Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat Discuss Existing Relationships

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-04-10 Print this article Print

Microsoft says there will be no change to its existing technical collaboration agreement with JBoss; Red Hat says customer demand will drive all existing Red Hat-JBoss partnerships.

One of the fundamental questions that Red Hats acquisition of JBoss raises is what impact that deal might have on existing agreements between JBoss and companies like Microsoft and Novell. For its part, Microsoft is saying there will be no change to its existing technical collaboration agreement with JBoss, but Red Hat is hedging its bets and not yet taking as definitive a stand. Last September, JBoss and Microsoft announced plans to seek to broaden interoperability between the JEMS (JBoss Enterprise Middleware System) and Microsoft Windows Server.
Click here to read more about Red Hats move to acquire JBoss for at least $350 million. "We can confirm that our technical collaboration with JBoss is continuing forward, and we are committed to meeting our mutual customers interoperability needs," is all Bill Hilf, Microsofts director for platform technology strategy, would say on the matter. "We will defer to Red Hat and JBoss for specifics on the acquisition announcement," he told eWEEK. Click here to read more about open sources impact on the software industry. But Tim Yeaton, Red Hats senior vice president of enterprise solutions, was a little less definitive, telling eWEEK that customer demand would continue to drive all existing Red Hat and JBoss partnerships. "The reality of todays IT industry is heterogeneous environments that require plug-and-play and open infrastructure components that interoperate with both open-source and commercial products. Our goal is to provide a ubiquitous, end-to-end open source solution. Clearly, to do this, it must be multi-OS," he said. Microsoft used the LinuxWorld Conference in Boston the week of April 3 to announce the launch of a new Web site called Port 25 that is designed to give a birds-eye view of its internal open-source software laboratory and elicit feedback and ideas about how it can work better with the open-source community. Read more here about Microsofts Port 25 Web site. For its part, Novell has entered into a significant partnership with JBoss. Last August, Novell said that it was furthering its partnership with JBoss and would deliver comprehensive technical support for JEMS, which includes the JBoss Application Server, a J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) server. This move made Novell the first and only Linux infrastructure vendor to offer enterprise-level support for JEMS. Before this, Novell was a JBoss Authorized Service Partner. Novell also said at the time that it would bundle the JBoss Application Server as SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9s default application server. To read more about Novells partnership with JBoss, click here. Novell spokesman Bruce Lowry told eWEEK on April 10 that the Waltham, Mass., firm was committed to delivering a full open-standards-based infrastructure stack to its customers. "We have partnered with and supported many proprietary and open-source alternatives for application servers, including with JBoss, where we have a contract in place," he said. "We plan to continue to honor that contract. Our approach in helping customers define their open enterprise is completely customer-driven. We will continue to offer and support the components of the stack that customers request," he said. Read more here about enterprises reaping the rewards of open-source growth. Scott Donahue of analyst firm Tier 1 Research, a division of The 451 Group, agrees, saying he expects JBoss to remain fairly autonomous within Red Hat and to continue to work with Red Hat competitors like Novell. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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