Bonum Certa Men Certa

Yet Another SuSE-Ubuntu Faceoff

A story from Tectonic (South African tech) shows us that Ubuntu trumps SUSE, even based on purely 'political' considerations. Unless Novell retracts its deal with the devil, I am afraid that we are likely to find more stories as such.

SLED 10 is good looking, well designed and very usable. Novell has added some excellent features that make the Gnome desktop just a little bit more friendly to use. Surprisingly, the extra overhead didn't put too much strain on my lower-end IBM Thinkpad notebook.

The obvious question to ask, however, is how the Novell-Microsoft deal will affect SuSE's market share, both among the free software community and within the corporate sector.

If I was to hazard a guess I would say that we'll see significant drop off in the use of SuSE by the free software community. In large part because of the relationship with Microsoft but also because something like Ubuntu is every bit as good a desktop for most users as is SuSE and it has less of the baggage SuSE now has.

On the corporate front it will take time for the deal to play itself out but Novell provides a compelling desktop Linux option in SLED 10 and perhaps together with the assurance of not being sued by Microsoft might well be a good corporate desktop replacement.

For myself, I am sticking with Ubuntu for now.




As for myself, I still run Opensuse at home and at work. I am waiting to see how things develop before I impulsively replace Opensuse with Debian or Fedora Core (just renamed "Fedora"). If it's not broken, don't 'fix' it, right? Technically, Opensuse is not broken. And yes, the licensing route to the future seems broken already. A couple of weeks ago I noticed the following when doing a whois.net lookup.

Domain Name: FREESUSE.COM Registrar: BELGIUMDOMAINS, LLC Whois Server: whois.belgiumdomains.com Referral URL: http://www.belgiumdomains.com Name Server: NS-3.WEBSERVERGATOR.COM Name Server: NS-2.WEBSERVERGATOR.COM Name Server: NS-1.WEBSERVERGATOR.COM Status: ACTIVE EPP Status: ok Updated Date: 01-Nov-2006 Creation Date: 01-Nov-2006 Expiration Date: 01-Nov-2007

A fork to freedom? Some existing SUSE users would hope so. A willing army of developers and testers may already be prepared to embark on such a project. The endeavour involves maintenance of packages that will evolve elsewhere, in companies that foster innovation and serve as incubators.

Love SuSE/SUSE. Blame Novell.

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