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Interview with Red Hat's New CEO

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the impossible-growth-charts-impress-investors dept.

Red Hat Software 129

mjasay writes "Red Hat just got a new CEO, Jim Whitehurst, but based on a recent CNET interview with him, he's cut from the same cloth as Matthew Szulik, Red Hat's former CEO. He won't buy an iPod because it won't play Ogg Vorbis files. He refused other CEO roles because he 'must have a mission.' He suggests that taking proprietary shortcuts is a fundamentally wrong way to build a software business. And he believes Red Hat should be doing $5 billion, not $500 million. It's a question of operational excellence and on focusing on its core businesses, according to Whitehurst."

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what player plays ogg files? (2, Interesting)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916250)

iriver?

Re:what player plays ogg files? (2, Informative)

427_ci_505 (1009677) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916304)

Re:what player plays ogg files? (3, Insightful)

Facetious (710885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916386)

I bought my wife an iAudio mp3 player from Cowon for the very reason that it plays ogg files. It works beautifully.

Re:what player plays ogg files? (0)

snark42 (816532) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916368)

Almost all the Cowon stuff does, they also play FLAC. iRiver plays ogg vorbis too I believe, there might be others.

Re:what player plays ogg files? (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916956)

and xclef. i have one of both. i had an iriver, and I lost it. the xclef x500 was cheaper, so I bought it. Then I found my iriver. £20 if anyone wants it :-D

Re:what player plays ogg files? (3, Informative)

kbahey (102895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21917008)

Actually devices that you can put the alternative Rockbox firmware [rockbox.org] on them do support OGG. This includes Sansa, Archos, iRiver, Cowon and others.

Re:what player plays ogg files? (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21917622)

Thanks for that, it's bothered me for a long time that all the music has to be mp3. I want to use ogg too because I want to do all I can to migrate away from solutions with patent restrictions. Iriver said they play ogg, but my H10 didn't.

I'll be checking out rockbox, thanks again!!!!

Re:what player plays ogg files? (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 6 years ago | (#21918846)

Ha! You're the lucky one [slashdot.org] !

Re:what player plays ogg files? (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919336)

For sure! I was bummed out by it, I have another iriver (ifp-795) which plays oggs but difficult to connect to under linux (*sigh*) and the H10 has a fiddly database that has to be updated by using easyh10 [sourceforge.net] - ok for me - but not my girlfriend. I tried the iriver x20 and it worked straight away under linux (i.e connecting to and transferring files to) but I haven't tried ogg on it yet.

Re:what player plays ogg files? (3, Insightful)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21918550)

This includes Sansa, Archos, iRiver, Cowon and others.

All Cowon players support Ogg out of the box (as well as just about every single other audio and video format). They actually have a really nice line-up all around; some of the best sound quality you will find in portables, too.

Now if only they hadn't crippled the A3 with that "you've-got-to-be-joking" battery life...

Re:what player plays ogg files? (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 6 years ago | (#21917014)

incidentally, the iriver H10 didn't support ogg. After claiming a microsoft "plays for sure!" license, they had to drop ogg support to get it. Then a microsoft lawyer versed in the antitrust judgement realised that this was contrarary to the ruling. The judgement wasn't entirely in vain. Later iriver models support ogg, due to the antitrust ruling. There is hope, and some thing did come good out of that ruling :-) I'm more scared of apple these days.

Re:what player plays ogg files? (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#21921356)

Wow, that would be MS outdoing themselves. Do you have any source for the license issue?

I'd figured it was only iRiver misjudging the market, talking to MS, and getting repeatedly screwed with a jackhammer as PFS was dumped.

One would wonder why the some in the industry keep repeating that mistake. Any deal with Microsoft has only one winner.

Re:what player plays ogg files? (2, Interesting)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 6 years ago | (#21917198)

Actually, I modified my iPod Video with Rockbox to make it play OGGs.

Re:what player plays ogg files? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21920426)

Actually, I modified my iPod Video with Rockbox to make it play OGGs.
Rockbox will also make a non-video iPod capable of playing video (mpeg2). Thanks to that I can watch South Park on my iPod Color.

Re:what player plays ogg files? (1)

chaud lapin (904458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21918424)

Check out the iRiver S10. Plays oog files like a charm. Only hitch is it doesn't recognize .m3u or .pls playlists. :(

Nice gig, bro! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21918698)

"Red Hat just got a new CEO, Jim Whitehurst, but based on a recent CNET interview with him, he's cut from the same cloth as Matthew Szulik, Red Hat's former CEO. He won't buy an iPod because it won't play Ogg Vorbis files. He refused other CEO roles because he 'must have a mission.' He suggests that taking proprietary shortcuts is a fundamentally wrong way to build a software business. And he believes Red Hat should be doing $5 billion, not $500 million. It's a question of operational excellence and on focusing on its core businesses, according to Whitehurst."


So in other words, he's saying all the right things he needs to in order to get the job.

Kudos on that golden parachute, bro! It's a doozie. Hopefully you can sucker the next company you are at in three years into giving you one just as big... if not bigger! Keep this stuff up, and you could end up making Eric Schmidt kind of money.

