: Does Comparison Go Too Far?"> Some users said comparing Red Hat to Microsoft goes too far. "Red Hats product is open-source. The product comes with the hood wide open rather than welded shut like Microsofts," said Jamin Gray, a programmer in St. Louis and a contributor to the GNU Network Object Model Environment Project. Lewis Mettler, a software developer in Mountain View, Calif., said the kind of activities Red Hat could engage in are in no way equivalent to what Microsoft could pull off. "Things like Product Activation and more stringent end-user license agreements would drive Red Hat customers away in a heartbeat," Mettler said.Last week, Turbolinux, of Brisbane, Calif., sold its Linux business to Software Research Associates Inc., of Tokyo. The new Turbolinux business will be based in Japan and have fewer than 10 U.S. employees. Earlier this year, Caldera laid off 15 percent of its global work force and shut offices in Massachusetts and Germany. SuSE last year laid off 30 of the 45 people in its Oakland, Calif., office and shifted much of the responsibility for North American operations to its headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany. As a result, some Linux users say Red Hats lead is unassailable. A software engineer at a large global media and communications company in California, who requested anonymity, said Red Hat has the U.S. market "pretty well sewn up. My company uses our own modified version of Red Hat on over 1,200 Linux servers. Like many other large companies, we have standardized on Red Hat and see little reason to change." Dan Agronow, vice president of technology for Linux shop Weather.com, part of The Weather Channel Enterprises Inc., in Atlanta, disagreed, saying his company moved from Red Hat to SuSE Linux. "We found value in another Linux distribution," Agronow said. "American businesses want choice, and having two enterprise-targeted distributions gives us that." Related stories:
UnitedLinux Set for Beta; Caldera Eyes New Era
Red Hat Expanding to Corporate Desktop
Review: Red Hat Shows a More Limber Linux
Linux Vendors Gang Up On Red Hat
Nevertheless, concern remains regarding the declining U.S. operations presence of UnitedLinux partners Caldera, Turbolinux Inc., SuSE and Conectiva S.A., perhaps a sign that they have ceded the U.S. market to Red Hat in favor of global markets.