "dark matter" does NOT refer to the clumps of stuff clinging to your 3-inch penises once you remove them from the anus of your anonymous bath-house sex partner.

"Dark matter" is a scientific term used by educated adults and not Steve Jobs-fixated lemmings.

Re:distro watch survivor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13756844)

Already [xyzcomputing.com] done [blogspot.com] to death [computerworld.com] . Szulik is a little late.

Re:distro watch survivor (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757045)

No kidding, I long ago selected against Red Hat.

Natural Selection (4, Insightful)

robpoe (578975) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756734)

How does Novell, aquiring Suse, consist of theatre. They needed a distro on which to build their OES/NLD products, and since they seem to be partly in bed with IBM - who also uses Suse - that distro was the natural choice.

Re:Natural Selection (3, Insightful)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756803)

Methinks Mr. Szulik is jealous that a high-profile rival found a sugar daddy. I don't recall if Novell had their own distro before acquiring SuSE, but if it was that unmemorable, it was probably no great loss.

Re:Natural Selection (2, Informative)

TheMMaster (527904) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756822)

They didn't have their own distro, their NLD offering was ALSO a repacked SuSE that was before they even bought suse actually.

Re:Natural Selection (1)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757059)

Well, Corel did have that Novell client for a while - but they're not exactly making big new now... :)

Re:Natural Selection (5, Informative)

g2devi (898503) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757295)

> Novell had their own distro before acquiring SuSE

Sort of. From what I remember, Caldera OpenLinux was originally a research project in Novell. In those days there was talk about porting WABI (a comercial product like WINE but for Win16) and the commericial equivalent of DOSEMU (I forget it's name) to Linux. This would allow Novell to use Linux as a high powered replacement for Win 3.1. Those plans appeared to be mostly hype or were abandoned when Win95 introduced Win32 and Win16 became irrelevant. Anyway, Novell Founder, Ray Noorda left Novell with several Novell employees to start Caldera. At least according to the press releases at the time, the excuse was that he was frustrated with Novell's lack of interest in Linux.

Unfortunately most press was not online during the 1994 era so I can't find many online references to back this up (anyone?). Here are a few I could google:

http://www.ftlinuxcourse.com/FTLinuxCourse_Complet e-2004/FTLinuxCourse/en/net/chap5.html [ftlinuxcourse.com]
http://lists.debian.org/debian-user/1996/11/msg010 67.html [debian.org]

Re:Natural Selection (5, Funny)

bach37 (602070) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756825)

Not intelligent design?

/end sarcasm

Re:Natural Selection (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13756882)

The article (or rather, man interviewed) implies that, since RedHat made more money selling support, SuSE is insignificant. Never mind that there is no mention of the installed base, or any mention of how RedHat's outrageously high prices or their sudden announcement that they were getting rid of their affordable distro and only selling their expensive one might have something to do with their larger amount of money taken in... Hooray for perceived vendor lock-in forcing several companies to spend even more money!

I can tell him one thing, though. The Fortune 100 company I work for is still using RedHat some on some systems, but the official distro and way of the future is SuSE. That's partially because RHEL is a big old turd, IMHO. I guess maybe he didn't notice that when he said there was no impact, since we're still paying for RHEL as well - for now...

Oh no... (5, Funny)

vmcto (833771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756802)

Natural Selection vs. Intelligent Design

The debate rages on...

Re:Oh no... (3, Funny)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756855)

Does natural selection not lead to intelligent design? :)

Re:Oh no... (1)

Alejo (69447) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757034)

You missed to include in the debate The Church of the FSM [venganza.org] .

Re:Oh no... (2, Funny)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757100)

You missed the point. Flying Spaghetti monster IS "intelligent design". The difference between ID and creationism is that in ID we "don't know" who did the designing. That's where FSM comes in. Since we don't know, you can't disprove it!

Personally, I like to think the connection here is Richard Stallman: I have been touched by his GNU-dly appendage. hallelujah and pass the soap.

rules of the game (4, Insightful)

pmike_bauer (763028) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756805)

When it comes to natural selection, is consolidation banned from the game?

Re:rules of the game (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756932)

No. It's called "mating".

Re:rules of the game (1)

J.R. Random (801334) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756987)

"When it comes to natural selection, is consolidation banned from the game?"

Certainly not when it comes to us eukaryotes. The mitochondria in our cells were once free living bacteria, which became symbionts and and gradually transfered most of their DNA to the nucleus. They still have some DNA of their own, however. Chloroplasts in plant cells are also the result of symbiosis with bacteria.

P.S. I know Microsoft is evil and all, but it would be nice if Slashdot's "preview" function would work with IE, as it used to.

Re:rules of the game (1)

JasonKChapman (842766) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757103)

When it comes to natural selection, is consolidation banned from the game?

Not at all. Barring geographic or non-natural (as in "human intervention") barriers, many reproductively compatible organisms would interbreed, with the strong likelihood of settling into some new, more successful hybrid that ends up breeding true.

In business, mergers often occur because two companies have complementary strengths. The "offspring" is more competitive and ends up thriving. Of course the result is not always successful, but that's natural selection, too.

Re:rules of the game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757379)

Depends whether you mean natural selection of distros or businesses, and the Red Hat CEO was saying that natural selection based on distros is better for the community.

Consolidation is a good thing (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13756807)

How many versions of Windows XP are there? Really just two, Home Edition and Professional Edition. How many versions of Linux 2.6 are there? According to that article, around 300. It is way, way too complicated for regular people.

Maybe Linux needs to start following the Highlander quote: "There can be only one" and start having all of these competitors duel off, with the good features from each winner taken and evolved into Uber Linux, so that there can just be one version to focus on and get people to understand.

