[lug] Interesting news

Ferdinand Schmid fschmid at archenergy.com
Tue Nov 4 10:31:28 MST 2003

Let's not freak out immediately.  I have to admit that this
development is new to me (after reading that SuSE has no plans to go
public - and stating that at the last meeting...).  But after thinking
about this acquisition I am not too concerned at this time.

SuSE has been profitable with their mix of Enterprise and consumer
versions of Linux.  They have established a large and loyal user base
in Europe and here.  SuSE was the first Linux company to offer an
Enterprise edition of Linux, they were the first distro to offer an
Enterprise Desktop edition, they are the first distro to offer a
messaging server, ... And despite the enterprise success they still
are still offering the consumer version of Linux.  I am sure their
reason for their continued support of consumers was revenue from
selling lots of consumer versions at a consumer price.  Novell
would be crazy to change that.  

Many SuSE users didn't know how close SuSE was to IBM (they ported
Linux to mainframes, together with IBM they introduced Linux on
Mainframes to the banking industry, ...).  Novell very likely
purchased SuSE for this reason.  The owners of SuSE may have felt that
they needed an "Exit Strategy" to retire and this was a good offer
(not everybody is like Bill Gates).  In my opinion IBM would have been
another potential buyer of SuSE.

Based on the European, and especially the German, Linux landscape I
cannot see why Novell would want to (or even could) remove the
consumer version of Linux.  I may be wrong - but I don't expect rapid
changes in the SuSE product offerings.

Overall this acquisition may not be negative SuSE Linux is a
superior product that was lacking good marketing and a local presence in
many countries.  Novell can bring those qualities to the table and
that is what may be required to make Linux more mainstream.  


--On Tuesday, November 04, 2003 09:53:05 AM -0700 Gary Hodges
<Gary.Hodges at noaa.gov> wrote:

> Jeffrey Brown wrote:
>> Novell Announces Agreement to Acquire Leading Enterprise Linux
>> Technology Company SUSE LINUX
> Well, what the hell am I to think about this?  Here I am right on the
> cusp of getting everyone in my group behind SuSE because of their
> good distribution and business model that is well suited to our group.
> I'm just blindsided in a sense.  At the distribution meeting I wanted
> to make sure SuSE was not going to change their business model.
> Repeatedly I was told that SuSE is a private company with no plans to
> go public. Now there are public since Novell is a public company.
> OK, I'm not beating on anyone there because how could any of us have
> known about this deal.  But man, am I going to get everyone in my
> group on board and then in Jan 04 is there going to be an enterprise
> line?
> We are a small outfit.  We've gone from Red Hat to KRUD and are
> moving to SuSE all in the span of about four months.  We just want
> something that will be there, in a stable sense, for a long time.
> Like I said, we are a small group and this is all bugging us, and by
> us I mean me, and I can only imagine what a large organization might
> be dealing with.
> Gary
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Ferdinand Schmid
Architectural Energy Corporation
Celebrating 21 Years of Improving Building Energy Performance

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