Home > Editorial > Engineers and Blogging Engineers and Blogging Eugenia Loli 2004-09-09 Editorial 19 Comments Microsoft’s Chris Anderson responds to Novell’s Miguel de Icaza and then Miguel responds back. Elsewhere, Red Hat’s Havoc Pennington talks about Open Source software subscriptions. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 19 Comments 2004-09-09 6:59 am Havoc’s very cunning. By explaining in detail what goes into supporting a product, we are left with the impression that you are really getting something quite unique, when, in reality, Red Hat is just fulfulling its duty to support its customers. The problem with Red Hat’s revenue model is that small businesses and home users don’t want subscriptions. They want to “buy” a product that they own and one that has long support. For all its failings, Microsoft tends to support its products for a reasonable amount of time, even if the quality of the bugfixes often leaves much to be desired. I find it ironic that a company such as Red Hat, which built its technology portfolio by spreading a populist message of empowering the litte guy, has now forgotten all about the little guy. The small developer, the student, the mom, the community center with a few computers, these are all people and places where Red Hat’s costs are just prohivitive. A real shame. But I am sure Mandrake or Suse will step up to the plate. I thought that Free Software would bring a new level of accountability to software delivery by making the companies supporting the hardware take responsibility for its actual configuration. This is true added value. As it stands, you are primarily buying security upgrades. 2004-09-09 10:08 am They want to “buy” a product that they own and one that has long support. —- you dont buy a software product. you only get a license to use it. want redhat enterprise for free?. use a clone like caos/whiteboxlinux/taolinux etc. every single software is free in redhat enterprise. the end product from redhat is only available with support which you pay for 2004-09-09 11:51 am > in Windows today there is the secure desktop, but you must press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to get to it first. You mean reboot ?. OR did you mean to kill the zillion spyware processes from taskmon ? 2004-09-09 12:38 pm > This company has been damn near a chairity for a decade Depends on your point of view 😉 I with my limited business education think charity has actually nothing to do with it. There are very good business reasons why they offer Fedora to Joe Homeuser for free and instead concentrate to sell their products to more valuable markets. I have much respect for Havoc and most of his colleagues but at the top of Redhat suits are doing the hard business decissions not free software appostles who want to give cool software to everyone out of charity. 2004-09-09 12:53 pm I find it ironic that a company such as Red Hat, which built its technology portfolio by spreading a populist message of empowering the litte guy, has now forgotten all about the little guy —- redhat has never targetted the small guy. period. If you have anything to prove otherwise I am all ears. 2004-09-09 1:36 pm Proof that Redhat targetted the small guy: http://www.linuxlinks.com/portal/news/staticpages/index.php?page=20… 2004-09-09 1:46 pm Hi If thats your best link. sorry. it just doesnt fly 2004-09-09 1:48 pm RedHat needs those paying customers to enable it to continue to invest in providing a completly open source distro. I emphasise the word OPEN. Ok so there is no MP3 player or DVD player but they are only a few mouse cliks away. I have admired the RH business model for some time now. As a CEO myself I wish I could follow it but my company is not in the business of selling 1000’s of copies of a product. We sell bespoke solution on many platforms including Linux. We use RH as our standard base for OSS Software Development. I find that prospective Customers are always impressed that we use RH for that purpose as it often ties in with the other commercial closed source apps the thay are running. They don’t object to paying Oracle or others money for support so why should they object to RH. If they are large enough they could even do their O/S in house but IMHO, those are the exception rather than the rule. those are my 0.02sum’s worth. Others may disagree. That is their right and priveledge. 2004-09-09 3:21 pm Novel and Microsoft will probably team up and sell Linux under the Windows product line. 2004-09-09 3:32 pm Microsoft can contain and moderate the adoption of Linux if it can incorporate it into it’s product line. If Mono is going to be tied to Gnome than more people will use it instead of Java since it is pre-installed. 2004-09-09 3:46 pm And the last thing is that most people run small ehternet networks in their homes, they have several Internet connections joined by a hub and a router. Instead of taking a hard line and choosing either Windows or Linux, people will use both. Microsoft very much needs to quell the religious war if it wants to slow down Linux independance. This will allow the Windows product to continue to keep most of it’s market share, but that markets decline is enevitable, but it gives them more time to prepare for the eventual paradigm shift. 