Microsoft Deal: Red Hat Quietly Jabs Novell
When Red Hat and Microsoft announced a virtualization partnership on February 16, both companies directed most of their messaging to customers. Now, Red Hat is back — promoting the Microsoft relationship to channel partners, and taking a thinly veiled shot at Novell. Here’s how.
In a February 18 blog post, Red Hat says the Microsoft deal will deliver a “bigger opportunity for channel partners.” Sure, the blog entry contains some marketing hype. But let’s give Red Hat (and Microsoft…) some credit here: The duo signed a partnership that serves customers and partners — without spinning up any patent controversy along the way.
According to the Red Hat blog post:
Both companies signed straightforward certification and validation agreements indicating that we would join the other’s virtualization validation/certification program, which means ultimately our customers and partners win.
Oh, And About Novell…
Re-read that blog post again, and you’ll notice the following four key words: “Straightforward certification and validation agreements.”
Read between the lines, and Red Hat essentially is:
- Declaring the Red Hat-Microsoft deal to be a smarter engagement than the Novell-Microsoft deal
- Criticizing the Microsoft-Novell relationship for complicated patent agreements that triggered a fury among some open source advocates
Hmmm. Let’s let Red Hat enjoy the moment — at least for the next few days. Novell on February 26 will step into the spotlight with its quarterly earnings results (here’s a preview). If SUSE Linux sales are continuing to grow, Novell will likely silence more skeptics who questioned the Microsoft-Novell relationship.
(Full disclosure: The VAR Guy wrote off Novell in mid-2007, but ate crow when he discovered growing momentum for SUSE Linux among channel partners…)