Red Hats Relationship with

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-05-09 Print this article Print

Microsoft"> "Commercial customers are still begging for desktop security and manageability for their knowledge workers; consumers are rapidly adopting new online services and applications; and developing nations are looking for affordable information technologies that bypass traditional desktops entirely," Stevens said.

With regard to its desktop offering for the enterprise, Stevens noted that the company released its Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop 5 in March.
However, going forward, Red Hat "plans to unveil a new model for protecting the privacy of critical data to meet the needs of environments such as financial services, health care and government institutions," he said.
Click here to read more about Microsofts $3 anti-Linux weapon. Stevens also told attendees that Red Hat has learned, much to its surprise, that people were taking RHEL 5 and running Windows on top of it in a virtualized environment. As such, Red Hat is working on optimizing and paravirtualizing its storage and network drivers to give customers running Windows on RHEL 5 near-native performance, he said, noting that those drivers will be available some time in 2007. "The incumbents have too much to lose if things change, but you have too much to lose if they dont. The performance and cost of Linux on x86 is outperforming anything else in the market, and that gap is only going to widen," Stevens said. During his part of the opening keynote, Matthew Szulik, the CEO, president and chairman of Red Hat, noted that the open-source community had long pursued the ideal of a competitive Linux desktop. But the client metaphor is about to change as trying to become an appendage of the current incumbent is "simply not an option. Many of those companies that have tried to do this are not around anymore. We would have bought Corel five years ago if that was the paradigm our customers wanted," Szulik said. The client has always been of interest to Red Hat, especially with regard to how to move into the mobile device segment, Szulik said, noting that, for Red Hat, this movement is part of a broader collaborative development movement that includes device management and building the ecosystem around next-generation applications. With regard to a client strategy, Szulik said it was important to balance its use, monetization and alignment to markets, and that this is increasingly less about just the presentation level. "The enterprises that we are talking to do not see the desktop of the future as being the same as the one that exists today," he said. "There needs to be a physical form factor that is cool and creative and groundbreaking and based on open-source technologies and open standards," Szulik said, adding that he often wondered what would have happened to technology if there was no open source, which is now starting to slip into the social paradigm as well with things like eVoting initiatives. Read more here about the upcoming Red Hat real-time product. In a press session after the keynote, Szulik was asked about Red Hats relationship with Microsoft and whether it continued to talk to Microsoft with regard to interoperability. "We have engaged them and would like nothing more than to work with them on vendor-neutral open standards, but we dont want to see any of these become compromised," Szulik said. "We all want interoperability and, all these years after Windows was first released, we are still talking about it. Interoperability is a great thing and we are committed to that and we continue to engage and work with them and others, like IBM, around this." Services are the base of the future and that will be Red Hats focus going forward, Szulik said, adding that Red Hat Exchange also brings the opportunity for the community to scale its open-source services. 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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