CyberTech Rambler

November 28, 2008

Barbarians might one day turn out at the gate, but not today

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 2:55 pm

Matt Asay quoted Mark Murphy saying that RedHat stock is undervalued. Most interestingly I think, is Murphy’s assertion (which Matt Assay agress) that Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux failed to make a dent in RedHat’s Linux offering. This is not really surprising. Oracle, after all, is a database business. Linux is just a “side line” and no business can trust his company’s main operating system to someone who support it as a side business. Moreover, according to Murphy, Oracle’s support is really bad, even for those minority of people who converted.

This Unbreakable Linux thing may be Oracle way of trying to capitalize on its Linux expertise, but Larry Ellison’s approach leave a bad taste in the mouth, and not a good way to start a business. I never thought Oracle qualifies as the barbarians at the gate for RedHat. I think we got the confirmation today.

Novell, however, fancy itself as the next barbarian. It recently launched a support program to entice business away from RedHat. Compared to Oracle, Novell’s is a more credible barbarian. Its main business is SuSE and have more experience than Oracle in supporting Linux.

Novell might one day be the barbarian. Right now, I don’t know. Linux-to-linux migration is easier than say Windows to Linux or Unix to Linux migration. For business, it is not only the question of support for Linux, the operating system, but support for the critical applications. It is kinda a chicken-and-egg problem: Fewer vendor support means fewer customers and the spiral continues.

As for RedHat, it cannot let its guard down. If any, it shows that it is a painted target. One thing Red Hat has earned is the right to claim “I’ve arrived” on the Operating System scene. If there is nothing to plunder, the barbrians (and their wanna be) would not bother to make the effort to get to it’s gate.

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