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Red Hat Yawns At Oracle, Microsoft

By: David Utter

Oracle's entry into the Linux support market and the Novell-Microsoft partnership have not fazed the Red Hat leadership.

Red Hat Yawns At Oracle, MicrosoftOne company plans to make a Red Hat Enterprise Linux fork. Another probably signed itself up for a free blood-letting by inking a deal with Microsoft.

That's the opinion of Red Hat (RHAT) senior VP for worldwide sales, Alex Pinchev, who responded to announcements from Oracle (ORCL) and Novell (NOVL) with less than urgent concern in an interview at Computer Business Review.

Oracle entered the Linux arena by announcing they would undercut Red Hat's pricing. Through support of Unbreakable Linux, Oracle hopes to gain against Red Hat with a move that could even signal takeover intentions.

But Pinchev does not see Oracle gaining much traction here:

"They rolled out something that they don't understand," Pinchev told ComputerWire of Oracle's announcement. "He [Oracle chief executive, Larry Ellison] tried to announce that Oracle is supporting Red Hat Linux, what he really announced is Oracle forking Red Hat Linux."

"What is the value they are trying to deliver? Ask Oracle, 'what is your roadmap', the answer will be 'go to Red Hat' [and ask them]. They are going to bring to market an Oracle operating system based on Red Hat," Pinchev insisted.

The arrangement between Novell and Microsoft likewise left Pinchev wondering what they might be thinking in Novell's Orem headquarters:

"People know what it means for a company to partner with Microsoft," he said, suggesting it would not be in the best long term interests of Novell, while also dismissing the suggestion that Microsoft will ever bring a patent infringement suit against an IT user.

'Would you sue your own customers? I wouldn't and I don't believe Microsoft will ever do it," he said, while also rejecting out of hand Microsoft's attempts to do a similar deal with Red Hat. "For us the open source community is not for sale," he said. "Innovation is not for sale."


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