“Come on in the waters lovely” – Novell RH support? & IE Woes?

Picture: I'd like to be able to credit the user who created this image. Please let me know!

The “happy couple” Microsoft/Novell are going to be dealt with in the same post today, since there is some news for both parties.

In an interesting piece of news it appears that Novell want to help Red Hat customers who want to migrate to SUSE Enterprise.  It is alleged to be offering (up to a maximum of 3 years) joint support of the Red Hat platform during transition between the two companies.

From Novell (http://www.novell.com)

…with SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell, you’re getting the world’s most interoperable Linux, and the only one fully supported by both Novell and Microsoft.

So it appears that Novell sees this as a good thing to mention (as in the Microsoft relationship).  I wonder which company made the comment (in respect of Microsoft):

There is nothing Novellish about our deal.

Answers on a postcard please.  It seems to me that Red Hat is considered a threat, and judging by RH having a more popular product than Novell (if Distrowatch figures are anything to go by) then you can understand why.

Taking of OpenSUSE for a second, Distrowatch.com ranks it currently as number 4, behind Mint. Fedora, Ubuntu and as I am sure everyone is aware Fedora is sponsored by Red Hat

Moving back to the desktop for a minute (since I don’t think the majority of my readerbase is Enterprise) I would ask you to consider what distro’s you looked at when migrating yourself and what you are using now.  On a desktop level I don’t see people raving about Novell’s product (please correct me there if I’m wrong) and consider how Canonical has managed to appear and in my opinion “corner the new user market” is (IMO) either a testament to the quality of its product and/or apathy towards OpenSUSE.  I have often said that I believe that Novell would be where Canonical is now (in respect of uptake) had the Microsoft deal took place.  I wonder if Novell look at other distro’s (who nothing terrible has happened to) and wonder if the whole exercise was worth it?

Whilst the desktop is certainly not Enterprise, I think one has a bearing on the other.  Maybe the reason why Word was so widely deployed was that it was used at home as well as work?  Now Linux is seeing a surge in popularity will Enterprise migrate to distro that is used in the home?  Only time will tell.

Lets look at some comments from a review of OpenSUSE (10.3)  http://lunapark6.com/opensuse-103-review.html:

As a matter of fact the slowness of openSUSE will be a recurring theme in this review as I found it to be the biggest drawback to the operating system.

and how about this:

One of the new features that openSUSE mentions is the speed improvements found in YAST. Yes it is faster than prior versions, but compared to other Linux options, YAST feels bloated and slow.

So maybe the deal with Microsoft goes further than support and Novell have adopted Microsofts coding ethos too?!?

It comes with improved compatibility with Microsoft Excel, stronger Visual Basic macro support, and richer file import capabilities (e.g., ability to read Microsoft Works, WordPerfect, and scalable vector graphics files). The Novell Edition also supports built-in 3D transitions in slide presentations and stronger forms support.

Seems to further show an almost hero worship (IMO) of the Microsoft brand.   Leaving Windows for Linux? Is going with OpenSUSE really leaving Microsoft at all? I will let you decide and is whats described by the above reviewer as “bloated” and “slow” a worthy choice when moving from Windows?  Maybe if you have come to enjoy “bloated” and “slow” (IMO).

Whilst arguing over how a browser choice is to be implimented, IE is reported to still be loosing users.  What does this say about Microsoft when IE doesnt appear to be able to hold onto users with a pre-installed default browser?  I think by the time this browser argument gets sorted, it will matter not.
Whilst arguing over how a browser choice is to be implimented, IE is reported to still be loosing users. What does this say about Microsoft when IE doesnt appear to be able to hold onto users with a pre-installed default browser? I think by the time this browser argument gets sorted, it will matter not.


It is being reported that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has taken another hit in its popularity.  It is being reported that its posted its largest loss of market share since 2008.  It is reported by Net Apps that its lost 8.6 points in the last 12 months and now has control of 66.6%.

There are many questions that need considering in regards to these figures and it would suggest to me that maybe by the time the EU finish trying to figure out a fair way for all browsers it will be of little consequence since IE will not have a majority market share in this area.

From personal experience, Windows users have always raved about the experience of changing browsers and as I’ve said on many an occasion, products like Firefox are a very good way to start introducing people to the world of FOSS and the fact that a product doesnt need to have the Microsoft logo on it.

ZDnet have covered this in greater details over at: http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=23616&tag=nl.e539

But theres further news on the issue of browsers since its being reported that Mozilla are not happy with Microsoft’s ballot idea of Internet Browsers.  Mitchell Baker is reported to have said:

“Even if everything in the currently proposed settlement is implemented in the most positive way — IE will still have a unique and uniquely privileged position on Windows installations,”

And I agree.  I think though that this is going to be a difficult one to get through since its because (IMO) the Windows platform has infested so many machines for so long, many users have an inbuilt programming to use Redmonds offering, no matter what choice is offered to them.  – Going with what they know.

I think the only way around this would be maybe a pre-installed “neutral EU browser” which is fully functional, complete with text regarding the alternatives, that way if users simply stick with the default install, nobody can claim unfair advantage.  In my opinion it would be the only way.

Microsoft has apparently said this:

While we may not align on every specific point, we welcome Mozilla’s input and find their perspectives constructive.  We look forward to the next steps in the Commission’s review.

and Im sure they do. 😉  I personally look forward to seeing how Microsoft deal with this, if they use any delaying tactics and in my opinion the continuing decline of IE usage.  What does it say about Microsoft when a pre-installed browser which is almost a household name cannot hold onto users?  Shareholders take note, theres still Microsofts ZuneHD and Winmob (6.5?) to look forward to – other examples of Microsoft “flogging a dead horse?”

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com


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