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Holger Dyroff, Gaël Duval, Mark de Visser, and Mike Angelo Discuss LSB, UnitedLinux, and the Linux Market

UnitedLinux, a Divisive Weapon for Caldera's Darl McBride -- Part II

UnitedLinux: A Standard or a Distribution?

Does Darl McBride speak for SuSE or for UnitedLinux?

By Mike Angelo

6 September 2002 (C)

Part I Article Index

Part II Article Index

Introduction and Synopsis

Previously, in Part I of the McBride divisive antics and VaporHype story, we looked at McBride's inappropriate statements. These statements attack Red Hat. Moreover they slight, if not demean or insult, Mandrake and many other Linux distributions by ignoring them and by dividing the Linux World into merely McBride's UnitedLinux and Red Hat only.

Additionally, McBride makes market share statements that he fails to back up with data -- and all the data we looked at refute McBride's statements clearly and decisively.

Today, in Part II, we look further into McBride's inflammatory and divisive statements. Part I captures the reactions of Mandrake's Gaël Duval and Red Hat's Mark de Visser to McBride's VaporHype. In Part II the discussions with Gaël Duval and Mark de Visser continue and they tell us, convincingly, why UnitedLinux is not a Linux standard, but rather just another Linux Distribution. Additionally, SuSE's Holger Dyroff and Martina Krahmer discuss SuSE's involvent with UnitedLinux, why they believe UnitedLinux is important, and that Darl McBride does not speak for SuSE or for UnitedLinux.

Something that became clear to us during the several weeks of legwork for this story and in writing the story is that Darl McBride and his Caldera/SCO outfit have a definite conflict of interest when presuming to speak on behalf of UnitedLinux and/or the Linux community. Revenues-wise, Caldera/SCO is only 2% a Linux distribution provider. Caldera/SCO is pretty much a UNIX company. Therefore it is McBride's and Caldera/SCO's best interests to divide the Linux community and to set the real Linux companies at each other's throats. Doing that would work towards destroying the Linux community's attention and focus on going after potential customers that currently are UNIX customers.

There is nothing wrong in a company protecting its own turf (instantly Caldera/SCO's UNIX customer base) by good, solid, honest competition. However, pretending to be advancing the interests of Linux and the Linux community by trying to split that Linux community by hiding behind what has been made to look like a standardization initiative (UnitedLinux) in order to protect that UNIX customer base is appalling.

If you have not already done so, please make sure you read Part I. You pretty much need to have read Part I to understand just what McBride said and why his statements are so inappropriate in the Linux community and the Linux world.

McBride's Fire, Works Towards Dividing the Linux Community

Now, here is where it really starts to get interesting and controversial.

Darl McBride's comments at Fall LinuxWorld 2002 as reported in eWeek, August 13, 2002 UnitedLinux Set for Beta; Caldera Eyes New Era, by Scot Petersen, were pretty much an attack launched against Red Hat and at least a slight, if not an insult to Mandrake and many other Linux distribution providers. You really ought to read that story if you already have not done so. A link to it is in the Resources section at the end of this article for your convenience.

UnitedLinux . . . announced the imminent availability of the product for beta testing, promising to breathe new life into the challengers to Red Hat Inc. UnitedLinux Set for Beta; Caldera Eyes New Era, Scot Petersen, eWEEK, August 13, 2002.

McBride said, the UnitedLinux group will try to offer Linux users and enterprise customers an "alternative" to Red Hat Linux. "Customers and vendors are telling us we don't want to be stuck with only one Linux vendor, Red Hat," (ibid)

"If we combined our market share, we have more than Red Hat, . . . If we combine our developer count, we have more than Red Hat." (ibid) [This is merely VaporHype -- please see Part I for the real, market data.]

McBride does not appear to be talking about UnitedLinux competing with UNIX and, or, Microsoft here or converting UNIX or MS Windows computer users (individual, business, corporate, enterprise, institutional, or governmental, etc) to becoming Linux users. McBride appears to be talking about taking existing Linux users away from Red Hat by name and many other Linux distributions by implication. That does nothing to advance Linux. That does nothing for the Linux community.

