Enterprise Linux Log

Nov 25 2008   11:54PM GMT

Novell hurts itself with Red Hat swipe

Don Rosenburg Profile: Dkr

In an obvious swipe at its larger rival, Waltham, Mass.-based Novell Inc. crowed this week that SUSE Linux Enterprise has surpassed all other Linux distros with 2,500 vendor-certified applications running on top of its operating system. If true, this would be quite astonishing since Raleigh, N.C.-based Red Hat Inc. has a far larger Linux market share.

Upon querying Novell’s PR agency, Andover, Mass.-based Pan Communications Inc. responded with a link to the Red Hat  Software Catalog which lists 2,166 certified software vendors, not applications, so Novell isn’t comparing apples to apples.

A Red Hat spokeswoman said, however, that there are 3,400 vendor applications certified to run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

This is silliness. I feel like a mom telling two toddlers to go back to their sandboxes. (Red Hat is not really at fault here since it didn’t rush forth with a counterpunch.)  I’m probably more fascinated than the competition between these two companies and their strategies than anyone else I know. But this little self-promotion was a waste of time. And Novell, with its carefully worded misleading statements, has a lot to lose: its credibility. Let’s declare the “I’m bigger than you are” nonsense all over. Let’s all get back to work.

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  • Ianrbruce80
    Thanks for the post. I want to clarify a couple of questions you raised. First, Novell based the announcement data on publicly available information for ALL commercial Linux vendors. Second, we only analyzed data for the MOST RECENT editions of products. We defined "recent editions" to be the last two commercial releases of any Linux distribution, compared against SUSE Linux Enterprise 9 and 10 from Novell. We did this because most customers only care about what certified applications are supported by the the most up-to-date version of an operating system. When we compared the most recent editions of SUSE Linux Enterprise to the most recent editions of all other commercial Linux distros, we came out on top. We relied on publicly available information, the same information customers would rely on. We did our analysis carefully and made sure not to confuse counting certified vendors vs applications. We stand by our analysis. Thanks again. Ian Bruce/Novell
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