Re:what player plays ogg files? (1)

Orp (6583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21918768)

Trekstor Vibez. It also plays FLAC and of course MP3, and WAV and WMA.

http://www.trekstor.de/en/products/detail_mp3.php?pid=66 [trekstor.de]

I spent a couple solid days researching the options, because I also refused to get a player that did not do non-proprietary lossless and lossy audio, and found this to be a decent solution. I thought about doing the RockBox route but wanted something I didn't have to hack right away to get to work. I've had one for a year and have had no problems. Only downside is disk space is lower than similar players - but 12 GB isn't too shabby and moving music to it is a snap.

Re:what player plays ogg files? (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919374)

It looks like a really nice player, does it mount like a flash drive under linux? If it does, are you free from having to mess around with a database on the player. What I'm getting at here is are you able to just copy the song files onto the player/unplug/listen.

Re:what player plays ogg files? (1)

porjo (964384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919668)

Samsung U3 plays ogg files, however it doesn't seem to support tags in ogg files.

Re:what player plays ogg files? (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 6 years ago | (#21920748)

irivers were nice at some point - they offered very small form factor cd player with radio built-in, firmware upgrades and ogg support. for several years now i've been disappointed now - most the devices are mtp only, they don't answer to queries about products, website is flash only...

so i'm for a while looking for a viable device, ideally with a community around an open firmware, officially supported by the vendor. who knows, maybe openmoko/neo will be the new best portable music player :)

Yes... (1, Funny)

PaisteUser (810863) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916260)

But does he run Linux?

Re:Yes... (4, Funny)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916290)

No, but he runs Red Hat now.

*ducks*

Re:Yes... (1)

Facetious (710885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916532)

No, silly. People don't run software. I'll bet he uses Linux though.

Re:Yes... (1)

colourmyeyes (1028804) | more than 6 years ago | (#21917834)

Troll?! With all the "Redhat does not equal Linux!!" carrying on in days of yore...

Re:Yes... (1)

iAlta (1098077) | more than 6 years ago | (#21918242)

He has 4 linux PC's at home... Even when he worked at Delta.

Ogg? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21916314)

Is that still around?

Same Old, Same Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21916320)

Under the new Red Hat CEO:

* Another halfhearted desktop push that ends up being nothing more than coming up with another name for the same old distribution with some cosmetic changes to their last failed consumer distro - new logos, desktop theme, etc.

* More hollow tough talk while Microsoft eviscerates the Linux vendor market with their 'vast unnamed patent' strategy that is working very well with companies like Novell continuing to divide Linux distros into 'scary unsafe about to be sued at any moment' and 'safe for business use and integrates well with Windows' versions

* Will be gone just like the old CEO in not too long a timeframe

Re:Same Old, Same Old (5, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916610)

I worked for SGI when I was an intern. This was back when they were realizing that nobody wanted to pay $20k for a workstation anymore.

SGI had some pretty kick-ass server gear and had just purchased Cray, so naturally they responsed by coming up with a half-ass NT desktop that, likewise, nobody wanted. They played to their weakness rather than their strength, and the result was that they lost bigtime.

This strikes me as being similar: They're playing to their weakness, trying to get to where everyone else is doing well and not realizing that (a) the space is already fairly saturated and (b) the competitors waiting for them there are better than they are at the sort of thing they do.

And who gives a shit if he's a OSS zealot? The way to help out our common interest here is to succeed -- I don't care if the guy will only listen to 8-tracks, I want to hear his plan for turning the company around. This isn't like an airline where your ass can be bailed out by the cyclical nature of the business -- while people always need an airplane to get someplace, in the end they really don't need your distro. You can't just keep flying and charge $5 for snack boxes.

Re:Same Old, Same Old (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21917110)

What exactly is it they need to *turn around*. You say that like they're a failing company... Last I checked, profits were up 12% last quarter. Hardly a sinking ship...

Re:Same Old, Same Old (2, Interesting)

hdparm (575302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21917392)

I guess it was a case of bad wording. However, Whitehurst said himself that JBoss can do much, much better. $500M is largely based on core product (RHEL subscriptions), while $5B might be achievable through sales of stuff that goes on top of the OS.

I am also sure that they could do really well in a desktop market, if only they wanted to. That would bring a whole hip of complexity to the way Red Hat does business (and development) but I'm now certain that underlying technology is finally in a good shape to start something like this.

Re:Same Old, Same Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21918146)

So, let's see:
core product (RHEL subscriptions) = profit base
JBoss = profit potential
Support = ??
Consulting = ??

These would be the core strengths right?

I think this new CEO might have a good idea. Give him a chance to prove it. Personally, I think more active selling to Corporate America might be in order. Maybe create more turnkey end-to-end business systems using and supported by RedHat would be good money makers. JBoss seems to be a good way to possibly realize a cross-platform and seamless business system - at least at the RAD level. Build a business system on any OS and then sell them on Linux as an available target that would be trivial to migrate to.

Gonna be an interesting future.
Codifex posting as AC

I like the guy. (2, Interesting)

alexborges (313924) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916338)

I think this guy is a hands-on bussiness guy that "gets" open source. Im not sure I want to believe he is a "believer", but he plays it well enough to think that he "gets" what we, the community, want.

He says that redhat should be making about 8 times more money than it does now. I agree with him. The spectacular growth linux as a plataform has enjoyed is spread out between many other distros, and thus the next step is convincing some in other linux platform that the redhat value proposition is a better way to go. If I was him, for example, id introduce a discount and some free consulting if you're migrating from competing platforms.

