Does Novell stand alone in the Linux desktop market?

Novell may well stand alone in the enterprise Linux desktop market. Does anyone care?

Ron Hovsepian, CEO of Novell, took an unwarranted swipe at Red Hat for failing to show up to the Linux desktop market, but by Red Hat's own admission, it's not really interested in the traditional desktop market.

But Hovsepian has a point. Novell stands more-or-less alone in the enterprise Linux desktop market. Just ask Peugeot, Italy's parliament, and the others who use SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. Ubuntu owns the consumer Linux desktop market (through deals with Dell and others), but Novell may well stand alone (for now) in the enterprise market.

It's a bit like being prom queen when you're home schooled, but with Microsoft under its first real fight for the desktop, perhaps it matters?

Or perhaps Red Hat and Ubuntu are approaching the enterprise Linux desktop market through the most strategically important ways: Developing nations (Red Hat) and consumers (Ubuntu). Your thoughts?

(By the way, I recently evaluated Novell's SLED: Very locked-down, as appropriate for an enterprise, but that may also cut against its success as the early adopters will want to tinker....I couldn't even install Firefox's beta 3 version on it.)
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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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