Red Hat Preps Desktop Blitz, Regional Events
Lookout, Novell: Red Hat is getting ready to leap from Linux servers onto desktops and mainframes, The VAR Guy hears. After focusing mainly on x86 servers in recent years, Red Hat will move both downstream and upstream while rallying partners at regional events later this year.
Until now, Red Hat had largely ignored the mainframe and desktop sectors–two areas where Novell’s SuSE Linux has enjoyed a bit of momentum. “We are going to have a desktop solution,” says Mark Enzweiler, Red Hat’s channel VP. “Weâ€™ve been engaged in conversations with major desktop manufacturers.”
Red Hat “also wants to get back into” Linux on the mainframe, Enzweiler adds. “We’re no longer happy with just the middle. Being in the middle of the market [on x86 servers] is a strategic control point, but we’ll be pushing higher and lower going forward.”
Many pundits believe Dell will introduce PCs with Linux preinstalled. In fact, the PC giant is currently surveying users about their desktop and mobile Linux needs. The VAR Guy thinks Lenovo will also increase its Linux support, especially in big markets like China–where Windows isn’t a de facto standard.
Meanwhile, Red Hat also is organizing events for channel partners. Instead of inviting VARs to the company’s big Red Hat Summit for customers in May, Red Hat plans to host regional partner events around the world. Red Hat will also have a strong channel presence at IBM PartnerWorld in late April. “We talked about having a breakout session for partners at Red Hat Summit, but we decided against it because there are a number of partner-only events coming up,” reasons Enzweiler.
Watch for Red Hat to organize its own regional partner events in the second half of this year.