Remember, subscription is a long term bussiness. You dont get your wealth of money until time passes and youre able to amortize the initial costs of getting your distro to the customer and deploying a sales network, so, as a bussiness model, I think redhat and suse can ONLY grow in revenue (I love this FOSS thingie, it will make many of us a decent living doing what we love).

Now, i really know certain stuff that goes on inside redhat (im not directly related to them, but lets say they've been my clients at some point in time). This is a very cost-effective operation, totally commited to increasing revenue in every little single aspect of it. The last CEO was very effective in conveying a corporate philosophy that saves and saves and saves money and resources, and i think it has resulted in supperb products and services, from my POV, the best in the industry; and not in huge salaries for executives and the kind of corporate shit that kills good companies.

I wish the best to redhat with this new guy they have, I think he should be focusing in providing a better and better positioning for the redhat brand in the IT support and services industry; and to leverage the potential of the Red Hat Exchange idea. If they hit it with that one, they'll grow fourfold in less than two years, mark my words.

where does Red Hat need to start? (0, Flamebait)

alizard (107678) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919952)

There's a reason why the popular distros are Debian based. Apt just plain works better than rpm. It handles dependency management far better, and if a repository is down, installers like apt-get based on apt note that the repo is down and keep right on going. I went from FC6 to Debian Etch a year ago, and installation has worked so much better since then that my main regret about Debian is that I didn't do it right to begin with and start my Linux experience with it.

SuSE YaST works better than yum for software installation because of some elaborate hacks. I see it as a clever, impressive way of avoiding the basic problem.

A year or so ago, RH promised to fix rpm to make it as useful as apt. If Red Hat wants to take over the Linux world, either making rpm as good as apt or switching its package management over to apt is where they should start. A good package management environment would probably save Red Hat enough money to allow them to break even within a year on their investment even if it doesn't increase their sales.

Given a choice, I'd rather see them fix rpm. Software monocultures make me nervous, and a better rpm would probably make conversions via Debian alien work better on this box.

Re:where does Red Hat need to start? (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 6 years ago | (#21920832)

actually, you don't want to change the rpm, you want to have better tools around it - which is exactly the direction that is taking place.
suse broke things some time ago heavily, then somewhat fixed it with their new zypper libs.
redhat is improving things with yum.
and then there are other package managers that do quite a good job - for example, smart.

A question for the CEO... (1, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916420)

I just wanted to know whether he'd switch Redhat to apt and .deb in the near future, and whether he sees a significant role for KDE in Redhat's core business plans. In my opinion, Redhat should switch to apt and KDE.

Re:A question for the CEO... (1)

mwilliamson (672411) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916492)

Are apt repos easier to maintain than yum repos?

Re:A question for the CEO... (2, Informative)

quintesse (654840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916658)

No, actually it's the other way around, that's why all 3rd party RedHat/Fedora repositories have already switched to the yum format years ago.

Re:A question for the CEO... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21918778)

Hahahahhhahhaahaha -5 clueless :D

Oh! Now I see! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21917072)

Are apt repos easier to maintain than yum repos?

Silly me. I thought that a package manager was supposed to make managing the packages on the system easier. Specifically, I thought, it was supposed to make installing and removing packages easy. From your post, I surmise that I misunderstood the primary function of the package management system.

So, it's purpose is to make management of the repositories easier, is it? Now I see the problem!

Re:A question for the CEO... (4, Informative)

Pros_n_Cons (535669) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916980)

I just wanted to know whether he'd switch Redhat to apt and .deb in the near future

Why would he do that? RPM has many more features, more of an industry standard, etc and yum has just as many features as apt including some apt doesn't have. There is a yum is faster and uses cache just like apt and even has plugins like fast mirror. A yum update takes me 3 seconds across several different repositories. like adobe, livna, updates and kernel mods so the speed is not a problem either like 90% of other distro users still believe.
I really hope that people get with the new decade and see RPM's are just fine since 10 years ago when you tried installing gimp.suse.rpm on a redhat box.

Re:A question for the CEO... (2, Insightful)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21917416)

I just wanted to know whether he'd switch Redhat to apt and .deb in the near future, and whether he sees a significant role for KDE in Redhat's core business plans. In my opinion, Redhat should switch to apt and KDE.
He probably will not do anything of the kind. CEO stands for Chief Executive Officer, not Choosing Engineering Officer. The sort of decisions you mention are technological decisions (yes, even the KDE one). He makes decisions like "aim our products at a more accessible market" then gets other people to come up with various ideas as to how to achieve that aim. CEO's are there to give a company direction not choose which technology to use to solve a particular problem.

Not that this guy would be unable to, but he probably has far better things to do with his time that cannot be done by others underneath him.

In response to your comment about KDE there is a very good reason that RedHat use Gnome by default (IMHO): It is more like windows.

The problem with KDE is that the people who design the interface refuse to acknowledge that Windows is what everyone is used to and you need to make the transition away from that as easy as possible. Gnome has certain key features (like cut and paste) that are as close to the windows functionality as possible.

Since Redhat want to gain new customers they need to make their solutions look as familiar as possible to people coming from windows.

In regard to your point about apt I can really comment since I have never used it. The last time I used RPM though it put me off using Redhat for any of my own machines again so maybe you have a point.

Re:A question for the CEO... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21918640)

Do you know that a fish starts rotting at the head? Or do you know that if Redhat adopted KDE, the CEO (the Chief Executive Officer) would be the first person to get the "heat" from inquisitive minds? Have you been under a rock or something?

