Ron Hovsepian, who is at a position that requires good knowledge of GNU/Linux, has had an interview with the British press. The interview was very brief and it didn’t contain particularly good questions that bring new information to light. It did, however, had this statement
Q [Computerwire:] How do you position yourselves in relation to Red Hat?
A [Hovsepian:] They are an edge server strategy company with one product. We have a two-year lead on them for desktops.
But Ron, what about the werewolf? Have you not heard of Fedora? It made a lot of buzz on Thursday when version 8 (codename Werewolf) was released.
There are two many things Novell is not telling us about (Red Hat’s desktop in this case). What ever happened to honesty and transparency?
Ron’s statement about Red Hat’s (or the Fedora community’s) desktop seems like disinformation and FUD. Plain and simple. Both desktops use GNOME and share similar other packages. Isn’t this a case of role reveral? Isn’t Justin Steinman responsible for Red Hat FUD where he doesn’t exactly excel due to lack of technical knowledge?
Even if Ron talks about market share or installed base, the claim is inaccurate and very unscientific. This has shades of the incident where a top Microsoft manager/executive likened OpenOffice.org (2.x) to Microsoft Office 97.
Jeremy Allison said the following after Novell’s deal with Microsoft and after he had left Novell.
“Yes, that’s true, actually. I mean I have had people come up to me and essentially off the record admit that they had been threatened by Microsoft and had got patent cross license and had essentially taken out a license for Microsoft patents on the free software that they were using [...] But they’re not telling anyone about it. They’re completely doing it off the record.”
It was reported that those changes would preclude the inclusion of Linux in third party distribution deals such as the one Novell recently signed with Microsoft and “ban” Novell from selling future versions of Linux.