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Re: Competing Robin Hood Linux

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Competing Robin Hood Linux
Date: Fri, 03 Nov 2006 19:15:09 +0100

Dan's having fun...
(Novell: We Surrender)

Microsoft's pact with Novell also cranks up the pressure on Red Hat.
Last week, that company came under a separate attack when database giant
Oracle  (nasdaq: ORCL -  news  -  people ) said it would start
distributing its own version of Linux--a free clone of Red Hat's
software. Oracle also intends to offer support to Red Hat customers for
less than half of what Red Hat charges.

Now, Red Hat must compete not only with Oracle but also with Microsoft,
which will be promoting Suse Linux and steering customers away from Red

Nevertheless, Red Hat's publicity department cheerily proclaimed that
the Oracle and Microsoft announcements represent a terrific turn of
events. "It's fantastic news. Two of the main tech companies decided to
get behind Linux within six days. If that's not validation, what is?"

Note to Red Hat: When companies start talking about Microsoft
"validating" their market, they're usually about to be validated out of

Same goes for ailing software makers that announce some triumphant pact
with Microsoft. These deals are like the Roach Motel. Companies go in
and never come out.

Think about this: Novell now has signed as its biggest reseller a
company that wants nothing more than to kill its product.

Microsoft has done this many times before, so often that Redmond has a
name for the technique: embrace, extend and exterminate. And yet people
keep doing these deals. Usually, it's weak, struggling, desperate
companies with declining market share and little hope of turning things
around. In other words, just like Novell.

On Thursday night, I asked Jeff Jaffe, Novell's chief technology
officer, if he could think of a company that had partnered with
Microsoft and done really well as a result. Which Microsoft alliance, I
asked him, would he cite as the model that he'd like to emulate?

His response: "I think this partnership is breaking new ground."

Um, right. Unfortunately, the new ground they're breaking is probably
Novell's gravesite.

He he.


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