Re:A question for the CEO... (4, Informative)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919750)

In response to your comment about KDE there is a very good reason that RedHat use Gnome by default (IMHO): It is more like windows.

The problem with KDE is that the people who design the interface refuse to acknowledge that Windows is what everyone is used to and you need to make the transition away from that as easy as possible. Gnome has certain key features (like cut and paste) that are as close to the windows functionality as possible.

You have it exactly backwards. GNOME's user interface has become more and more like Mac OS X in several important ways, like the file chooser dialog, spatial file manager, program menu at the top of the screen, etc. etc. while KDE emulates Windows in just about every way (except it adds a bunch of features Windows doesn't have).

And where on earth did you get the mistaken idea that KDE does not support Windows-style cut and paste? It always has.

No, the real reason GNOME is dominant in business-oriented distributions is GTK's more liberal licensing: LGPL instead of Qt's GPL/commercial dual licensing. That means you can make a GTK/GNOME-based commercial, closed-source product without having to buy a license from the GUI toolkit's maker. With Qt and hence with KDE, that is not possible.

Re:A question for the CEO... (2)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21920218)

No, the real reason GNOME is dominant in business-oriented distributions is GTK's more liberal licensing: LGPL instead of Qt's GPL/commercial dual licensing. That means you can make a GTK/GNOME-based commercial, closed-source product without having to buy a license from the GUI toolkit's maker. With Qt and hence with KDE, that is not possible.

That is correct. However it isn't just commercial licenses that have a problem, it is any non-approved FOSS license. Trolltech accept quite a lot of them, but not all (witness recent GPL3 issues with Samba). Whereas GNOME sees the desktop as a foundation, just like the Linux kernel - you can run whatever you want on it. Only if you change the foundation do you need to comply with its license.

The other important reason is that GNOME has a regular, consistent release schedule - every 6 months. KDE, on the other hand, is more erratic, and the KDE 4 switch is a good example. Ubuntu can't make its next KDE release a Long Term Service one, which would have 3 years of support, because KDE isn't allowing that: KDE 4 is too new, and KDE 3 won't be supported by KDE devs for long enough (they are all focusing on KDE 4 now, unsurprisingly).

Since both GTK/GNOME and Qt/KDE are excellent platforms, distros have a choice between them, and consequently all major ones have gone GNOME.

Re:A question for the CEO... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21918022)

Does .deb support multi-architecture systems yet? (e.g. i386 and x86_64 packages installed on the same box) Without that support, switching to .deb is a step backwards toward a less mature packaging system.

Re:A question for the CEO... (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21921274)

Redhat's core business means Enterprise, large scale installations, racing with AIX/Z OS on Mainframes.

I don't think they are actually caring to race with Ubuntu or any easy desktop Linux. RPM is very widely used for Business kinds of things. I am not saying apt or deb are desktop things of course. I am saying Redhat cares about what their core business wants. It seems they want RPM for some reason.

PS: I was moderator until I replied to one comment, I had no clue which genius marked you as "offtopic". It seems newbie Slashdotters think this is "digg" and marking as "offtopic" means burying as "I don't agree" or something.

Great News! (3, Insightful)

filbranden (1168407) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916442)

Great News! I hope this guy does as much as he speaks!

Red Hat is a great company, has very good products, but still has to enhance its support. Also, with Ubuntu getting market share on desktops, and SuSE trying to grab some piece of the servers pie (although I don't think they will after the Microsoft deal), Red Hat needs someone like him to lead it so that it keeps its leadership.

I wish well to Mr. Whitehurst and sincerelly hope he can make Red Hat grow as much as he plans to!

ogg on ipod indeed possible! (3, Informative)

mwilliamson (672411) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916450)

Hey Jim, you can play ogg vorbis on an Ipod, so fear not. You just need to replace its built-in O/S with Linux first. Rockbox [rockbox.org] makes this possible, and easy to do. http://www.linuxjournal.com/node/1005957 [linuxjournal.com]

Re:ogg on ipod indeed possible! (4, Informative)

Neil Hodges (960909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916522)

Umm, RockBox isn't Linux. It does share some code with iPL, but it isn't a Linux derivative itself, though it does give the iPod the ability to play more formats than Apple does. Unfortunately, RockBox doesn't run on the 6G iPod Classic, 2G or later Nano, nor the iPod Touch. I got the 5G Video after the 6G was released, and on clearance from the somewhat-local Apple Store.

Re:ogg on ipod indeed possible! (3, Insightful)

allcar (1111567) | more than 6 years ago | (#21917780)

But his point is still sound. He won't buy an iPod, because Apple are not supporting Ogg Vorbis. Just because you can replace the firmware does not change this. Apple still get the money from you.

Re:ogg on ipod indeed possible! (2, Informative)

bot24 (771104) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916570)

Rockbox does play Ogg Vorbis(and Speex) but is not Linux. There is iPod Linux if you really want Linux on your iPod.

Wallet vote (5, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21918382)

His refusal to buy iPod has also to do with that stuff called "vote-with-your-wallet" that /.ers are often talking about.

Yes, by buy an iPod and replacing the firmware with Rockbox he *could* get OGG/Vorbis to play on his iPod.
*BUT*, by doing so, he would be giving money and thus encouraging a company that refuses to support OGG/Vorbis out of the box and that is known to actively discorage homebrew hacking of their hardware (see iPhone).

