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Red Hat customers unswayed by Novell's pitch to switch
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| Novell Inc.'s latest pitch to lure Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) customers
| to migrate to Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise appears to be a tough sell.
| Last week, in a deal similar to bank enticements that target new checking
| account customers, Waltham, Mass.-based Novell offered existing Red Hat
| customers two years of Red Hat support and updates with every three-year
| premium SUSE Linux Enterprise subscription, at no extra charge. The total
| cost is $3,748 per server, compared with $3,507 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux
| and $6,747 for RHEL's Advanced Platform including clusters and
| By supporting both platforms, Novell prevents customers from having to extend
| their existing Red Hat subscriptions during the transition to Novell and
| avoids a protection gap during the platform migration, which typically is
| done over a period of time. Red Hat customers, however, will lose the
| remaining value of their canceled Red Hat subscriptions.
| From RHEL to SUSE Linux? No way!
In Praise of Journalistic Scum
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| But there's also a big downside to this approach, as the latest interview
| shows. It's with Ron Hovsepian, the CEO of Novell. Reading the transcript, I
| found myself constantly wondering when Hovsepian was going to say something
| new or, well, interesting. Instead, what we got were a series of marketing
| And then I realised what the problem was. The name “Microsoft” occurs just
| three times in the whole interview, which runs to many thousands of words.
| And none of those instances refers to the Microsoft-Novell deal that has
| proved so divisive in the open source world.
| Now, I fully understand why Zemlin moved gingerly around this topic: it's
| deeply problematic for Hovsepian, and he is understandably unwilling to
| explore its deleterious effects on the free software community. Equally,
| Zemlin is naturally unwilling to put important open source figures like
| Hovsepian on the spot since this will make his job much harder in the future.
| This is where cynical journalists like me come in. We have no compunction in
| sticking the interrogatory knife in to interviewees and twisting when we find
| the pain point.
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