Subject: Re: Speculating on where the distro market is going
From: "Luis Villa" <luis@tieguy.org>
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2006 16:10:14 -0400

On 10/19/06, Federico Lucifredi <flucifredi@acm.org> wrote:
> Scenario (b) is similar but slightly different. Oracle toes the line but
> does not set off Big Blue into 'me too' purchase mode. However, IBM
> recognizes reality (that Oracle running on Ubuntu makes Ubuntu a tier-1
> enterprise distro is a fact), and starts selling their
> consulting/customers Ubuntu itself alongside RHAT and NOVL's distros.
> We still have RHAT as the market segment leader in the mid term, but
> with a serious challenge to face given the momentum and mindshare that
> Ubuntu already has would be supported by Oracle's might and money.
> Neither RHAT or NOVL are acquired, but Suse Linux loses the #2 market
> spot in favor of Ubuntu within 12 months, with the two crossing each
> other in terms of total revenue in a slightly longer timeframe.

(b) seems like the most likely scenario to me- IBM doesn't want to
have the hassle of owning a distro. They just want competition to keep
prices low and bidding competitive- that's why they kept investing in
SUSE. It wasn't that they actually preferred suse; they just wanted to
make sure there was a counterbalance to RH. If Oracle and Sun make
Ubuntu an enterprise player, IBM will be thrilled- they get another
counterbalance to RH and SUSE for free.

Note that f IBM isn't going to buy, then there just aren't enough
players in the space for (a) to happen.

Luis

P.S. First posting here, so a brief intro for those of you who don't
know me: I'm former Ximian/Novell/GNOME Foundation Board, now in my
first year at Columbia Law, hoping to get accepted into the MBA
program for the joint degree, and intending to get back into the
Free/Open/Peer Production space when I graduate.