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linux confusion

A bunch of Linux-related news has hit the ... err... "newsstands" recently. Novell announced they would acquire SUSE for 210 million. Predictably, this generated a lots of comments, including this great (if brief) analysis from Charles Cooper over at A less-noticed element of the Novell announcement was that IBM is buying into Novell as well, getting about 5% of the stock. This sounded strange to me at first, but IBM is clearly covering their bases. Now they have "deep" alliances with both Red Hat and Novell, which are by now the two most prominent Linux "vendors". Since IBM is so intertwined with the Linux thing, this makes some sense. But I still wonder exactly what it means. After all, you don't sell 5% of the company just for money if you have revenue streams, etc (or do you?).

Red Hat, on the other hand, has made some strategic changes to their product line that are still confusing to me. First, they are discontinuing the Red Hat professional line (support of any kind for RH9 ends in April next year). Focus is now profitability, which they go after with their Enterprise Edition. But does this mean they killed the "workstation"-type product? Apparently not. There's a new RH "for hobbyists", down the pipeline. I don't get it. Why announce that they would kill RH9 and then say they'd release another one? What exactly is the difference between the current "workstation" version and the new one that's coming up? Faster changes? Fees? Maybe I'm missing something, or maybe this will become clear in the next few months. In the meantime, I'm already wondering if I will have to go back to the days of chasing around the net for updates and patches to the version of Red Hat 9 I already have installed.

Posted by diego on November 6, 2003 at 11:19 AM

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