He would be better giving his money to a company that does openly support OGG/Vorbis (Samsung or the countless no-name asian USB stick/media players) or at least a company that publicly encourage 3rd party developers and 3rd party media codecs. ...On the other hand, at least the iPod isn't some PlaysForSure crap...

Rockbox doesn't work with newer iPods (1)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 6 years ago | (#21918922)

I got an iPod nano 2nd generation when I bought my macbook, and I would really like to put rockbox on it because I have a lot of songs in vorbis format. Unfortunately Apple started encrypting their firmware in so that people can't easily replace them. I believe the same thing is true with most of the new iPods, not just the nanos, so be sure to check the rockbox site to make sure it's compatible before buying an iPod if you're counting on the vorbis compatibility.

Re:Rockbox doesn't work with newer iPods (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21921202)

I got an iPod nano 2nd generation when I bought my macbook, and I would really like to put rockbox on it because I have a lot of songs in vorbis format. Unfortunately Apple started encrypting their firmware in so that people can't easily replace them. I believe the same thing is true with most of the new iPods, not just the nanos, so be sure to check the rockbox site to make sure it's compatible before buying an iPod if you're counting on the vorbis compatibility.

If you like Ogg, why don't you sell iPod 2nd generation on eBay by reason of "It doesn't play my favorite format", buy a player which can play natively instead of still using iPod and hacking its firmware?

I keep asking same question to iPhone people too. If you are in need of 3rd party software, why did you buy iPhone at first place? Symbian, WinCE, Linux based smart phones can run 3rd party software down to antivirus/antispam deep level running stuff.

If they don't enable ogg while everything is open and free to implement, they are sending a message. It is up to you and others to respond to that message by not buying it. I use a Quad G5 Mac and various other Macs at home, I have never, ever thought of buying an "iPod" or "iPhone". If there were more people carrying same attitude, things would be different.

Re:ogg on ipod indeed possible! (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 6 years ago | (#21921232)

Their page says:

Apple: 1st through 5.5th generation iPod, iPod Mini and 1st generation iPod Nano
(not the Shuffle, 2nd/3rd gen Nano, Classic or Touch)

So - only really old iPods are supported, right?

Red Hat transposed spells HATRED (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21916472)

Red is the color of blood and of anger.

Focusing on core business... (5, Funny)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916480)


    Isn't their core business providing SRPMS to CentOS?

CentOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21916512)

Lets hope he embraces and extends an olive branch to the CentOS [centos.org] folks for their contributions.

Re:CentOS (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916780)

Ehem.... Contributions? Care to name a few of those?

I love CentOS as much as the next guy, but lets face it, their job is to compile srpms giving a clone of RHEL. They do it well, but thats hardly a "contribution" to anything.

Re:CentOS (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21917712)

Agreed. Leaching is a one-way street.

Re:CentOS (5, Insightful)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | more than 6 years ago | (#21917792)

I love CentOS as much as the next guy, but lets face it, their job is to compile srpms giving a clone of RHEL. They do it well, but thats hardly a "contribution" to anything.

It's a contribution to Redhat. When people who've been using CentOS at home or for development want support at work, which distro do you think they'll buy support for? It's also a contribution to the community, because they explicitly make sure all the GPL code stays available and compilable. I wouldn't doubt if they find and report (and probably fix) bugs as well.

Re:CentOS (1)

QuasiEvil (74356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919998)

Agreed - I run CentOS everywhere on my personal and non-production work stuff. Part of corporate policy for putting servers on our production floor, however, is that the OS must have a support contract. (Don't debate the wisdom of the policy - I think it's pretty bogus in a lot of cases, too, but there's no way around it - I've tried.) Gee, who am I going to pick? In the next six months, my group alone will spend some $12k with RH for support services.

Plus, all of the CentOS users running on such a wide variety of hardware only speeds up the bug-finding process.

Re:CentOS (1)

imemyself (757318) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919182)

The CentOS people have added some RPM's in their centosplus repository with newer version of some of the popular software on it. For CentOS 4, they have PHP 5.1, PostgreSQL 8.1, MySQL 5, and some kernels with support for other file systems (like XFS/ReiserFS I think, though I've not used them). RHEL 4 comes with PHP and MySQL 4.something, and PostgreSQL 7. That makes it easier for people running CentOS (or RHEL - though RedHat obviously wouldn't support it) to run more modern versions of a few popular applications. Its not exactly a cure for cancer type contribution, but it is certainly helpful to many people (including myself).

Here's a link: http://mirror.centos.org/centos/4/centosplus/i386/RPMS/ [centos.org]

A suggestion for the new CEO... (0, Troll)

Oxide (92607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916520)

Enough of this Fedora crap..... Bring back Redhat Linux

Re:A suggestion for the new CEO... (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 6 years ago | (#21918944)

It's called a "Business Decision". If all the half-baked servers now running CentOS had been running Red Hat, that could have a negative impact on their image, and thus, their sales. OTOH, if you're paying through the nose for your RH license, you're gonna make damned sure that that money isn't wasted.

For most needs, CentOS or Fedora should be fine.

it still comes down to software. (3, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916612)

The software on Linux is good, but not as good as the stuff you pay for. What he should do is cozy up to Adobe and get them to port the Creative Suite over to Linux, and then sell Adobe CS(4 or 5 or whatever) on a dedicated box running RedHat Linux.

They'd all make a fortune.

And it would give Linux the software it so desperately needs to survive.