2004-09-09 4:22 pm “Microsoft very much needs to quell the religious war if it wants to slow down Linux independance. ” I thought that was exactly what they are doing with the “Get the Facts” campaign. You might disagree with the facts, but they aren’t “religious” anymore. As for the inevitability of market share decline, that’s shear speculation. Windows will maintain it’s market share until Linux matches it for compatibility, ease of use (some things are easy to use in Linux, but others aren’t without resorting to text config files) and provides a better user experience. Even if the first two are met, the third will still be needed. People need a “does more” even after a “does everything I do currently” to switch. 2004-09-09 7:17 pm Besides calling me names, do you have anything to offer in the way of refutation? And here’s a tip for you, you disqualify yourself from being taken seriously, the minute you need to denigrate those that disagree with you. Every worthless post, usually includes one of the following terms:(zealot, fanboy, Micro$oft). Learn to deal with an argument without attacking the person making the argument. You completely ignored the thrust of my argument which is that the little guy was essential to the creation of what Red Hat is today. We were the ones who did LTSP intallations of Red Hat, recommended it to our neighbors and bosses, but not they have priced themselves out of whole markets such as a small business with 5-10 computers, the small part-time developer, non-profits and community centers? And don’t get me started on why Fedora is unsuitable for anyone but those who wish to be beta-testers. Furthermore, your subscription growth rates only mean that RHN is successful among big companies, which I wouldn’t disagree with. But as I stated in my earlier post, what about the small business with 10 computers or the home network with 2-3? As for the guy asking for proof that Red Hat had a rhetoric of empowering the small guy, anybody who has followed the company and heard, Mathew Szulick speak knows this. Watch his presentations at Linux world of the last few years. 2004-09-09 10:12 pm Miguel can’t possibly be that big of a bonehead. I read both of his blogs (which I think blogs are useless anyway) and it sounds like he doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. I’m actually willing to make the 40 minute drive down to RTP and have a good talking to him to straighten that boy out. 2004-09-10 12:05 am The religious war is over control. The control over the platform in Linux is decentralized, and it Windows it’s centralized (open versus closed). Some countries don’t want to be controlled by a dictator. 2004-09-10 12:09 am The market is being depleted, not just by Linux, but by comoditization of software. People will not choose Microsofts differentation if that means heavy anti-competitive restrictions. So the money is in the new paradigm. 2004-09-10 12:15 am …it’s important in the new paradigm who has control. With a higher dependence on autonomic systems, people will have a more personalized experience, and the differentation will be decentralized. Control over autonomic agents works through “languages”. So in the future, not everyone will know how to communicate with these autonomous systems, but some people will know their language and will be able to control them. 2004-09-10 12:21 am …differentation, if it is not decentralized, introduces recomplication, recongesting, repetition, and other technology killers. 2004-09-10 11:38 am For all its failings, Microsoft tends to support its products for a reasonable amount of time, even if the quality of the bugfixes often leaves much to be desired. That’s not really a good definition of support. How is it that a customer is satisfied with that? I thought that Free Software would bring a new level of accountability to software delivery by making the companies supporting the hardware take responsibility for its actual configuration. That’s interesting in regards to your comment about Microsoft’s support model. Microsoft does not support OEM installations. I’ve always found that an enviable position. They just dump the software on the market and don’t have to provide customer support. Of course, (yes, I know) they will have to provide behind the scenes support to the hardware suppliers like Dell and HP who are their customers; but the end users have to go through the middle-man. I’m sure Microsoft’s strategy is the one Red Hat, and every other software supplier, would like to emulate; if they could just force the hardware industry to distribute their software. But on to the actual article: I think Miguel’s made good points about Avalon’s complexity, security and standards. I’m not sure the complexity and security will make a difference in the adoption of Avalon though. It will be the API for Windows developers, and so will have to be written to. Standards compliance is an issue with Microsoft, although not necessarily in this context. Avalon is an internal GUI for Windows. It is not meant to be cross-platform, so who cares? Typical Microsoft though; take SVG, put a wrapper around it, and stick a patent on it. I can imagine meetings taking place where they direct their programming staff to reinvent the wheel. It has to be a high-level policy to not ship anything that they can’t claim as 100% their own IP, even though it is in most cases built directly on the work of others. What chance was their anything in Avalon would be based on CSS, when they won’t even support it in Internet Explorer?