Red Hats Relationship with
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.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.
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.