RS

Re:it still comes down to software. (5, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | more than 6 years ago | (#21917398)

Gosh, what is it with people that think linux needs this or that to "survive". Linux is by far the most ported OS of all time, it works everywere in embeded devices, probably in your wifi router, probably in your home isdn/cable/ADSL router.

It powers google, a good chunk of yahoo and im pretty sure some good part of the online infrastructure at microsoft, ibm, hp and many other non-it related companies.

Linux is NEVER going to die, with or without adobe on board. Adobe is not porting due to they feeling its not worth it. But FOSS may very well give them a run for their money. Weve done it before, we will do it again and, when the time comes that Adobe sees a market for linux, they may very well end up being the underdog in our ecosystem due to them not starting to compete earlyer with equivalent foss solutions.

Now. Is Linux going to Conquer The World? I dunno. I hope it does.

Re:it still comes down to software. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919770)

OK, granted. But we should still get Adobe to port their apps to Linux, so *Adobe* can survive. Linux is steamrolling everybody, but please don't make me use Gimp and Inkscape any more. I'd rather poke my eyes out with my Wacom stylus.

Re:it still comes down to software. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21920334)

Amiga doesn't die either, thought it doesn't help much ...

Exactly what have "we" (or "you") done? Made a UNIX environment thru GNU and Linux? Well, at the rate that has happened I guess Gimp may be comparable to Photoshop in 10-15 years, or 15-20 years for a whole new suite. Thought then the Adobe suit contains much more than Photoshop.

I hope it doesn't, anything conquering the world will be bad, I want alternatives and new ideas. Personally I'd rather see a completely new "multimedia OS" than an old UNIX clone.

Re:it still comes down to software. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21917654)

Creative Suite on Linux would make it a very, very attractive platform for me.

Unfortunately, Adobe is unlikely to ever go this route because they already understand that most people who use their software steal it, and I suppose they just don't feel that it would be a good investment for them to port their software to an operating system whose users (for various reasons, some moral/philosophical/whatever and others... not so much) are not accustomed to paying for software of any kind.

Kind of a shame, so in the mean time I'll just be using Macs - computers made by a company that was able to force Adobe's hand. Do you really think they wanted to write their applications over for OS X?

Do you really think they wanted to write them over to run on the new Intel processors?

Certainly not - but Adobe knows where their bread is buttered, and it's creative professionals who almost uniformly use Macs.

Re:it still comes down to software. (3, Insightful)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21918370)

What he should do is cozy up to Adobe and get them to port the Creative Suite over to Linux, and then sell Adobe CS(4 or 5 or whatever) on a dedicated box running RedHat Linux
I can understand not taking the time to read the article before posting, but did you even bother to read the summary your responding to?

"He suggests that taking proprietary shortcuts is a fundamentally wrong way to build a software business."

Its not likely that people are going to switch to linux because one popular proprietary application runs on linux, OSX, and Windows. They'll likely take the easiest route and stick with the status quo and purchase the Adobe software to run on their existing Windows/OSX box. Which means the effort required to get Adobe to port their apps to linux is pointless. If anything its a benefit to Adobe to port their apps if they want to sell them to people like me who are currently outside of their market possibilities because I refuse to run Windows or OSX, I use linux for my desktop.

I take his stance to be that if the open source apps on linux are not good enough then the correct solution is to put effort into the linux alternative apps, not take a short cut and try to get a proprietary vendor to port their closed source proprietary apps.

And given that the effort to do it the right way will be more difficult than giving in to short cuts, the pay offs would be bigger as well. If Red Hat can undercut the cost of a Windows/OSX system and Adobe apps for a development workstation by utilizing 100% non-proprietary open source applications then they will have a compelling reason for people to switch and consider Red Hat subscription services to support their platform choice.

Undercutting the massive profit margins on proprietary software is far more compelling than giving in to the same.

Re:it still comes down to software. (2, Insightful)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21920140)

I can understand not taking the time to read the article before posting, but did you even bother to read the summary your responding to?

You must be new here.

Re:it still comes down to software. (1)

zig007 (1097227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21920246)

Its not likely that people are going to switch to linux because one popular proprietary application runs on linux, OSX, and Windows.
I think you're completely wrong. I'd say it's THE application that would tip the scales for a whole bunch of desktop users who then would have no reason not to run Linux anymore. No, GIMP is not an option since learning that is much more expensive than keep using windows, also it is not the de facto standard(which Photoshop and Illustrator are).

Re:it still comes down to software. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21920358)

BS, a lot of people would be way more willing to run Linux if they could run their regular apps or games.

Re:it still comes down to software. (1)

jcob (6095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21921494)

Any widely used software or service used should be available as FOSS, free of patents and built on standards.

Highly specialized software is successful even if proprietary. Porting proprietary software to Linux brings new customers. Good examples might be Oracle Database or Maya. It might be a win-win situation for FOSS, hardware suppliers, customers and service providers. At least until Larry the Consolidator comes with some stupid ideas >:-/

Adobe on GNU/Linux might be benefit for all.

I guess Microsoft will never port MSOffice to GNU/Linux. It would lower users addiction to MSWindows OS and Microsoft dominant position will be under threat.

Re:it still comes down to software. (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21921364)

Adobe's core business/design users doesn't run Linux so they don't spend millions to convert their products to Linux OS. It has nothing to do with Linux being dead or something. The professionals paying that money to those suites and enterprise solutions either runs Windows or OS X.

