[svlug] Red Hat and the ISVs?

Akbar S. Ahmed akbar501 at dslextreme.com
Mon Nov 10 13:05:01 PST 2003

Craig Oda wrote:

 > 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...

Red Hat's view is either you can develop on RHEL or else you are on your 
own. The market data has shown that Enterprise Linux (RH and/or Suse) is 
competitive against Unix. However, most enterprise-scale companies have 
shown that they do not view Linux as a suitable replacement for Windows. 
So, using this data Red Hat decided that the enterprise is where it is 
going to sell.

Microsoft has also shown that they are going to defend the SMB market 
aggressively, in part with their dropping the price of MS Small Business 
Server to $500 and increasing the number of concurrrent users to ~80.

What a lot of people are leaving off of the "Why did Red Hat abandon Red 
Hat Linux?" discussion is that RHEL was facing competition vis-a-vis Red 
Hat Linux. What I mean is that Red Hat's sales staff was being told by 
enterprise customers "RHL is good enough. Why should we pay that much 
extra for RHEL!", to which Red Hat responded with price cuts . Some of 
this was market research driven speculation, but you can read the story 


So, to stop the competion it was facing from its own low priced distro, 
Red Hat did a few things:
1. Discontinued Red Hat Linux
2. Only certified 3rd party applications against RHEL
3. Positioned Fedora as a toy for geeks, not a tool for businesses
4. Signed deals with enterprise ISVs to only support their products on 
RHEL or Suse EL
5. Is attempting to speed up the release cycle of Fedora + add 
bleeding-edge "maybe it'll work" apps =  they are shooting for a distro 
that is not stable or dependable enough for enterprise use


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