When you look at Caldera's insignificant position in the Linux community, McBride comes off as the mouse that squeaks.

Caldera/SCO is pretty much a UNIX company -- only 2% a Linux distribution provider.

Moreover, it appears that this is not some sort of polite or friendly competition with Red Hat. McBride appears to be misusing UnitedLinux to go for Red Hat's jugular. From his failure to even mention Mandrake and other Linux distributions, he either insults them or believes he already has beaten Mandrake and all the other Linux distributions. However, when you look at Caldera's insignificant position in the Linux community, McBride comes off as the mouse that squeaks.

Caldera/SCO is pretty much a UNIX company. Revenues-wise, Caldera/SCO is only 2% a Linux distribution provider.

Several weeks ago when we were discussing LSB and UnitedLinux issues with Holger Dyroff, General Manager of SuSE's U.S. operation, we got the definite impression that SuSE would like to have more Linux distribution providers, including Mandrake and Red Hat, join the UnitedLinux consortium. Moreover, the SuSE people seem to be very Linux-community minded and strong supporters of open source software and open standards.

Holger Dyroff reaffirmed that recently in both e-mail and telephone discussions.

Holger Dyroff: Other Linux companies, such as Red Hat are regarded as potential future partners [in UnitedLinux]. (Emphasis added.)

MozillaQuest Magazine: Have any other Linux distributors such as Mandrake and Red Hat been invited to join United Linux?

Holger Dyroff: We want as many Linux distributors to join the initiative as possible. That means not just Red Hat and Mandrake, but also other Linux distributors around the globe. With the recently announced partner and developer program for UnitedLinux, we target Linux distributors as well as application developers who all pursue the goal to make Linux the number one enterprise operating system.

(Would it be to McBride and his Caldera/SCO's, a UNIX company, benefit to make Linux the number one enterprise operating system? We do not think so!)

We want as many Linux distributors to join the initiative as possible. That means not just Red Hat and Mandrake, but also other Linux distributors around the globe. -- Holger Dyroff

In contrast consider the statements above attributed to McBride and attributed to UnitedLinux such as UnitedLinux officials feel that the combined efforts of the four founders give them a renewed chance to overtake Red Hat's Linux dominance. (eWeek, ibid) These sorts of statements stand in direct contrast to what we had gleaned out of our conversations with Holger Dyroff.

Is Caldera's Darl McBride really speaking for UnitedLinux and all its members? McBride's statements certainly do not ring of an invitation to Mandrake, Red Hat, and other Linux distributors to join the UnitedLinux consortium.

Two weeks ago, we asked that question to Caldera, Conectiva, SuSE and Turbolinux spokespeople. We received no reply from Conectiva or Turbolinux. Caldera wanted us to hold off until late next week (now last week), which we would not do. Please see the explanation note in Part I.

Additionaly, A pre-publication draft of this article was e-mailed to Blake Stowell earlier today in order to afford Stowell, McBride, and Caldera/SCO the opportunity to respond by return e-mail to this story. Although we did recieve several reply e-mails they did not contain responsive answers to our previous questions or to the issues, information and facts presented and discussed in this article.

  • See Darl McBride does not speak for SuSE or for UnitedLinux on Page 2 ---->

  • Part I Article Index

    Part II Article Index

    Related Articles


    UnitedLinux, a Divisive Weapon for Caldera's Darl McBride -- Part I


    Scott McNeil and MozillaQuest Magazine Discuss LSB: Are You Ready For the Linux Standard Base? LSB is Ready for You!


    SuSE Linux 8.1 in October -- UnitedLinux Server in November

    SuSE Says Yes to LSB and UnitedLinux


    Mandrake Linux 9.0 Beta 1 Available Now -- 9.0 in September

    MandrakeSoft Says Yes to LSB but No to Netscape and UnitedLinux


    Red Hat E-Commerce Suite -- Open Source Software Plus Commercial Tools, Services, & Support


    Other Interesting MozillaQuest Articles


    Copyright 2000 - 2002 -- MozillaQuest -- Brodheadsville, Pa..USA -- All Rights Reserved

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