E-BUSINESS SPECIAL REPORT

Red Hat’s Switch Campaign

Like Apple Computer, Linux vendor Red Hat Software is playing the role of challenger as it tries to convert longtime users of a competing brand to its own products.

But according to officials at North Carolina-based Red Hat, the similarity between the two companies’ missions ends there. Red Hat product services director Marty Wesley told the E-Commerce Times that the Linux vendor’s primary battlefield is the enterprise server market, not the desktop. And its principal foe is not Microsoft’s Windows, but rather the Unix operating systems used by a considerable number of enterprises. Those Unix systems include Sun’s Solaris, HP’s HP-UX, IBM’s AIX and SGI’s Irix, among others.

Red Hat contends that its products allow companies to certify and use its software for years without engaging in constant updates or costly purchases and upgrades of proprietary software.

Migration Campaign on Track

The company said its switch campaign — more accurately termed a migration campaign — is steadily garnering backing from a number of big-name hardware and software providers, including IBM, Dell, Intel, AMD and Oracle.

Red Hat also has landed new end customers at a steady rate. In fact, it now holds 52 percent of the market for Linux operating systems, according to research firm IDC.

“The campaign has actually proceeded better than we expected,” Wesley said. “I think that’s especially noteworthy given the condition of the market, the economy and the slowdown in IT spending.”

Specifically, Wesley explained, Red Hat recently has scored significant gains in the retail industry and is actively courting customers in the financial services, federal government and telecom sectors.

Battle Advantages

Giga Information Group analyst Stacey Quandt said that Red Hat has an advantage that Apple does not possess — other than that its main enemy is not Microsoft. In short, Red Hat’s product is based on an open source foundation.

7 Comments

  • The article itself was very well put together. What I found extremely irritating is all the "smart-tags" included that are nothing more than another blatant form of advertising. These tags make the article much more difficult to read, make me question your supposed bias, and have caused me to dump you as a supposed news source.

    • Hear Hear…. I know many a person who uses Darwin and it also contradicts the line "Another advantage of Red Hat is its ability to leverage multiple microprocessor architectures, such as the x86, IA-64, PowerPC and mainframes, she said".
      Darwin can be run on many architectures and while I can see some truth in that only Darwin can be run on many architectures and not MacOSX, Darwin is FAR more comparable to RedHat in that it is a base Unix OS and requires modules to be added to it for it to work the way people would like it to.

      • Actually if you want to get technical about it. Apple’s Open Source part is just the kernel itself all the rest such as Aqua and quartz are closed and proprietary, so Red Hat has the advantage that all of its OS ie, kernel User interface and Developer tools are up to date and freely available for download and tweaking. whereas Aqua is closed and its GNU Developer tools are very much out of date. Red Hat rules my servers and my desktop on My Macs YDL is king.

        • RJDohnert said "Apple’s Open Source part is just the kernel itself." Not hardly. Darwin is a complete open source OS integrating Mach 3.0, operating-system services based on BSD 4.4, high-performance networking facilities, and support for multiple integrated file systems. The Darwin kernel features many enhancements from FreeBSD 4.4 and the KAME IPv6/IPsec code, and is one of the first Open Source operating system releases to be built using GCC 3.1. Now, what was that you were saying about its developer tools being out of date? BTW, opendarwin.org is currently developing the KDE GUI for Darwin. The website says: "While there is more work yet to do, the majority of KDE is usable and relatively stable, bringing hundreds of applications to Mac OS X and Darwin, including the KOffice office application suite."

          • I said the Kernel was open source, What I was referring to was Aqua which is closed source and still proprietary while Red Hat Linux is totally open source and I do not care about OpenDarwin.org or what they are trying to do. Fact still remains that Mach is dead it died with the NextSTEP OS, Linux is more robust and doesn’t inhibit the user at all, While with Darwin, sure you can tinker with the Kernel
            But try to replicate Aqua, Apple’s legal team will eat you up. So as far as Open Source OSes go Linux is the best choice, I used to support Darwin and I belong to Opendarwin.org and GNU-Darwin, I tinker with Linux more now and I see more of a future with Linux than I do of Darwin.

          • Content is not free. Ads are prevalent everywhere you look online and offline.
            In regard to the smart tags there is a very simple way to scroll down the page without activating the tags, it is called the slide bar on the right hand side of the page.

  • The article says, "Giga Information Group analyst Stacey Quandt said that Red Hat has an advantage that Apple does not possess — […] Red Hat’s product is based on an open source foundation." Stacey is apparently finding it hard to keep up: Both Apple’s server and desktop OSs are also based on an open source foundation — Darwin. It’s the same old story — the clueless quoting the clueless…

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