Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 10th May 2007 01:53 UTC, submitted by editingwhiz
Red Hat Red Hat announced a new client product, Red Hat Global Desktop, at its annual Red Hat Summit tradeshow in San Diego. This move is designed, in part, to compete with Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 Desktop, which has achieved success in business desktop markets, and with Ubuntu 7.04, which will soon appear on Dell PCs. Some reporting about this can also be found at the company's magazine. Update: Elsewhere, talking security with Red Hat's Mark Cox.
Thread beginning with comment 239142
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Red Hat Don't Get the Desktop
by segedunum on Thu 10th May 2007 13:42 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

Red Hat just don't get the domain of the desktop. People have been trying to pretend for years that all of your applications and your desktop will be online and your local desktop won't matter - from Sun and Oracle's Network Computer, to Google apps to Red Hat's Global desktop, they've all been proved to be wrong. You may have a rich desktop with more online services integrated with it though, but you can't pretend everything will magically just appear online.

"Users, requirements and technologies have changed so dramatically over the past few years that the traditional one-size-fits-all desktop paradigm is simply exhausted."

People still use rich applications a huge amount, they still expect to be able to install off-the-shelf software and ISVs still expect to be able to develop that software. If you can't offer that, you're wasting your time.

Our strategy is to deliver technologies that are specifically appropriate to these varied constituents," Stevens continued.

Translation: we just can't deliver a desktop of the scale that's required, so we're going to try and target it at specific and probably non-existent niches.

"To us, the traditional desktop metaphor is dead, it's a dinosaur. We don't believe that recreating the Windows paradigm does anything to increase the productivity paradigm of any user.

Then you'll fail - again. People buy, install and use rich client software all the time and you need the supporting infrastructure in your desktop to do that. The actual advantage in getting away from Windows is getting away from Windows' licensing model of creating distinctions between machines across the network. If you want to run an application from here on there, then do it, without licensing issues. That's where the advantage comes from, but you can't skimp.

The new model has to be about the user, centered on activities and not just based on documents and applications."

If there are no applications there are no users.

This move is designed, in part, to compete with Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 Desktop, which has achieved some success in business desktop markets

Has it? The supposed Peugeot deal is dredged up every single time, but it is the only one in existence of any size Novell have ever been able to point to. Goodness knows what concessions they had to make to get it.

The RHEL Desktop 5 is meant for enterprises that need high levels of desktop security and comprehensive network-based management tools.

RHEL actually has management tools, and graphical ones at that?

...so trying to become an appendage of the current incumbent was "simply not an option. Many of those companies that have tried to do this are not around anymore. We would have bought Corel [Corel's Linux became the foundation for Xandros Linux] five years ago if that was the paradigm our customers wanted," Szulik continued.

Yet, it is what people want. Xandros still has graphical management tools you and your customers can only dream of, whether that's a management tool used locally using a networked management API to communicate, or run over some remote desktop protocol.

"The enterprises that we are talking to do not see the desktop of the future as being the same as the one that exists today," he said.

Well of course they said that. It doesn't mean they aren't going to want to develop software for it or buy off-the-shelf applications and install them though.

From eweek:

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2105246,00.asp

Customers will be able to download it and get a Red Hat Network subscription on the Web for it, which is what we feel is the distribution wave of the future anyway," he said.

Novell believes this as well, but in the mass, throwaway desktop world this is the past. No one wants to get a desktop and then pay a rolling monthly or annual fee for it. They'd rather pay a license and get their updates for nothing, even in enterprises. Paying for updates and support is something reserved for business and mission critical systems and servers.

Reply Score: 4

Lunitik Member since:
2005-08-07

People still use rich applications a huge amount, they still expect to be able to install off-the-shelf software and ISVs still expect to be able to develop that software. If you can't offer that, you're wasting your time.


That is true today, because that's what users are used to. I like the Shadowman article on the subject, it's analogy is Henry Ford's quote: "If I would have asked users what they wanted, they'd have asked for a better horse". People in general don't like change. For that reason, Online Desktop won't catch on for general desktops.

Translation: we just can't deliver a desktop of the scale that's required, so we're going to try and target it at specific and probably non-existent niches.


I'm a part of that niche, and so is your kid more than likely.

Then you'll fail - again. People buy, install and use rich client software all the time and you need the supporting infrastructure in your desktop to do that. The actual advantage in getting away from Windows is getting away from Windows' licensing model of creating distinctions between machines across the network. If you want to run an application from here on there, then do it, without licensing issues. That's where the advantage comes from, but you can't skimp.


Then let Ubuntu still drive the better horse forward. As for RedHat failing, they are by far the most successful company in the FOSS space, I think they're intelligent enough to know what they're doing.

RHEL actually has management tools, and graphical ones at that?


Some of the best graphical tools in the Linux space actually - only YaST and maybe Mandriva's Control Center is better, and that's only because they're perhaps more familier.



The current desktop paradigm has been around since the 80's and nothing really has changed. Local apps aren't going anywhere, but the desktop will be more focused on engaging and enabling online content. It will certainly make my life easier.

Seriously though, how much are ISV's really doing for Linux today? Not much, most of the software of relevance for Linux is built in the community. That simply isn't a good argument.

Reply Parent Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Novell believes this as well, but in the mass, throwaway desktop world this is the past. No one wants to get a desktop and then pay a rolling monthly or annual fee for it. They'd rather pay a license and get their updates for nothing, even in enterprises. Paying for updates and support is something reserved for business and mission critical systems and servers.


Pardon? If I go into Novell today, I can pay for several years up front - that's no different to the Microsoft model.

Effectively, when you purchase Microsoft software, you are paying for, upfront, 5 years of support in the form of downloadable updates.

Its how it is marketed which counts; if Novell turned around and said that for 5 years of support and updates, it'll set you back NZ$300 - that would be considerably less than the NZ$ pricing of Windows Vista.

When people hear 'subscription', there are negative connotations - they need to get rid of the notion of 'subscription' when selling their software to end users, and instead offer them a 'one off' price - they think they're getting a better deal, and you make a sale; its the whole psychological idea of needing to 'own' something where as rent comes with this idea of 'it can be taken off me at any moment'.

Reply Parent Score: 2