Winners and Losers in the New Linux World

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2006-11-16

Would you have believed at the end of last summer that Microsoft and Novell would partner over Linux, or that Oracle would create its own brand of Linux? Yeah, I wouldnt have believed it either, but here we are.

So, what does it all mean? Rather than make a snap judgment I decided to sit, wait and watch before trying to make sense of it all. Now, Im ready to give you my two cents on who are the winners and losers in this post-deal Linux world.

First, here are the winners. Commercial Linux has taken one giant step forward. Microsoft—Microsoft of all companies—is finally admitting that Linux is good for something. Oracle, by jumping into the Linux distribution business, has also given Linux an enormous endorsement.

Its no longer Linux supporters who are saying that Linux should be taken seriously in business—now everyone is saying that Linux is a real enterprise-worthy operating system.

The big winner from this shift is Novell. While many open-source true-believers hate Novells guts for making a deal with the devil—excuse me Microsoft—the bottom line is that this deal opens up a lot of doors for Novell.

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