And since my posts always seem to get modded as trolls no matter what I say, if you Linux people don't get off your mighty high horse and look at what could get people to migrate from Windows to Linux, it will never happen. I don't care if it is Ubuntu, or Suze, or Red Hat, or whatever. Just have one damn version and make the damn thing work for the latest technology, make it fast, and make it easy to understand for even the dumbest american.

Please!

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (3, Interesting)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756891)

I really don't care if average people start migrating to Linux. I like what I'm using. I don't want what I'm using to be evolved into what Windows is now.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756989)

As someone who has tried to help linux make inroads into the places where I've worked or contracted with, I'd like to see it get picked up by more of the general populace. This means that it's going to have to change a bit and become a bit easier to use while not doing away with the security that we've come to know and love.

Think of it this way - fewer worms and zombies clogging up the networks (I may not be infected, but I do feel the bandwidth hit), better security in general, lower operating costs, and any number of other reasons.

However, I think the biggest reason at the moment that I want to see linux get more of a foothold among the general populace is because it's now sort of my job. The thought of being able to affect change and get paid for it appeals to me even though I was doing it before getting paid to do so.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (1)

JasonKChapman (842766) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757204)

As someone who has tried to help linux make inroads into the places where I've worked or contracted with, I'd like to see it get picked up by more of the general populace.

But that doesn't require consolidation. Consolidation might be one way to achieve that, but it would necessarily decrease the number of players trying other ways that might also be successful.

Making inroads into the home and/or corporate desktop doesn't require a single, monolithic mega-linux distro that answers all questions and solves all problems. It only requires one distro that demonstrates an ease of answering and solving enough of them that it catches on. It might be something like Linspire, for example, or it might not, but if Linspire were subsumed into the One True Linux distro, there would be one less avenue being explored independently.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757286)

Actually, it requires one, or a few, distros that solve the problems of buisness and normal people, solve them *well* and get enough publicity to be known to the general public.

Having the greatest solution in the world doesn't do you or anyone else any good if it gets lost in the noise of "look at my distro!"

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (1, Troll)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757015)

I do care if average people start migrating to Linux, because I like what I'm using. The problem is that, considering patents and Treacherous Computing, if Microsoft maintains its marketshare it'll be in a good position to kill Free Software by (indirectly) making it illegal. I say indirectly because they wouldn't make the GPL illegal, but they would mandate Treacherous Computing, which means there would be no way to run anything you compiled yourself (e.g. unsigned code).

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13756903)

How is that different from the system that exists right now? For many people there is, in fact, one distro. It's the one that works well for them..

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (4, Interesting)

bobintetley (643462) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756927)

...if you Linux people don't get off your mighty high horse and look at what could get people to migrate from Windows to Linux, it will never happen. I don't care if it is Ubuntu, or Suze, or Red Hat, or whatever. Just have one damn version and make the damn thing work for the latest technology...

You seem to be labouring under the misconception that the free software/open source communities see world domination or the destruction of Microsoft as an ultimate goal.

"you Linux people" are a disparate group of loosely connected individuals, pursuing their own goals and agendas. The only people interested in world domination in my experience are disgruntled Windows users and a fringe minority - not the software developers.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (1)

giampy (592646) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757258)

> You seem to be labouring under the misconception that the
> free software/open source communities see world domination
> or the destruction of Microsoft as an ultimate goal.

Not necessarily, maybe he just thinks that trying NOT to have one single company dominate the market of operating systems is a goal worth pursuing.

Maybe he just feels that de facto standards and interoperability are a good thing for the user no matter what OS one is using, and he thinks that having just a few "standard" distribution would help.

You may be fine with microsoft deciding what runs on every computer and device of almost every single person of the planet, but i for one think of it as unhealty and dangerous for competition, progress and ultimately freedom.

And besides, are you really sure that your freedom to buy a PC and install whatever OS you want can last that long if the number of linux users does not reach a critical mass ??
I would not be so sure, so please think about it again.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (0, Flamebait)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757334)

So when Windows VISTA comes out and they ram DRM so far up our butts that we can't even walk straight without getting arrested for a DMCA violation, and Linux is not there to bail us out (especially as far as video converting/processing and gaming are concerned), what will you say then?

I use Linux because I'd like to see MicroSoft destroyed. For freedom's sake.

the Highlander method (2, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756930)

"There can be only one"

Good idea, but even if you talked the distros into doing it, 10 people would fork it after each duel off, resulting in 3,000 distros.

-everphilski-

Re:the Highlander method (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757071)

HTTP://www.distroofthemonth.com is a great way to try different distos though... even for those who think there are too many.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (0, Troll)

oob (131174) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756939)

I don't care if it is Ubuntu, or Suze, or Red Hat, or whatever. Just have one damn version and make the damn thing work for the latest technology, make it fast, and make it easy to understand for even the dumbest american.

George Bush won't shift until the golf video game he plays is ported. Could we go with the second dumbest?

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757073)

George Bush won't shift until the golf video game he plays is ported. Could we go with the second dumbest?

Rumsfeld?

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (3, Insightful)

Quevar (882612) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756946)

I thought that the features from each distro had to be shared back to the community by virtue of the GPL. Any modifications are available to everyone. So, all the features are available to everyone, but "good features" is a relative term. There is no single Linux distro that can be everything to everyone, hence many of them. I think 300 is too many, but there are different markets that are totally different. They are using Linux on cell phones, routers, desktop computers, laptops, servers, etc.

