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Oracle adopts Red Hat Linux as its own

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Oracle Corp. on Oct. 25 announced that it would provide the same enterprise class support for Linux as it provides for its database, middleware, and applications products. Essentially, this means that Oracle, after removing Red Hat trademarks, will be distributing Oracle Unbreakable Linux, derived from Red Hat's open-source Linux technology.

Oracle, however, claims that it is merely "supporting" Unbreakable Linux, which is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Other, far smaller companies, such as CentOS and White Box Enterprise Linux, have taken Red Hat's code, removed the Red Hat trademarks, and spun their own Linux distributions from it. No major business, until now, though, has made such a move.

The database giant claims that Red Hat only provides bug fixes for the latest version of its software. Thus, Oracle executives say, this often requires customers to upgrade to a new version of Linux software to get a bug fixed. Oracle's new Unbreakable Linux program, on the other hand, will provide bug fixes to future, current, and back releases of Linux. In other words, Oracle will provide the same level of enterprise support for Linux as is available for other operating systems.

Additionally, Oracle is offering its Unbreakable Linux program for substantially less than Red Hat currently charges for its best support.

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On the eve of Ubuntu Linux's version 6.10 release, Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu and its commercial wing, Canonical Ltd., held an early morning meeting in London to talk about Ubuntu, Canonical, and their business future.

Despite the almost endless rumors about an Oracle deal in the works to either buy or partner with Ubuntu, no such deal, according to Shuttleworth, will be announced... yet.

At the same time, however, he made it clear that there will be a Ubuntu/Oracle partnership in the future. "There has been a tremendous amount of interest in Oracle on Ubuntu, and that will be one of the strategic steps we'll take in due time," Shuttleworth said.

It's worth noting, though, that Oracle has already used Linux for years. It was in 2002, after all, that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison promised to run the company's entire business on Linux. Oracle also has long-standing partnerships with Red Hat and Novell.

While this will be a big move for Ubuntu as it continues its enterprise push, it won't be a major change for Oracle.

Ubuntu makes business moves, but no Oracle deal... yet.

Oracle's Red Hat rip-off

No one saw this coming. People talked about Oracle making its own Linux, or buying a Linux company (Ubuntu?). But, the news that Oracle is erasing Red Hat's trademarks from Unbreakable Linux and supporting it for less than Red Hat is a bolt from the blue.

Or, perhaps, I should say that Oracle is firing a shot at the heart of Red Hat, and commercial Linux?

This really, really ticks me off.

Oracle's claims as to why it felt it had to make this move are BS.

Also @ Linux-Watch.

You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Reactions to Oracle's Unbreakable Linux move

Oracle's Unbreakable Linux move caught the Linux community by surprise, but, for the most part, they're seeing a silver lining to Oracle's latest shocker. Red Hat, for example, made the best of the news that Oracle will take Red Hat Linux and support it at cut-rates.

"The opportunity for open source just got bigger," said spokesperson Leigh Day. "Oracle's announcement further validates open source and Red Hat's technical leadership. We will continue to optimize Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Oracle and compete on value and innovation."

Kevin Carmony, CEO of Linspire Inc. took a less optimistic view of the situation. This is "Not good for Red Hat," said Carmony. "Their stock is already down nearly 17 percent in after market trading on this news. I guess it is, however, slightly better for Red Hat than if Oracle had gone with Debian or Ubuntu."

Speaking of Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical Ltd. had been talking earlier on the same day about a possible partnership with Oracle. That's, no longer in Ubuntu's the crystal ball.

Novell Inc., which like Red Hat is an Oracle partner, found Oracle's Unbreakable Linux initiative "an interesting development."

Again, @ Linux-Watch.

You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?


Sometimes you just have to call bull*&#% on something and Oracle’s announcement on Linux is as great a candidate as any I’ve seen lately. Most of the pundits and analysts will focus on what this means for Red Hat and their valuation. In fact, Red Hat’s stock price was off 15% in after-market trading after the announcement.

There are a number of issues I had with the announcement and, I’m sure, everyone will have their own take on the matter. I’ve written about this potential announcement going back to May when the rumors first started to fly and as recently as last week. My contention has been that this is more of an emotional reaction to the market capitalization of Red Hat than a sound business decision that delivers any added value to the industry or to the end customers.

Larry’s quote is the most interesting: “We believe that better support and lower support prices will speed the adoption of Linux, and we are working closely with our partners to make that happen.”

Well, I guess they’re working with some of their partners, but, I doubt that Red Hat is one of them. Essentially, Oracle is taking the work that Red Hat is doing and charging less for it in an attempt to bypass Red Hat as a vendor.

I’m not sure how long that model, if successful, can last.

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You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

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