A good example would be Adobe Premiere Pro. On OS X land, an AVI based video editor is a joke. Everything is Quicktime based. They have never cared to move Premiere Pro line to PowerPC OS X since they really knew everyone either runs Final Cut Pro or AVID and see Premiere as an amateur product.

When Intel Macs shipped, they released a Wine based Premiere Pro and it didn't even make news on most pro oriented sites. Can you think a Adobe sized company not being able to code Premiere for RISC based processors? Of course it wasn't the case. They knew nobody would care and they would end up a millions of dollars cost Premiere Pro.app in use by 1000 studios at most.

Of course there are Linux based things having huge prestige. For example "Da Vinci" colour correction system only exists on Irix and Linux but you won't be able to figure they run Linux. Unless he is a computer interested person, that Hollywood colour artist doesn't know too.

Redhat versus ubuntu - ubuntu wins. (0, Troll)

listen_to_blogs (1210278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916638)

Ubuntu's dapper and feisty distros are free and have better long term support than redhat's fedora. The keyword here is 'longterm'. listen_to_slashdot [blogbard.com]

Re:Redhat versus ubuntu - Red Hat wins. (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 6 years ago | (#21918976)

Come back in a decade and tell me how Ubuntu's growth compares to Red Hat's. Marketing campaigns don't butter the bread.

Re:Redhat versus ubuntu - Red Hat wins. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919890)

ten years? Ubuntu is taking a chunk out of Redhat in the here and now. when Redhat shafted me and all those who made redhat #1 by making their "free as in beer" distro totally different from what they sell, I left. As for CentOS, leaving free access to a third party who forever must lag behind (and can't duplicate all of) RedHat doesn't make for a unified community.

http://www.google.com/language_tools?hl=en (4, Insightful)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916652)

"I believe what you believe ... blah blah blah ... trust me, I'm good, not evil ... blah blah blah ... again, I believe what you believe ... we're great, but we should be 10x better ... blah blah blah ... you need to work harder, focus more, and buy our stuff .. blah blah blah".

If this is "News For Nerds" to you, then you've been living under a rock for the last 30+ years...

Blah, blah, blah? (2, Insightful)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919964)

He doesn't have to say "I believe what you believe... blah, blah, blah"; this man walks the walk.
from Can an airline exec run Red Hat? You'd be surprised [zdnet.com]

Whitehurst has a geek streak. On last night's earnings conference call Szulik noted:

As we went through the recruiting process, we did interview a number of people that I am sure are familiar to this audience listening from the technology industry and what we encountered, of course, was in many cases a lack of understanding of open source software development, a lack of understanding of our model. And as importantly for me, the open mindedness that would come to both the creation of new economic models and contemporary thinking as it relates to software development.

In my first meeting with Jim Whitehurst, we discussed the four Linux distributions that he was running on his home personal network. He was running Fedora Core 6 and Fedora Core 7 at home. He was running Slackware at home and he was an experienced software developer up until the time that he was at BCG (Boston Consulting Group). So we are getting a technically savvy executive who happens to have strong operational, financial, and strategic skills and it was in my view that in comparison to his peers that were finalists for the job, that he stood head and shoulders above, in light of all of the qualities that we were looking for in my successor.
Don't make assumptions about the suits the same way they make assumptions about us (the geeks).

He's got his corporate speak mixed up (4, Insightful)

joeflies (529536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916700)

"Red Hat should be doing $5 billion, not $500 million." - OK, sounds like he wants to grow the top line, which is an expansion of revenue. So how's he going to do it?

"It's a question of operational excellence and on focusing on its core businesses" - whoops, looks like his corporate speak backing statement is talking about cutting costs, not top line growth. You can make a company more profitable with these tasks, but it doesn't outline how you're going to make more money.

Re:He's got his corporate speak mixed up (4, Insightful)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21916940)

There is no way in hell that you can get from $500M to $5B just by cutting costs unless of course, your cost base is totally messed up and by all accounts that is not true at RH.

RH will have to grow and improve its support as well as enlarging their product portfolio. Generic Linux Service growth will IMHO not get them much beyond the $1B mark.

I can only hope that the new CEO can fix the issues with JBOSS and that the lessons learned here can be taken forward so that future purchases don't suffer the same problems.

The thing about(IMHO) RH is that they really don't do the self promotion thing very well especially when compared to others in the Linux business.

Re:He's got his corporate speak mixed up (1)

VENONA (902751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21921478)

Well, he did mention making sure that the support organization was firing on all cylinders. He claims the OS/middleware market is $100 billion. So Red Hat has a half percent of it, and he thinks it should be more. I agree with him.

You're responding to some very selective quoting. The man also said, "We need to figure out what our "fair share" of each market should be and aggressively go after it. We need to make sure we nail the markets we're already in. I'm not saying we won't go broader, but we really need to ensure we're building our presence in our core markets and technologies. Perhaps we need to set our ambitions a bit higher."

There are other places they could go in the application server stack. With the Oracle relationship having tilted over into 'hostile' anyway, I'd like to see them bring back the Red Hat Database. That would leave, what, load ballancers, perhaps, to give them a soup-to-nuts stack?

I believe they also do a significant business in the telecom space. Perhaps there are additional opportunities there as well. I'm only guessing, having never worked in that industry.