There are not only two versions of Windows. There is Tablet PC edition, Home Media Edition, Windows CE, etc. And, as for versions of just Windows XP, there are many different versions. Many companies create their own standard version that includes the utilities and features they want to include. Granted, they all come from MS, but they are customized. I'm not arguing in favor of Windows, but simple does not work when you need to span many different realms of consumer devices.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756951)

nonsense, I don't want the same distro in my cell phone or router as my desktop or server or supercomputing cluster. For AVERAGE computer user, there's about two distros I've seen that they're going to get at the local Best Buy, what's so complicated about that? If they're a little more computer savvy, then they can play with the others.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (1)

MooUK (905450) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756982)

The main thing that might make users "migrate" to Linux-type systems is having it bundled WITH their PC when they first buy it, and with everything they need preinstalled.

Since the big PC sellers eat out of M$'s pocket in the main part, and since each one assumes it's opponents won't do anything first, none of them will change - because unless several of them change at once, none of those who switch will have much success.

Besides, most people who do use *nixes LIKE the many different choices they have available. Each has different drawbacks and benefits - and many of those aren't possible to have together.

Something similar to windows might be what Joe Average wants, but it's often not what those making the linux distros want, and since they are making what they want because it's what they want to do, then they'll keep on as they are.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (4, Insightful)

slashflood (697891) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756983)

Insightful? Just plain wrong, I'd say.

How many versions of Windows XP are there? Really just two, Home Edition and Professional Edition. How many versions of Linux 2.6 are there? According to that article, around 300.

You're comparing apples with pears. You should compare Windows with Linux distributions.

And since my posts always seem to get modded as trolls no matter what I say, if you Linux people don't get off your mighty high horse and look at what could get people to migrate from Windows to Linux, it will never happen.

Because you are trolling.

I don't care if it is Ubuntu, or Suze, or Red Hat, or whatever.

So you say, that you know only two - the third is called SuSE - of the mentioned 300 distributions? You just don't have to care about the other 298 distributions, they're made for special purposes. A few of them (Familiar [handhelds.org] ) are made for PDAs, just like Windows CE (yes, another Windows).

Just have one damn version and make the damn thing work for the latest technology, make it fast, and make it easy to understand for even the dumbest american.

What do you mean when you say "latest technology"? There are more cases of Windows not supporting the latest technology.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (1)

ploafmaster general (920649) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756988)

I don't really think Linux was designed to be an alternative to Windows, and it's not under continued developement for that purpose either. Some distros are intended to make transition from Windows to Linux easier, but it will never be a direct replacement. Would you really want that? I like Linux a lot, but I'd say if average consumer users want an alternative to Windows now, go play with OSX. That's probably the most user-friendly UNIX-like OS you can find right now, out of the box.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (-1, Troll)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757005)

Try again, and please learn to count. The Windows releases are more like:

DOS [ multiple versions, mostly discarded but some still active ]
Windows for Workgroups [ multiple versions, but some still active ]
Win95 [ multiple versions, by language and features ]
Win98 [ multiple versions, by language and features ]
WinME [ multiple versions, by language and features ]

Then there are the NT based versions.

NT [3.51, 4.0, etc., multiple versions by language and features]
WinXP [which is really NT 5.0 and should have been labeled such, multiple versions by language and features]
Windows 2003 [Which is really WinXP with delusions of serverhood, but if they want to relabel it again, who are we to argue?]
Longwood [In beta]

So after totalling up all the different actual OS releases, even if you skip the alternative hardware and language versions that make much more of a difference to Windows than to Linux, you're still talking about at least a dozen different active and supported OS's.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (1)

Steinfiend (700505) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757013)

I think one of the main problems people have is trying to distinguish the differences between what constitutes Windows and what constitutes a Linux Distro. Windows XP Pro and Ubuntu 5.04 cannot be considered to be the same type of thing. Win XP is an operating system, Ubuntu is an operating system plus applications plus utilities plus programming tools plus a kitchen sink.

The closest you can get to compare Windows to Linux is to compare Kernel versions. You could look at it as Win XP Pro/Home==2.4.x/2.6.x tree. Even that is a stretch, but not too far so I'll run with it. The best thing to compare a Distro to is a preinstalled image from a manufacturer. Ubuntu is nice and friendly, comes with all suitable drivers/utilities for wireless networking, Internet surfing and so on, very much like the preinstalled image that Gateway puts on its home PCs. However, RedHat Enterprise Linux has more security features configured, comes with server software installed as standard, very much like the preinstalled image Compaq puts on its mid-range servers.

To that end then there are an unlimited number of preinstalled Windows images dependent on expected usage, the same should (and is, and will be) true for Linux.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757014)

.....and make it easy to understand for even the dumbest american.

Uh-huh. Do you have any IDEA how dumb Americans are?
An OS that "the dumbest American" could use without tripping over their own brain cell would consist entirely of an animated flag with a huge start/stop button to control the flag waving.

You're getting modded as a troll all the time because you are a troll. Get over it. Nobody is going to do away with distro choice to get you to migrate to Linux, because let's face it, you never will anyway.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757024)

How many versions of Windows XP are there? Really just two...

How many versions of Vista are there going to be? Something like 6. M$ is moving the opposite direction that you are saying Linux should. They are going to create market confusion with their own products, JOY.

Maybe Linux needs to start following the Highlander quote: "There can be only one" and start having all of these competitors duel off

This is always happening. Look at the number of distro's that have totally disappeared. Also remember that of those 300 distros the bulk of the desktop users are probably only using 10 or so of those. (Suse, Madriva, Redhat, FedoraCore, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Gentoo, some I am forgetting.) There are a lot of very specialized distros that are used for firewalls and the like. When it comes to desktop use the majority of those 300 sort of fade away.

