Novell insists it's winning the Linux wars

Novell insists it's winning the Linux wars

Summary: The reason why we’ve got to make it a commercial success is that’s the money that feeds back into the community that allows us to go hire the next ten developers that go back into the community.

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Ron Hovsepian, CEO of NovellIn the third of a series of interviews by Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin, Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian (right) insisted his company is not being hurt by its association with Microsoft. "Novell grew 200% in the SUSE Linux marketplace year-over-year from an invoicing perspective," he said. The overall market is growing at 22% according to IDC," and "we’re taking some market share from our competitors. "The key to that success has been better Windows co-existance, he insisted. "The realities of a customer’s world is that they’re going to live with both for a long time in our lifetime," and the Microsoft relationship helps with that. Hovsepian said Novell has "doubled down" on Mono, the .Net implementation led by Miguel de Icaza which today was renamed Duo in (of all places) Madagascar. Jim Zemlin, CEO of the Linux Foundation(That's Jim Zemlin to the left. Hi, Jim.) Hovsepian talked a lot about "customer wins" -- 20,000 desktops at PSA Peugeot, the State Electronics Agency in Tamil Nadu with 30,000, Credit Suisse, Nationwide and CVS -- as justifying the strategy. Again and again, Hovsepian went back to the idea of the mixed environment. "We have to understand that the customer’s probably going to have a few stacks of software sitting there that aren’t ours" and a "religious approach" won't work. We’ve got to make that marriage occur out in the market with the community and the customers. If not, we’ll have a great community success and Linux will go down as one of the greatest community innovations, but it may be a marginal commercial success. "The reason why we’ve got to make it a commercial success is that’s the money that feeds back into the community that allows us to go hire the next ten developers that go back into the community." Rather than focusing on Microsoft, Zemlin pointed Hovsepian to Sun and Open Solaris, where his comments were unusually pointed. "I believe OpenSolaris has had about 60,000 downloads last time I looked," he said. "When you look at Linux downloads just last year [there were] over two million of just SUSE."Hovsepian also attacked the OpenSolaris license directly. "I would suggest to the customers and to the community, be careful. The way they’ve written their contract as soon as you look at it, you can’t go back and look at Linux. "It’s a very dangerous contract from my perspective for someone who wants to work on Linux." Hovsepian called OpenSolaris a "stalking horse" aimed at reducing Solaris erosion, then compared Linux to Secretariat, riding around the rails to victory. (Historical note: the horse that lost all 1973 Triple Crown races to Secretariat was named Sham.

Asked where he expects Linux to grow fastest, Hovsepian mentioned cloud computing, virtualization, and network fabrics, then focused on embedded applications Steve Balllmer and Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian "I think the embedded Linux space is going to take off like a rocket" with niche companies developing in telco, financial services, and manufacturing," he said. He added that "Core open source applications on a J2EE framework, I think there’s a lot of business opportunity there. "If I was an investor again I would be looking closely at those companies that serve noncompetitive commercial market segments where I could share" data, like insurance companies or retailers, and the public sector "where many different countries or states could share information and share application development." If you see Michael Chertoff sporting a button with a Linux penguin on it, you read it here first.

Topics: Linux, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

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11 comments
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  • And this is differnent .. how?

    [i]?I would suggest to the customers and to the community, be careful. The way they?ve written their contract as soon as you look at it, you can?t go back and look at Linux.

    ?It?s a very dangerous contract from my perspective for someone who wants to work on Linux.?[/i]

    Pretty much the same problem that Novell's developers have with anything from Novell -- there's no guarantee that they can legally use anything that Novell has imported from Microsoft.

    Even Microsoft has reserved the right to sue users of Mono^H^H^H^HDuo -- great move there, Miguel.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • Nobody is safe...

      ...not even Novell.

      Sure Novell gets MS patent 'protection' for their own little sand box but that's only a five-year deal.

      Just enough time to try and proliferate Mono/Moonlight and then everyone, including Novell are fair game for MS' legal sharks.

      Given two or three bad quarters does anyone think MS won't take advantage of their set-up (thanks Ron) of the community?
      Tim Patterson
  • Ron, I'll see your Solaris FUD, and raise you some MONO FUD.

    I saw that internally inside Microsoft many times when I was told to stay away from supporting Mono in public. They reserve the right to sue - Robert Scoble


    Be careful in that glass house Ron, ;-) .
    Sysadm1n
  • Complain, rant, change the GPL

    Doesn't matter, users want interoprability and Novell/Microsoft are delivering it. Nuff said...
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • No, not "nuff said" No_Ax ...

      ... users want a choice and they want the barriers of single vendor lock-in removed. Interoperability is what standards are for. Microsoft cannot wave the interoperable flag as though it's some great idea that they are helping with - it has been their business for goodness knows how many years to ensure that things are non-interoperable.

      The only reason they are making these noises now is because otherwise they would have been left as a little lone island as customers ripped and replaced the expensive junk that they provide, and went wholesale FOSS instead.

      A typical Microsoft-ism : Steal all of the available food for the city, then go around showing off what a kind and generous company they are as they dish out crumbs to those who can afford them at the prices Microsoft dictate.

      No_Ax, given the above scenario you'd buy any old story as to why the food was even unavailable, and you'd be there cheering on the sidelines in *belief* that they are saving the starving and so should be justly rewarded. Get a clue kid.
      mark@...
  • MS goal -to kill 'cancer' Look at Novell & guess how he's gonna do it? (NT)

    (NT)
    Just_true
    • Microsoft, Apple, Novell

      Oh look, three American corporations running around and showing off.
      mark@...
      • The corp. names are different, but not the boss. He's too shy to show..(NT)

        (NT)
        Just_true
  • RE: Novell insists it's winning the Linux wars

    So did you actually read the Mono/Duo article before blogging it? It should only have taken the first paragraph to realize its an April Fools article. I realize you're a blogger and not a journalist, but you could at least _try_ to have some credibility.
    really?
    • He also didn't consider Ubuntu

      Odd that.
      zkiwi
  • MONO now Duo?

    It's an April Fools joke, folks.
    GreyGeek