I'm in complete agree with you about Red Hat not doing self promotion well, BTW. They could generate a fair amount of good will, which often leads to revenues, if they got better at that one thing. Plus, it would be handy to to have a summary page page to link to, next time someone moans about Red Hat being an Evil Corporation here on Slashdot. ;) So there's a win for everyone.

Re:He's got his corporate speak mixed up (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919004)

Growing nine times more revenue can never come from cutting costs. Cutting costs just leaves a bigger slice of the $500 million to divide.

Re:He's got his corporate speak mixed up (1)

DoeJane (1118621) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919082)

So how's he going to do it?

Bring back the off-the-shelf distro. Red Hat 9 was one of the first distros mere mortal's could install. No jerking around with downloads and ISO images. No trick questions. No trying to partition a hard drive. It just worked. Fedora was a step backward and Novell filled the vacuum. Any idea how much they make on boxed DVD's? Microsoft very well knows. Red Hat should also bundle a distro with a couple empty hard disk docks for those that don't want to quit Windows cold-turkey...

Doesn't sound mixed up to me: (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919396)

He picked three things (at Delta: safe, clean, on-time), put a feedback loop on them, and talks about them this way:

Each of these things costs money because it requires people to make it happen. Were these decisions therefore wrong by Wall Street standards? No, because the customer is happy and therefore the customer spends more money with Delta.

That doesn't sound like happy-happy where's-my-axe blather to me.

Re:He's got his corporate speak mixed up (1)

Thanatos69 (993924) | more than 6 years ago | (#21920436)

"Red Hat should be doing $5 billion, not $500 million."


Not really in relation to your comment but, WOW. A CEO who thinks their company should be making more, that's newsworthy. He must have beat out a couple of the others applying for the job who thought 500M was okay.

I do agree with your comment though, how is he going to do it? Saying and doing are two completely different things. Talk is cheap.

Diggin' Redhat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21916752)

As someone whose job involves deploying Redhat on s390 systems, I hope they put some more effort into working with vendors for our platform. It's not uncommon to find something supported on SUSE but not on Redhat (even though it works on both, it still needs to be certified to make through the corporate red tape).

Bjarne Stroustrup is right (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21917018)

I am with Bjarne on this one.
Bjarne Stroustrup, creator of the C++ programming language, claims that C++ is experiencing a revival and
that there is a backlash against newer programming languages such as Java and C#. "C++ is bigger than ever.
There are more than three million C++ programmers. Everywhere I look there has been an uprising
- more and more projects are using C++. A lot of teaching was going to Java, but more are teaching C++ again.
There has been a backlash.", said Stroustrup.

who gives a fuck? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21917554)

linux is dead in the water today. there is no innovation and no one really cares anymore. only fanbois are ramping up the talk about it.

TRUTH (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21917996)

Linux is gone - that website where you could download the kernel codes and files is gone and there are no businesses using linux. it's over.

Jboss is insanely over priced. (3, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21917718)

I looked into buying the RH supported version of JBoss recently. The LOWEST priced supported version is $2000 per year! I'm not exactly sure what market RH is going for here, maybe the Fortune 500 and large institutions, but it sure as hell isn't me.

I'll stick with the unsupported free version, thanks. I just can't see getting $2000/year value for just some extra support I'll likely never use anyway.

Re:Jboss is insanely over priced. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919390)


I looked into buying the RH supported version of JBoss recently. The LOWEST priced supported version is $2000 per year! I'm not exactly sure what market RH is going for here, maybe the Fortune 500 and large institutions, but it sure as hell isn't me.

I'll stick with the unsupported free version, thanks. I just can't see getting $2000/year value for just some extra support I'll likely never use anyway.


And that pretty much sums up the dilemna of open source.

$2000 per year for some kind of basic
support for an application server is *cheap*.
Especially when you take into account that
the open source software (JBoss in this case)
has little or no revenue from software sales, and thus
the support revenue has to cover both
the development cost and the cost of support.
Red Hat is a company, which has paid employees.
Red Hat is not somebody doing something in their
spare time just for the fun of it.

Yes, they have to charge you, to something
like the tune of $400 per hour. That, of course,
is very disgusting, and much too expensive, for somebody who is
doing something in their spare time just for the fun of it.

Thomas

core business (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21917824)

And wanting to increase sales to 5b means no more fedora, or most anything else they cant charge for.

Re:core business (3, Insightful)

Klaruz (734) | more than 6 years ago | (#21918472)

Which is downright idiotic. When it was free, Redhat was EVERYWHERE. Almost the instant they stopped putting isos out, that changed. Sure, you have fedora, but its such a moving target you can't really use it on sort of stable system. I hope that by focusing on their core business, which is distributing and supporting open source software, they'll see the light and start to ship a free enterprise level distro again. Yes, I use CentOS, but that doesn't really contribute to the Redhat name, or provide a path for them to provide support in exchange for money when its needed.

He should be happy with what he has (0, Troll)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21919482)

"And he believes Red Hat should be doing $5 billion, not $500 million."

Any company would be glad to be doing $500 million when the core R&D for their product was done for free by AT&T and the core implementation was done for free by unpaid idealists. How much money would they be making if they had to pay for all that work?

tick tock! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21919730)

countdown to new CEO saying "I love Microsoft!" and signing a deal?

Re:tick tock! (2, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21921238)

countdown to new CEO saying "I love Microsoft!" and signing a deal?
Unlike Novell and Suse, Redhat is in very good financial shape. They don't need to sign any deal or hire MS .NET emulator coder trojan people.
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