Just have one damn version and make the damn thing work for the latest technology, make it fast, and make it easy to understand for even the dumbest american.

You never have used Madrake/Mandriva have you? Not to flame, but from the get go they have set out to make a user friendly distro that most any idiot can figure out, and by and large they have done a good job of making the distro good for the power users and good for the lowly idiots of computing. The bulk of your make it work for the latest technology is the fault of your driver makers, not linux. There is poor support for some devices in Linux because of drivers. I mean who had x86-64 support first (Linux or Windows), well Linux did. Seems like they had something working in the latest tech first.

This post has been brought to you by a Dell Inspiron 8600, made less evil by Fedora Core 3.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (2, Informative)

SmellTheCoffee (808375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757054)

How many versions of Linux 2.6 are there? According to that article, around 300. It is way, way too complicated for regular people. Well...I must say you are not quite keeping up. Linux 2.6??? That is not distribution...it is a kernel. LINUX IS A KERNEL...Most distros are based on Linux kernel (2.4 series or 2.6 series) and GNU GPLed software. The correct name is GNU/Linux. As far as 300 distros are concerned...I've used about 8 (most of the major ones) and I'm quite content with what I've used and see no need to use specialized distros. With that said, what is wrong with having choices...most average users are going to go with user-friendly distros namely ubuntu, suse, redhat, fedora, mepis, mandriva etc. These distro are complete and work-out-of-the-box. On other note, Linux users/geeks are not sitting on a high horse. If you happen to visit many linux help forums on the net. You would experience that linux forums are the most user friendly.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757257)

Dude, Linux is about choice. You may like it or not, desktop users may adopt it or not, but Linux is not going to "consolide". This is not a "failure" in linux. It's a "design decision", it can be its biggest strength and its biggest failure, but it's not going to change. Really.

And WRT to "desktop users", they just don't care if there's one, two, or two thousands of windows versions. They just want something that works regardless of what it is.

Re:Consolidation is a good thing (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757349)

I always thought that Linux and the distros is made by people for people, thats really the best explanation for the numbers of distros out there. The goal of linux (if such can exist) is not to replace Windows. Thats why you can never get a free Windows from Linux unless you, yes you, get your thumb out of the dark smelly place and start coding one yourself. Linux is not and will probably never be a drop in replacement for Windows. Even if the community was to mimic every possible bit in the UI all we would have accomplished was a free Windows UI clone for the people that likes how windows works anyway but without 100% binary compability.

There are infact dists that mimics Windows pretty well but they arent that popular. I suspect that once you understand Linux you change dist to something more unixy. Linux isnt hard to use, its only hard if you try to use it as a MS Windows clone wich it aint.

Redhat is nowhere in Europe (4, Interesting)

TarrySingh (916400) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756814)

and Novell is doing damn well here in Europe. Novell's acquisition of SUSE in particular was supposed to mount more of a challenge to Red Hat's dominant position as the leading enterprise Linux distributor, but Mr Szulik maintained that the purchase has had no identifiable impact on Red Hat's business No indetifiable impact. These guys are working their way into the German, Freanch and beleive me or not even the lame Dutch are beginning to sing songs on suSe.

Re:Redhat is nowhere in Europe (2, Insightful)

SocietyoftheFist (316444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756827)

OS/2 did better in Europe than America as well. Your statements in no way invalidate Szulik's statements.

Re:Redhat is nowhere in Europe (0)

Kaiwen (123401) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756902)

As I recall, back in pre-Windows days, DR-DOS ruled Germany. The point being, of course, that much as our European friends might not want to hear it, the future of technology isn't being decided on the Continent.

Lee Kaiwen, Taiwan

What we buy is more interesting (1)

andersh (229403) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757225)

No, it might not be decided here (though Linus Torvalds sure made some impact with this thing called Linux). And sure the world might not revolve around Europe's 700+ million people - yet I believe that everyone out there will still be very interested in our purchasing power none the less. So go ahead market your product without European "support"... I like my SuSE installation(s).

Re:Redhat is nowhere in Europe (1)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756949)

Conversley, Debian users are very diversely spread throughout every country. You can chalk that up to the distro's only form of promotion, word of mouth. No matter how hard you market a product, the superior products will sell themselves (in this case, for free). The only thing it can't yet do is apt-get mod-points but they're working on that.

Re:Redhat is nowhere in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757149)

Amiga and Atari ST were popular in Europe - where are they now? Proof that European markets are meaningless.

Re:Redhat is nowhere in Europe (3, Informative)

veg_all (22581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757317)

Can't be bothered to RTFA, huh?

Mr Cornett added that in fact Red Hat did more Linux business in some individual European counties than Novell did worldwide.

Novell had SUSE Linux Enterprise Server revenue of $8m in its third quarter, ended July 31, 2005, with about 47% coming from North America, 37% from EMEA, and 16% the rest of the world. In comparison, Red Hat had subscription revenue of $54.3m in its second quarter, ended August 31, 2005.

In fact... (5, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756833)

The Linux distro consolidation has already happened. There used to be all these "____ Will Be The Year Of Linux On The Desktop!" commercial distros that people thought would get traction, but none of them ever did. (Yeah, I know, Lindows -- have you ever heard of anyone actually using Lindows? There's nothing there but marketing.)

Everyone has converged to the Red Hat family, the Debian/Ubuntu family, SuSe, Mandrake and Gentoo. The fact that Distrowatch has a zillion microdistros is irrelevant. (Please, do not pester me with Distrowatch popularity stats.)

