Attachmate now owns Novell and therefore, by extension, also owns SUSE and openSUSE. With Oracle currently doing everything in its power to thoroughly destroy what’s left of Sun’s open source commitments, scepticism abound about the future of SUSE, and more specifically of openSUSE. Attachmate’s CEO has answered some questions about the future of SUSE and openSUSE, and as far as words go, it’s looking good.
Attachmate CEO Jeff Hawn talked to ZDnet, and has tried to address some of the concerns the community may have about openSUSE’s future. According to Hawn, the community involvement with openSUSE and other open source projects withint Novell is crucial, and Attachmate intends to continue these projects.
“SUSE sponsorship and participation in key open-source projects is a fundamental element of the business. This commitment is driven by a desire to contribute to and collaborate with the community in a way that fosters the success of open source technologies overall and creates the greatest value for our customers,” Hawn states, “The openSUSE project is a great example of vibrant and healthy collaboration. SUSE sponsorship and participation in projects like openSUSE creates great value for the community and also for SUSE customers who benefit from the innovations and advancements we create together.”
Furthermore, Hawn confirms that Novell/SUSE will continue their membership of the Open Invention Network and the Linux Foundation, which I’d say is good news as well. As for Novell’s and SUSE’s commercial offerings, it would seem that Attachmate is not planning on changing much, other than splitting Novell and SUSE.
“SUSE was acquired by Novell some time ago, and we see tremendous potential in this technology,” Hawn explains, “Our hope is to bring prominence to it by giving it individual branding as a separate business unit. By separating both Novell and SUSE, we can give each of these brands the focus they need to meet the needs of their specific customers and ensure that they are successful.”
In the end, only actions are what matters. Let’s hope openSUSE will continue to flourish under Attachmate rule.
I tend to get nervous though when companies split up business units like this, but my fear comes from what I remember with Palm when they separated their hardware and software divisions. This is a completely different case and in fact Suse/OpenSuse was on its own entity at one point before Novell stepped in. I fear when businesses separate acquisitions into subsidiaries like this, they are merely separating high risk business units away from the main company’s financials so that it’s easier to close shop and not affect the main business financials if it fails.
But like Thom said, compared to Oracle’s way of doing things, I really appreciate how Attachmate is allowing Suse/OpenSuse to operate like business as usual.
Edited 2011-04-29 22:40 UTC