Red Hat Will Never Be Microsoft

Opinion: For those of you who think Red Hat is on its way to becoming the next Microsoft-get over it. (

Over at the Novell public relations blog, theyre wondering if Red Hats Matthew Szuliks conversation with Geoffrey Moore at Vortex on avoiding lock-in has anything to do with BusinessWeeks recent article about Novell.

The gist of the discussion is that there are those who eternally see Red Hat as being on its way to becoming the new Microsoft.

I have to say that I get as sick and tired of these arguments as I did of eating macaroni and cheese when I was kid.

Red Hat Linux—despite anything folks at Sun might say when president and COO Jonathan Schwartz is feeling poorly—is Linux.

Theres nothing essential in Red Hat Enterprise Linux that someone cant find and duplicate by reading the source code.

Heck, there are even companies like the CentOS Project, which produces CentOS (Community Enterprise Operating System) Linux.

This is nothing more or less than a clone of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). Or, as CentOS puts it, the Linux distribution of a "Prominent North American Enterprise Linux Vendor.

The latest version, CentOS-4, is, as the Project folks themselves spell out, "a freely distributable OS built from the source at"

Before building the OS, non-free packages are altered. Non-free packages would include those encumbered with a non-redistributable copyright or trademark.

Welcome to Linux.

You can not only do this, open-source encourages you to take the code and improve on it. Thats the whole point.

/zimages/3/28571.gifRead the full story on Linux Watch: Get Over It—Red Hat Will Never Be Microsoft Senior Editor Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has been using and writing about operating systems since the late 80s and thinks he may just have learned something about them along the way. He can be reached at

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