Re:In fact... (4, Interesting)

sethadam1 (530629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756954)

Everyone has converged to the Red Hat family, the Debian/Ubuntu family, SuSe, Mandrake and Gentoo.

Although Debian and Ubuntu are kind of two separate codebases now. Oh yeah, and can't forget Slackware. And of course, the source based distros. And Crux and Arch, they each have some unique stuff. Plus, Xandros is kind of its own thing now, based on Corel. Yeah, some things are based on, say, Knoppix, which is an offshoot from Debian, but I don't see how that is the "same" once they are binary incompatible.

That makes almost 10 trees from which to branch. How is that converging?

Re:In fact... (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757339)

Four, five years ago, people sincerely thought there might soon be millions of users running Corel or Lycoris or Conectiva or TurboLinux -- with Eazel and HelixCode fighting for paid subscribers to their desktop update services. Since then, it's become clear that a handful of large players and close derivatives of them are going to make up the large majority of Linux use, with some minor (Gentoo, Slackware) and local (whatever Red Flag is called now, that Spanish Debian version) distros covering the rest.

No disrespect to Crux, whatever it may be, but it and Arch and Xandros and the rest aren't "divergence" in any significant sense that affects Red Hat.

Bonus inflammatory opinion: Debian is about to become the dog wagged by the Ubuntu tail. They're looking more and more like the pre-Linux GNU Project.

Re:In fact... (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757128)

You don't hear about people using Lindows/Linspire because the kind of people who end up with it installed on their box probably don't even have a clue they're running Linux, and certainly aren't going to post in forums that you or I are likely to read, if they post in any forums online at all.

Re:In fact... (3, Interesting)

milimetric (840694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757354)

See, that's exactly what I thought as an outsider comin to Linux. I tried all those, literally in the order you mention them:

Red Hat didn't work on my laptop. Ubuntu worked but ran into libc dependency problems when upgrading my system. Suse I actually didn't try but assumed it was the same as Red Hat. Mandrake was nice but didn't really work with all the packages I wanted and for the life of me could not get sound or video to work on my laptop. Gentoo was awesome. Everything worked, hand configed by yours truly now becoming non-noobish. Until I tried to upgrade gcc because I needed some iPod tools and they in turn needed the new gcc. Then all went to shit.

BUT get this, I'm still usin Linux and it's one of the distros you forgot. You guessed it: Slackware. WHY? Because it just works. Handle all dependencies on your own as easily as it is to install something in windows. That's what distros should aspire to. Oh god, no, not being LIKE windows, but having the apparent EASE OF USE of windows.

So in conclusion, Slackware rocks, all the others rock less to none. FlameWAAAAR

Clickable distrowatch link (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13756837)

Since it wasn't clickable in the story, here is the distrowatch.com [distrowatch.com] link.

Anti-whoring AC mode enabled for this post.

The World Is Waiting For You To Grow Up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13756842)

The computing world is ready to line up behind Linux.

The 'isn't choice bullshit great!' bullshit that got you +5 Insightful karma over the years is coming back to bite the open source crowd in the ass now.

Time to grow up. The computing world is waiting for you to do so.

Counter-intuitive (3, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756845)

Well he can't very well call for "distribution consolidation" as that is a very Microsoft-ish thing to call for. There's certain things that even Big Linux can't call for without losing their Linux-cred.

It's like having to be hazed to get in a fraternity. No one really likes it, but you don't get in without it. I can just hear him squirming as his natural business executive instinct is to consolidate, but he's selling a product whose culture won't let him do it (yet). So for now, he smiles and yells, "Thank you, sir! May I have another (distribution)?!"

Re:Counter-intuitive (2, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757079)

Also, this is marketing from one of the most successful distributions. They're happy to have competitors stay fragmented: it lets RedHat continue to be one of the larger and more integrated environments, and have less effective competition in the server market, where they consider the real business market to be.

Incumbent disparages competitor's products (5, Insightful)

Skowronek (795408) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756847)

News at 11.

Seriously, does anybody expect Redhat's CEO to announce that "Novell is a serious contender, and Redhat is about to lose market advantage"?

Re:Incumbent disparages competitor's products (2, Interesting)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757269)

Well considering how much younger Red Hat is than Novell and the fact that Red Hat focuses soley on linux where as Novell has its hands in many markets and still Red Hat's market capitalization is around a billion more than Novell's says something. Novell has consistently been underperforming in the market for a few quarters now. There is serious mismanagement in that company. The distribution is great, but most of its greatness is still from the prior owners. There is lots of speculation about Novell being bought out or revamping management and direction. Last time they were doing poorly, they switched directions into Linux, if they change management again, they may move into a different direction. Novell is still feeling out the market and deciding how to best make money. They have a few customers in Europe, but other than that it seems most people are going with Red Hat or < insert alternative >. This isn't meant to start a distro war, but this is the way business is going. Its not a bad thing, Red Hat has done a ton for the community and pays some of the best hackers in OSS. This is just the way things go down.
Regards,
Steve

When will RedHat address the "rpm hell" problem? (-1, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756860)

That question ought to be answered. When will it go away for good on Linux systems? Even apt-get with debs is not that perfect though it's better than rpm and its equivalent manager. Autopackage looked promising, but seemed to be shunned by distros packagers. What looks promising is klik http://dot.kde.org/1126867980/ [kde.org] from the KDE folks. I will not be surprised if it too, gets sidelined by the major distros.

If we in the OSS world want to be deemed a serious contender, we MUST solve user's problems. As far as Linux goes, software management is still a huge problem.

I have a dream; and I hope the time will come, when if one talks of a software for Linux, this software can install across all Linux based distros.

