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Posted by Richard Fichera on September 22, 2012
Every culture has its coming of age rituals — Confirmation, Bar Mitzvah, being hunted by tribal elders, surviving in the wilderness, driving at high speed while texting — all of which mark the progress from childhood to adulthood. In the high-tech world, one of the rituals marking the maturation of a company is the user group. When a company has a strategy it wants to communicate, a critical mass of customers, and prospects bright enough that it wants to highlight them rather than obscure them, it is time for a user group meeting.
This year, having passed a year since the acquisition of Novell by AttachMate and its subsequent instantiation as a standalone division, as well as being its 20th anniversary, SUSE had its first user group meeting. All in all, the portents were good, and SUSE got its core messages across to an audience of about 500 of its users as well as a cadre of the more sophisticated (IMHO) industry analysts.
Among My Key Takeaways:
Lizard Or Hat? Who Wins?
Putting aside the convictions of those who, like Conrad Lorentz’s ducks, have imprinted on either the rakish red hat or the enigmatic grinning green lizard, SUSE is not going to suddenly dominate the market and crush the hat; despite the transient advantage SUSE may have with the 3.0 kernel, there is no technical reason to consider replacing current Red Hat installs with SUSE. But the existence of at least two qualified and closely competing players has always been beneficial to any market in multiple ways: increased commercial competition, more customer choice, and more rapid technical evolution. There are now no considerations of corporate viability or stability to make current SUSE users reconsider their choice, and Red Hat can no longer rely on SUSE self-destructing or fading into the sunset, so potential new Linux users now have an attractive Avis to Red Hat’s Hertz.
And both SUSE and Red Hat need to get their game face on to deal with Oracle and its Linux thrust, which seems to have also gathered steam in the last year.
Comments welcome. Tell us what your plans are for Linux in the future.
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