Vista’s delay has grabbed the headlines in recent days with a tenacity rare for a tech story, Microsoft or not. The news hit just in time to give Novell’s Brainshare conference in Utah an extra shot in the arm and led to some widely reported jibes from senior Veep John Dragoon:
Dragoon found the timing of Microsoft’s latest delay to his liking, as he opened a multimedia tour of Novell’s latest desktop suite based on the competing Linux operating system.
“Why, I feel bad for them,” he quipped, holding up a copy of USA Today with a headline trumpeting, “Microsoft Delays New Windows” as the Salt Palace convention crowd of several thousand cheered.
Novell’s SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 - SLED 10 - and its applications are available now, “and I can guarantee that what you see today (in a demonstration) will be impressive, will have polish and will give you hope and confidence that there actually is a legitimate choice,” Dragoon said.
The company had already been putting it about that the latest incarnation of SuSE was a real alternative to the nascent Vista and were grateful for the six month head start on Microsoft’s offering, which has now grown to nine months.
The company were trumpeting three major new contracts for their Linux services with the Finnish military, a New England bank and a New York hospital chain. The Fins were particularly effusive about their new software, citing stability and security as decisive factors…
“Our key operational and decision-making processes rely on our ability to access our . . . systems 24/7, securely and with no glitches,” [Antti Nummiranta of Finland’s Ministry of Defense] said. “We have not had a single second of downtime on the Linux platform.”
Dell computers also announced a partnership with Novell that will see an estimated 20% of the servers they ship running Linux.
It wasn’t all good news; Computer Business Review relates Novell COO Ron Hovsepian complaints of Microsoft’s underhand tactics in keeping Linux off the menu at PC OEMs. ZDNet found itself, yet again, bemoaning Linux’s sluggish movement towards the mainstream in the wake of Vista’s innumerable delays, despite being the “most modern and well-developed operating system available.” Alfresco’s Matt Asay, one of the bloggers at InfoWorld, shared some thoughts on open source marketing he brought back from a lunch with SpikeSource’s Nick Helsey at the Brainshare conference which could see that process accelerated.