Re:When will RedHat address the "rpm hell" problem (1)

prefect42 (141309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756926)

In what way does klik resolve dependenciess differently? That article claims it just overlays ontop of a .deb repository.

I was also under the impression that the main reason there isn't .deb hell is simply that people make an effort to be compatible with 'core' debian, and there has traditionally been more in debian (and contrib and friends) than redhat. rpms suffered when ximian, redhat, suse, mandrake et al packaged things differently.

Re:When will RedHat address the "rpm hell" problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13756942)

>> I have a dream; and I hope the time will come, when if one talks of a software for Linux, this software can
>> install across all Linux based distros.

Wah Wah!! Hold my hand and me give gui click tools. Software for Linux can be installed on all Linux based distros. That is if you have access to the source. If you don't have access to the source then I wouldn't call it software for Linux, I would call it proprietary crap. :)

Re:When will RedHat address the "rpm hell" problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757214)

If you don't have access to the source then I wouldn't call it software for Linux, I would call it proprietary crap.

My boss apparently agrees, since we run all our proprietary software on Windows.

Re:When will RedHat address the "rpm hell" problem (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757012)

I've found yum to be quite good. There are a few GUI extensions that make updating idiot-proof.

Now if I could get a decent driver for my wireless card, I'd probably boot FC4 exclusively.

Re:When will RedHat address the "rpm hell" problem (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757192)

RedHat dealt with RPM hell years ago (up2date and yum both work very nicely thank you).
For everything else, there is Autopackage (http://autopackage.org/ [autopackage.org] )

Re:When will RedHat address the "rpm hell" problem (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757320)

I have a dream; and I hope the time will come, when if one talks of a software for Linux, this software can install across all Linux based distros.

And then maybe Linux will have a fighting chance against Windows on the desktop. Face it, Microsoft has "gotten this" from the very beginning. Say what you want about them, but fighting for binary compatibility across all versions of Windows has served Microsoft well. I walk into Best Buy, grab a software title off the shelf and I have high confidence it will install and run on my Windows PC. This, IMHO, is the biggest thing blocking Linux from widespread acceptance on the desktop - binary compatibility - the install application figures out platform dependencies, not the user. OSS is nice, but the vast majority of people don't have the time nor the skill to rebuild everything so that it is compatible with their specific platform.

It's just FUD (4, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756866)

Since Red Hat (for whatever reason) has had the lions share of the US corporate Linux market up to now, they have to spread a little FUD, as Novell has greater corporate name recognition than Red Hat. If I'm a PHB C?O, which distro do I use and buy support from? Hmmm, I've HEARD of Novell...

Re:It's just FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757101)

Any "C?O" worth a turd will also know that Novell is new to the Linux game. Also, Novell's financials are not as strong as Red Hat's and their business plans over the last decade have been questionable at best and risky to say the least. In fact, I am not sure Novell would even be around today if it were not for cash the infusions that they have recieved from the likes of IBM.

Most people have heard of Novell because of NetWare, not Linux. Just because I have heard of Coca Cola doesn't mean I'd buy a car from them if they started making them.

SuSE's not exactly new to the marketplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757322)

I think you have Novell's interest in Linux and SuSE's work on Linux mixed up here... After all SuSE's NOT new to the market.

Natural Selection Naturally Includes Them Too (5, Interesting)

ausoleil (322752) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756870)

What Matthew Szulik is actually clamoring for is more sales for Red Hat, especially when he takes a swipe at SuSe, which is one of Red Hat's strongest competitors. Subtle Szulik isn't.

The truth is that the number of distros is good for the industry. Sure, it sets back Red Hat's bottom line, but a lot of people use Linux because it is free as in beer. The Debian distros in particular come very close to rivalling the "products" that Red Hat, et. al, distribute, and as far as support, "Google is your friend."

Szulik and company actually hurt their own sales when they decided to focus solely on the enterprise market and leave the smaller potatoes out to fend with Fedora. SuSe still offers a nice packages distro for those that want one, and they took a lot of the folks who had used Red Hat's products previous to their being abandoned. Others went with Debian, and some Fedora. None of these choices generate profits for Red Hat.

Sorry the little guys weren't big enough for you to worry about, Matt, but there are other choices in the Linux world to use. That may be bad for you, but it is good for us. And Matt, let's tell it like it is: you need us more than we need you. That's how FOSS works, so get used to it.

Re:Natural Selection Naturally Includes Them Too (4, Informative)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756935)

And Matt, let's tell it like it is: you need us more than we need you.

WRONG.
Look at how many FOSS pies Red Hat has their fingers in (gcc and the kernel are two that immediately spring to mind; I know there's quite a few more. Don't they also sponsor glibc development too?).
If Redhat stopped sponsoring the OSS projects they do, gcc alone would grind to a halt, and a good number of other projects would be impaired as well.

Re:Natural Selection Naturally Includes Them Too (2, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757346)

If Redhat stopped sponsoring the OSS projects they do, gcc alone would grind to a halt, and a good number of other projects would be impaired as well.

No it wouldn't. It would slow, stumble, trip, but it would keep going. Red Hat's disappearance would be an enormous blow to the OSS community. It would take us years to recover. But OSS disappearing would destroy Red Hat entirely.

Re:Natural Selection Naturally Includes Them Too (1)

ausoleil (322752) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757353)

Your implication is that Red Hat alone has the programmers who can keep the development of gcc et. al running.

Let me give you a little hint at who can do it as well: Leave Red Hat's headquarters, turn left on Avent Ferry Road, go to I-440. Continue on to the I-40 intersection and go west until you reach Davis Drive. Turn right at the top of the exit to the end of Davis Drive.

