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LinuxWorld Expo New Haven for Corporate Users, Vendors - page 2

The New Breed of Expo Attendee

  • January 26, 2003
  • By Brian Proffitt

Here is something I need to get out in front right up front: I have a Red Hat cap. It's a black baseball cap, with the curved visor that makes people look hip. Having worn flat-billed caps all of my life, I don't see what the hip factor is all about. That may be a telling statement right there.

Anyway, I just thought it should be known about my choice of headwear given the topic of this section.

There are a lot of people in the Linux industry really ticked off at Red Hat these days. I'm not talking just competitors, either. I am talking about partners and I am talking about customers, too. And, I am not sure if Red Hat's even aware of the animosity they have generated.

Several times during the course of the Expo, I had conversations with all sorts of people where the topic of Red Hat came up. To a person, none of these conversations were very favorable. I was very surprised by the attitudes of these people. I mean, let's face it, a competitor is always going to try and score points against the other side--but I heard customers railing against what they regard as bullying tactics from Red Hat.

Absolutely none of these people would go on the record, so it is unclear what these tactics might be. Several comparisons to Microsoft came up, though, which is never a good sign.

Clearly, Red Hat's success and their drive in the marketplace has gotten some people up in arms. I see it in the talkbacks over on Linux Today quite a bit--someone usually tries to take the opportunity to bash Red Hat any chance they can. In the past, I attributed this to anything from sour grapes to fanatics' senses of paranoia.

After last week's show, one might begin to wonder.

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