UnitedLinux, launched late last month, is an agreement between Caldera, SuSE, Connectiva and TurboLinux to develop a common Linux server platform (see UnitedLinux born without a Red Hat).
Each of the four Linux distribution vendors will share in the development effort to create a Linux server distribution compliant with LSB (Linux Standard Base). The platform is due to ship in the fourth quarter this year.
Speaking last week to more than 150 resellers and integrators at the Caldera Geoforum in Sydney, Love said that while many businesses were looking at Linux, a lot were put off by the lack of a single platform and a perception that there were not enough business applications.
However, Love believes there is a third key reason for business reluctance to adopt Linux — the lack of a sustainable business model for Linux vendors. This is something he believes will be addressed in part by UnitedLinux, for which the binary code will not be freely available on the internet. (The source code will still be available for free download, but any binary independently compiled from it would not carry the “powered by UnitedLinux” brand.)
Love’s comments regarding an even brighter future for Linux were supported by spokespeople from IBM and Hewlett Packard.
“Our strategy with Linux is as a server platform,” says Geoff Lawrence, IBM Australia’s regional manager for Linux sales and marketing. “IBM supports Caldera, Red Hat, SuSE and TurboLinux, but it’s expensive and painful, so this is a great initiative for us and our customers. It means we only have two offerings to support and certify.”
Lawrence says the move also means IBM can get products to customers faster.
Stephen Bovis, Hewlett-Packard’s Australian manager of enterprise products, says HP wants to be equally strong on Linux, Windows and HP-UX.
“While we may not be the loudest in the Linux market, our customers are very happy, which is more important than marketing hype.”
Love says there is already misinformation in the market regarding UnitedLinux and Red Hat.
“The issue isn’t one of us trying to compete with Red Hat — simply a matter of timing and the difficulties of getting four companies to agree to something. It’s been a very intense nine months. Adding another company would have just made it that much harder.”
Casement travelled to Sydney courtesy of Caldera.