You've just arrived at IBM in Research Triangle Park.

Think that IBM could manage this?

Or, for that matter, Novell?

True dat (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757365)

Before RedHat came along, there was no GCC.

Going Mainstream (1)

bgramkow (664943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756912)

If linux ever hopes to gain a fat chunk of the market share that windows enjoys then they'll have to target the "average" user. And the "average" user doesn't know how to begin picking a distro from over 300 choices. So if linux is ever to conquer windows (let's be honest, that's our ultimate fantasy) I think there will at least have to be one or two big name distros that focus on providing all of the trite functionality that the "average" user wants as well as ease of use/installation. There are definitely some good contenders in the linux distro world, but what the average user wants is "better" choices, not more.

Re:Going Mainstream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757263)

Exactly - that is why I have never used Linux (outisde of my CS class in engineering school). When I'd ask my group of friends which one to use, they would all say something different and then argue amongst themselves about which one was better. I just gave up.

Re:Going Mainstream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757278)

The "average" user doesn't make the choice now. They have whatever Dell/Gateway/etc... put there. Even if given a choice, the "average" user would end up with whatever the default is when getting their new Joe sixpack computer.

Of course he says that... (2)

Rick Zeman (15628) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756925)

...it's in his company's interest to have the rest of the market fragmented and redundant.

Theatre? He says that because Novell isn't fragmented and redundant and that's his competition, especially since SuSE Enterprise is undercutting RHEL in server deployments because of Redhat's absurd costs for it.
Competition is a wonderful thing, but in the real world the elephant doesn't have anything to worry about from the ant.

Choice is a good thing (4, Insightful)

squoozer (730327) | more than 8 years ago | (#13756979)

But like everything in life moderation is key.

Of course RedHat don't mind fragmentation it helps them. By encouraging fragmentation they can sit at the top and say to people "look, we offer stability". That's why Debian does so well (although I have to say I believe stable is a little to stable - 18 month update cycles please :) they offer some stability. It's important to try now ideas out but it's just as important that the OSS community tries to pull together.

While it is great that I can choose from 300 different distributions I have to ask the question: how many of them don't suck? About 5 to 10 would probably be the answer. I just want to cry when I look at the amount of time and effort that has gone into some of these projects that get maybe a hand full of users and then die a slow death as the idologues that started the project realize they aren't going to caputre the market.

It's great that people want to help it's just a shame there are a lot of people that feel the only wheel they can use is the one they built themselves.

I'm sure this post will get moded as a troll in two seconds flat so I am going to stop wasting my time.

Re:Choice is a good thing (1)

ke4roh (590577) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757355)

While it is great that I can choose from 300 different distributions I have to ask the question: how many of them don't suck? About 5 to 10 would probably be the answer.
I'm sure if you and I tried to figure out separately which 5 to 10 of an agreed list of 300 (or so) distros don't suck, we'd have different lists - because we have different needs. I want something I can turn on and run - with minimal effort. I know how to configure Samba and NFS and all the other fun stuff, but I don't want to have to spend time doing it at my house because I already spend enough time on that sort of thing at work. Diversity improves our chances of finding a few good distros.
It's great that people want to help it's just a shame there are a lot of people that feel the only wheel they can use is the one they built themselves.
I can see why it happens. Folks read Slashdot and see "Behold the Debian wheel" and "Behold the RedHat wheel"... so I try running Debian and RedHat, and find that one is square and the other is a pentagon. Yes, they can be forced to roll, but it takes quite a bit of pushing. I'm looking for something closer to an octagon, or even better, a dodecagon (12 sides). In fact, I wouldn't object to a circular wheel, but I don't think we have it yet. Different people see different problems with each distro, and some choose to make their own distros to round out those edges. With enough effort, I will find my dodecagon!

Natural selection (3, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757001)

"He was particularly disdainful of acquiring other distributions for the sake of protecting or expanding market share. "We have zero ambition to do that," he said. 'I think when people approach the problem with an eye on consolidation it destroys the idea of natural selection.'""

Very good point he makes, but it only works with OSS. If he needed to acquire functional IP through business acquisitions, then the Red Hat development plan would begin looking like the MS development plan of the early 90s.

The problem with applying natural selection to Liux distros is that the distros will evolve to fill niches. If mass adoption of Linux to compete with Windows is the goal, then the natural selection model fails... people will choose what works best for them, not what is best for everyone in the long run.

In addition, natural selection does not necessarily lead to what is best for the consumer in general. It sounds nice in theory, but a species on top will do its best to hold down the up-and-comers, thus inhibiting the "natural" part of the selection process.

Consolidation thru package management (3, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757002)

There are a lot of debian/apt based distributions where you can almost mix and match sources and repositories between those distributions... is not a consolidation, but Ubuntu, debian, knoppix based and even commercial ones are getting some sort of common backbone thanks to this.

In RPM land, things are not so clear, as is a bit more rare than an RPM for a distribution works in another, but opening distributions also generate a lot of subdistributions that aggrupates a bit a lot of distros, like all fedora-based ones or the future ones that could be based in opensuse.

I think that is ok that we have a lot of distributions with its own view on how to be installed and somewhat administrated, but could be confusing to have a separate packages for all and each distribution.

Gentoo! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757021)

I use Gentoo; how does this affect me?

Elimination is part of Natural Selection (4, Insightful)

Mr_Blank (172031) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757033)

"I think when people approach the problem with an eye on consolidation it destroys the idea of natural selection."

