In Person: Open Source Operating Systems
''Our primary competition will always be proprietary software''
recently announced that it would acquire No. 2 Linux distributor SuSE for $210
million. And IBM, a big supporter of Linux, said it will invest $50 million
in Novell. That makes a stronger case for SuSE and this development could be
a threat to Red Hat. We asked Javed Tapia, Director-India, Red Hat to comment
on Novell's acquisition of SuSE.
How does Red Hat perceive the acquisition? Were you caught
Attractive markets attract new players. We expect these moves. It simply validates
the enormous customer interest and market opportunity in Open Source technology,
and the progress Red Hat has achieved as the industry leader.
Won't this be significant new competition?
Competition is old news for usour primary competition has been, and will
be, proprietary software. In fact, we compete everyday with the biggest software
company out there. We have never backed down from our vision because of competition.
Novell sells 99% of its software the old-fashioned wayit's proprietary
technology. So now they are testing waters. Putting a foot in both camps. It
looks like they might attempt a challenging feat no one else has been able to
accomplishbuild a hybrid company that works. On top of that, they face
the typical integration challenges that have distracted so many companies.
How will you adapt your business strategy in response
to this development?
We're committed to remain a pure-play Open Source technology company. That's
what is creating value for customers, and our results speak for themselves (AOL,
Amazon, seven out of 10 Wall Street institutions, financial results, No. 1 market
share, No. 1 in partnerships). There's no reason now to reinvent our business
strategy; Novell's move validates the soundness of our strategy.
Our vision goes well beyond an Open Source Linux operating system. That's all
Novell is acquiring. Red Hat, on the other hand, is building a complete computing
architecture based 100% on the Open Source model.
(Ed: See the News & Analysis section for more details on Red Hat's plans
for Open Source Architecture.)
That's one reason we're the industry leader. At the end of the day, that unwavering
commitment to Open Source distinguishes us from Novell and will make a huge
difference to customers and partners.
Did you ever consider acquiring SUSE?
Red Hat Inc. thoroughly investigates acquisition opportunities and focuses on
issues where we can further our customer and shareholder interests.
Why did IBM invest in Novell?
We can't speak for them. But clearly Linux is core to their strategy, and they
would like to see choices for customers. We have a strong partnership with IBM,
as evidenced by our recent announcements of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, which
provides a common operating system for all IBM servers and mainframe platforms.
How will this affect financials?
Our business strategy is sound. Our results will speak for themselves.