SuSE takeover 'pushed customers to Debian'

CeBIT: The word in Hannover is that some German government agencies have switched their allegiance away from SuSE Linux, because following Novell's takeover it is no longer a German company
Written by Ingrid Marson, Contributor

A German company that provides support for Debian, the free Linux distribution, has claimed that Novell's takeover of SuSE Linux has been good for Debian-related business.

Noèl Köthe, a Debian developer and a consultant at Debian support firm Credativ, said at CeBIT on Friday that his German-based company experienced a surge of interest in its Debian support offering after Novell completed its takeover of SuSE Linux in 2004.

Köthe claimed that some German government agencies decided to switch to Debian and use local support companies as SuSE was no longer a German company.

Köthe was unable to say how many government agencies had made the switch, but claimed that between 30 and 40 organisations in total have moved from SuSE Linux to Debian in the last year.

Novell didn't confirm or deny Köthe's claims, but insisted that its acquisition has helped SuSE Linux to reach more public sector customers around Europe.

"Novell has a strong heritage in the enterprise computing market and has a large number of public sector customers," said a Novell spokesperson. "The acquisition has meant that SuSE Linux has been able to utilise the reach and resources of Novell to reach an even broader public sector audience, such as Dundee City Council, Central Scotland Police, Higher Court of Düsseldorf and City of Bergen."

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