Corporate mergers, buyouts, and bancrupties are part of natrual selection. Consumers migrating to one company's offering can lead to 'natural selection'. One company having a big bank roll and buying out weaker competitors is also a form of selection.

In the 1930's there were hundreds of car companies. By the 1980's there were the big three and a few non-US companies. Over those 50 years a lot of 'natural selection' occured, and companies merging was just one option. General Motor's many brands of automobiles are not due to GM's internal innovation, but really are due to GM buying weaker competitors.

Let's watch to see what company will be the GM of Linux distros.

Re:Elimination is part of Natural Selection (1)

Ben Escoto (446292) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757194)

Corporate mergers, buyouts, and bancrupties are part of natrual selection. Consumers migrating to one company's offering can lead to 'natural selection'. One company having a big bank roll and buying out weaker competitors is also a form of selection.
One company buying out a weaker competitor and destroying their product isn't natural selection, and doesn't lead to an increase in adaptation. The environment isn't "selecting" for any trait---it just so happens that the first company on the scene has more money/patents and wins. If the timing was reversed the other company would win. I think a biologist would call this random drift :)

Red Hat is a company of course, and concerned with making money, but I like Szulik's comments. It's nice to see a CEO that believes (for whatever reason) that having a lot of specialized Linux distros is a good thing.

A famous man said ... (1)

Frit Mock (708952) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757099)


Code is law.

Never read anything about distros from that famous man ... it's must be the code that rules, not tha packaging.

Choice (1)

bleaked (609151) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757112)

Linux is not a product. It is about choice. And another thing, even if the Linux community did in fact have one voice, I doubt it would be telling people to migrate from their current OS to its own.

Re:Choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757212)

No, Linux is a product. (well, products.) If Linux wasn't a product, you wouldn't be able to use it. The Linux community is based around choice. I'm sure everything will consolidate eventually anyway.

Way more than 2 versions of windows. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757120)

Why wouldn't consolidation here and there be part of a 'natural selection'.

Maybe best parts can be forked into new versions, or good distros which do something well (support, documentation, security, inspire others..) will get bought up by larger backers.

A push for 1 distro is idiocy, some of them really fill totally diffenet needs. Ubuntu vs. DamnSmallLinux vs. RIP vs. Redhat Enterprise vs. ARCH - all quite different.

Keep in mind from the land of redmond off the top of my head (not counting legacy software) - actively pushed there are...
XP HOME,
XP professional,
Win2003 server,
win2003 datacenter,
Embedded NT,
embedded XP,
WinCE/windows personal computing (in two flavours),
amd Media Centre XP.

Pronunciation guide (-1, Troll)

hugesmile (587771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757203)

I like how every distro follows the Linux trend of pronunciation confusion. Lee-nucks, Linn-ucks, Leye-nicks.

Ubantu: You-Ban-Too, ooo-bahn-too, Ewe-bahn-tewe?
SuSE: Susie, Soos, Soo-sah, Soo-Say, Sus-ah?
RedHat: Red-Hot, Reed-Hat, Ree-dhat (reeed-dot)? How do you pronounce these things???

Re:Pronunciation guide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13757340)

nice troll

Important Stuff

        * Please try to keep posts on topic.
        * Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads.
        * Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
        * Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about.
        * Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might

Consolidation = eugenics ? (4, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757232)

Guys, think about this. In genetics, Natural selection does its work but it takes millions of years to reach improvements. What mankind has done (i.e. for breeding dog races, or mixing crops of wheat, etc) is to take the best, mix them, and see which ones work or not.

I think a similar effort should be done regarding linux distros. "Accelerate evolution", so to speak.

I've also noticed that the discrepancies between distros can be classified in the following categories:

* Installer
* Windows manager (GNOME,KDE)
* Configuration tools
* Bundled software

In some distros, i.e. ubuntu hoary, the configuration tools depend on GNOME. If I switch to KDE or other WM, they're no longer available (or maybe they are, but not automatically and transparently).

So, if we make these independent from each other, the distro evolution might get a boost, so we could end up with a "meta-distro" where you can only change some parameters in the installation, and everything will still work as planned.

But then again, i'm no Linux expert, these are just my 2c.

Linux Needs Non-Open Source Software (1, Insightful)

killdashnine (651759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757330)

Working at a company that has provided an Non-Open Source package for Linux has been eye-opening and has pushed me away from Linux to some degree. I admire Linux, but it's really become an incredible time-sink because I have to spend hours on the internet searching for some arcane knowledge on how to fix basic (or not so basic) problems.

I want alternatives to Windows, but we need the serious distros to stand up and fight for an "expanded core" that doesn't comprise a constantly shifting codebase. Developers can't effectively write code for Linux because the subsequent support is a nightmare! Even RedHat's code changes too frequently for people to keep up.

I believe RedHat's on the right track, but the rest of the Linux world continues to evolve ... something needs to direct the evolutionary process. Both Apple and Microsoft spend TONS of time on UI, which is the specific direction that Linux needs. Obscure the complexity, unify support for drivers, and support software that people use and you'll find Linux in everyone's home.

Well, why would he be worried? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757360)

If the competition gets too hot, he - or the future owners of the intellectual property - can just renege on Redhat's non-binding, non-perpetual patent "promise" [redhat.com] to "refrain from enforcing the infringed patent" [my bold] against FOSS competitors.

Remember when SCO was FOSS's best buddy? Companies change hands, good intentions blow away in the wind, but patents sit there for 14 or 20 years, hissing and spitting venom at all who stray too near.

its good to have alot (1)

nitkin (921606) | more than 8 years ago | (#13757370)

i believe that having alot of distrobutions of linux is good because if one has certain features you need and another doesnt, you have a large selection.
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