“We believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability.”
“That’s extortion and we should call it what it is. To say, as Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game.”
Summary: The threat of Novell/SUSE has been diminished somewhat based on Red Hat’s perspective
MICROSOFT subsidised Novell in an effort to tax GNU/Linux everywhere. Red Hat in particular was put under pressure and through despicable partners like Amazon Microsoft is now extorting RHEL users, passing a tax through Amazon hosting. For the most part, Microsoft now uses SUSE as its main attack vector on free GNU/Linux (Turbolinux, Linspire and Xandros are defunct). Microsoft is subsidising SUSE to do this.
According to , Red Hat no longer views SUSE as a threat. That’s a considerable change as several years ago Red Hat did express some concerns and Novell was a top-priority risk, more so than software patents.
Red Hat is now relying on some new programs [2,3] and old releases  for its momentum that is growing [5,6], perhaps ensuring that the biggest GNU/Linux backer remains strong enough to avoid surrendering to Microsoft the same way Novell did (and to a lesser degree Canonical). █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Growth for Red Hat is coming at a time when the market remains competitive across multiple sectors. For enterprise workloads, Red Hat’s CEO sees it now as a battle between Linux and Microsoft Windows.
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Don’t you want to test drive before you buy a service? Test drives always give customers better experience as they can see what they will get. Red Hat is offering free (as in beer) Storage Test Drives through Amazon Web Services (AWS) to give customers a hands-on experience.
The latest update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, RHEL 5, 5.10, is now available to subscribers.
Red Hat has been breaking out this week, and traders are hoping the upward momentum will continue through next month.