Perhaps there's something to Novell's approach to interoperability, after all. As reported today, Red Hat is delaying (again) the next version of its Linux desktop until January 2008. The reason is very interesting:
[Leigh Day] said Red Hat was postponing the product's release again because it has yet to resolve problems getting the right to distribute software for playing music and viewing videos with the Linux software.
Intellectual property issue, perhaps? Or maybe it's just a matter of ensuring the right level of royalties are paid? I'm not sure, but would love to hear from Red Hat on the issue.
Regardless, the desktop has long seemed to be a bit of an afterthought for Red Hat, at least the traditional US/EMEA-centric desktop. Red Hat has focused on redefining the desktop for emerging markets. I doubt it or its investors will be unduly worried about a slip in the release of a product that is unlikely to attract much revenue.