[svlug] Red Hat and the ISVs?

Walt Reed svlug at linuxguy.com
Mon Nov 10 12:34:32 PST 2003

On Mon, Nov 10, 2003 at 12:02:26PM -0800, Craig Oda said:
> From the information that Don provided and what I can gleam from Red 
> Hat's web site, I'm starting to think that small ISVs will have to pay 
> money to get a hold of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
> Correct me if I'm wrong.
>  Scenario 1) Imagine that I'm a small server-side Linux software 
> startup with about 12 people in the company.  Cash is tight.  I want to 
> download the server from the Internet and not pay.  However, I can't do 
> this right?  Or, can I?   I don't feel that the target market I'm 
> selling to will pay for the Linux OS (for example HPC or hosting 
> markets).  So, if the only way to get RHEL is to buy it, I feel they 
> will go for another distribution (such as Debian).


>  Scenario 2) I want to run a Linux workstation at home for all the 
> usual reasons of fun and excitement, plus get some office work done at 
> home.  I can't download RHEL WS 3 and avoid paying the $179 can I?   I 
> plan to rely on Linux community for support and don't need commecial support

Bing. 2 points!
> If there is a FAQ for this somewhere, please let me know.  I'm curious 
> as to the impact that Red Hat's new strategy will have on small ISVs.  
> Two angles - cost and total available market...  

I think it's pretty clear that third-party RPMS (freshmeat.net kinda
stuff) are going to suffer. You will probably start seeing them for
Fedora and not RHEL. Smaller companies (the one / two person variety)
are going to develope with some other distro.

RedHat has obviously determined that their target market is medium to
large sized businesses, and that the core is servers. The workstation
price is just way too high to compete effectivly with Microsoft for a
product that still needs to prove itself in the desktop market. Besides
the core office suite, most third party business software is still
Windows Only.

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