Novell has been positioning itself as the Avis of Linux, a distant but gaining Red Hat competitor that "tries harder." Like Oracle, Novell argues that it can give customers Red Hat value at a lower price.There's just one problem with this marketing spin: the "low-cost alternative" to Red Hat isn't Novell. It's CentOS. And CentOS is free as in $0.00.
The logic of open source is increasingly clear to a growing number of businesses. Ironically, however, that logic generally dovetails with a recognition of how to marry open source with a proprietary revenue driver.
Once you figure out the scarce good for which customers will pay, open sourcing everything else becomes a no-brainer.
Google, Red Hat, and a wide variety of other businesses have all discovered this. So has Nokia, as Glyn Moody writes:
...Once (Sebastian Nyström, vice president of application and service frameworks in Nokia's Devices unit) laid out the logic of moving to open source, … Read more
Enterprises and other users deploy open-source software because it works. For those of us in the open-source vendor community, however, too often we waste time talking about issues that have relatively little resonance for the vast majority of users.
We miss the mark on open-source marketing. In fact, it's often the case that the very standards we seek to set for the software world--interoperability, transparency, etc.--are better observed and delivered by open standards than by open source.
As a case in point, Red Hat and other open-source companies (including Alfresco, my employer) routinely advertise "no lock-in" … Read more
NEW YORK--It was a larger and cheerier crowd that attended this year's Red Hat's analyst day at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
That shouldn't be surprising. At last year's meeting on October 7, Red Hat management had the dubious honor of ringing the closing bell on a day that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average drop over 500 points.
This meeting took place in a time of what's probably best described as cautious optimism about the state of the economy. And in the context of Red Hat financial results that have continued to … Read more
If I needed a clear sign that commercial open source is alive and well, reading Roberto Galoppini's remarks on the five Open Innovation Awards winners provided that and more. I used to be able to count every open-source company on two hands. Galoppini mentioned four of which I've never heard.
I'll feel a lot better, however, when we hear less about vendors writing open-source software and more about enterprise IT releasing open-source code.There's no question that enterprise IT is adopting open source in droves. Gartner speculates that 85 percent of enterprises already use open source. (… Read more
In the cloud, no one cares about your software license. That is one of the most liberating--and frustrating--things about cloud computing.
Depending on your perspective, it either opens up computing or closes it off. Customers don't seem to care one way or another, happily shoveling data into cloud services like Google, Facebook, and others without (yet) wondering what will happen when they want to leave.
Cloud computing may just be the Hotel California of technology.
For years, Red Hat has happily sold Linux to Unix shops anxious to save money at equivalent or better performance. During this time, the company largely avoided Microsoft, which has tended to compete much higher up the stack. No longer. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer argues that one of Microsoft's biggest opportunities lies in enterprise infrastructure and associated application development.
Red Hat, meet Redmond.
This is a direct challenge to … Read more
At the recent Red Hat Summit, company CEO Jim Whitehurst quipped that "flat is the new up," but he clearly wasn't referring to Red Hat. On Wednesday Red Hat announced another strong quarter, with revenue of $183.6 million for the company's second fiscal quarter of 2010.
That's a rise of 12 percent compared with the same period last year. Despite the company's against-the-grain performance in a weak market, however, it may need to invest more in its middleware business to ensure future growth.
But first, the good news. Of Red Hat's total … Read more
Red Hat is generally credited as the industry's leading open-source company, but it's a distinction that is as meaningless as it is incorrect. While Red Hat's revenue directly derives from the open-source software it develops and distributes, other companies like Sun, IBM, and Google actually write and contribute far more open-source code. It may be time to stop talking about open-source companies and get back to the importance of open-source code.
Open source offers a fantastic way to reach developers and users of one's technology. Ironically, however, the very group most inclined to adopt open source is the least likely to pay for it.
Therefore, to make an open-source business thrive in enterprise software, vendors must learn to distinguish between developer-users and IT operations-buyers. As I'll explain, however, open-source companies may need to guard against becoming too successful in order to preserve their exit opportunities.
It is, of course, quite possible to make money in open source. Lots of it. Red Hat, for example, is approaching $1 billion in … Read more