Bonum Certa Men Certa

Steinman on the Balcony Again, Offering Red Hat FUD

Flattering one's rival is commendable. It is not necessary however. At the very least, one should not refer to the rival, especially when representing a company. Personal opinions belong in Web logs, whereas journalists deliver what's perceived as careful statements from an official spokesman.

If you can't beat them, ridicule them...



I opine that Mr. Steinman keeps making the same mistake over and over again. Yet again he discredits Red Hat in an article which -- on the face of it -- lacks balance. Here is one among several 'cheap shots'.

"They're doing [Red Hat] something we've already done and they're doing it slightly differently," Justin Steinman, Novell's director of product marketing for Linux, told internetnews.com about RHX. "I'd actually submit they are doing it in a channel unfriendly way."


The article drips Red Hat vanity. The approach or attitude used here resembles that of Steve Ballmer and Larry Ellison, who thrive in a pattern of mocking the competition, even undercutting it. The latter point, you see, could even be attributed to Novell's strategy.

If you can't beat them, get them in trouble...



Red Hat, among other Linux distributors, came under fire immediately after Novell's deal with Microsoft. Microsoft's CEO issued some implicit-yet-obvious threats. Novell, on the other hand, only came under scrutiny and opposition, which conveniently it dismisses and ignores (see interview with Nat Friedman). In that regard, Novell undercuts the the Linux competition while in fact assisting Microsoft. Novell does this by diluting the market and introducing new legal threats. It has become evident that Novell holds no strings. Novell is simply the marionette on Microsoft's stage. It is used as a weapon against its own goal, which is to spread GNU/Linux.

If you can't beat them, be kind to them instead...



Returning to Mr. Steinman, let's kindly ask him to refrain from making fun of Red Hat. His new partner (Microsoft) is also his biggest rival. If Novell wants market share, then it should escape this conflict of interests and stop Linux 'cannibalism'. Red Hat should be its friend, not its enemy. The vendors will be stronger as a team. I stressed this in the opensuse mailing lists back in November 2006. A thank-you from Red Hat staff ensued, but I was still on Novell's 'side' (community) at the time.

If you made a mistake, apologise...



Recently, Steinman said that Red Hat copies from Novell and that Red Hat does not contribute much to Linux. Where has that come from? Red Hat has been there forever. In Steinman's defence, he apologised, retracted, or blamed journalists for misinterpretation. But the envy lives on. This only leads to unfruitful flame wars. Why can't Novell make peace with Red Hat rather than defend their new partner, which has a long history of stabbing them time and time again in the back?

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