Red Hat, SUSE, and Ubuntu in 2008

Novell will continue to squander its opportunities until it learns how to market itself. has a good analysis of what 2008 could have in store for the three leading Linux distributions: Red Hat, Novell's SUSE, and Canonical's Ubuntu. Red Hat needs to regain its Fedora passion, according to the article, while Ubuntu needs to learn to channel its Mac-like following into cash. Novell? Novell needs to learn how to market:

The reason that Novell barely gets credit for its work is that its marketing team never leads with anything remotely innovative. If they played it any safer they'd be asleep!...

In the next 52 weeks Novell needs to do what they do best: innovate. Then they need to do well the thing they do worst: they need to lead with their innovation. They need to create a mass marketing campaign around SUSE Linux and its new innovative features that will leave the other vendors in the dust.

When I was at Novell I used to hear constant griping that the market wasn't voting for its products, given how innovative they were. Novell does do innovative work. It just doesn't have a clue as to how to tell people about it. Until it does, the market will continue to belong to Red Hat and Ubuntu.

Tech Culture
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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