European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, fresh off her antitrust victory over Microsoft in the European Court of First Instance, has launched two new investigations into anticompetitive behavior by Microsoft:
A coalition of rivals charged on Friday that Microsoft Corp.’s new Vista operating system coming out next week will perpetuate practices found illegal in the European Union nearly three years ago.
The group, which includes IBM, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Adobe, Oracle and Red Hat, said its complaints made last year are yet to be addressed just days before Vista is due for release.
“Microsoft has clearly chosen to ignore the fundamental principles of the Commission’s March 2004 decision,” said Simon Awde, chairman of the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS).
Microsoft said it had no comment. The Commission was not ready to act.
“We are in the process of examining this complaint,” a Commission spokesman said. ECIS disclosed on Friday that the latest additions to its complaint were made only last month, after it studied Vista.
Other complainants in the group include Corel, RealNetworks , Linspire and Opera.
The ECIS press release is here and technologies specifically called out are XAML and Open XML. The European Commission always seems to move at a snail’s place, but they do move eventually so their reaction to Vista continues to be something to watch.
Five months after Red Hat snatched JBoss from under the Oracle’s nose, his company has struck back with a service and support package designed to gut Red Hat like a fish.
Dressed in the guise of promoting adoption of Linux in mission-critical environments, Ellison today at Oracle Openworld, announced three-tiered support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions 3 and 4 starting at $99 per system per year. It’s not necessary for Red Hat customers to be running Oracle products.
Barely able to suppress excited giggling, Ellison claimed Oracle would undercut Red Hat by up to 60 per cent. Oracle middleware and application users on Red Hat and switching in the next 90 days get Oracle’s support for an additional 50 per cent off.
This could hurt Red Hat, a company that looks to support and maintenance for the bulk of its revenues.
“We want to make all the Linux better,” Ellison said. “The better Linux gets the more successful we will be.” He confirmed Oracle would “absolutely” deliver an entire open source stack running from operating system to applications.
If that seems a little over the top, check out the Oracle press release via Steve Hamm at BusinessWeek Online:
Today Oracle announced that it would provide the same enterprise class support for Linux as it provides for its database, middleware and applications products. Oracle starts with Red Hat Linux, removes Red Hat trademarks, and then adds Linux bug fixes.
Currently, Red Hat only provides bug fixes for the latest version of its software. This often requires customers to upgrade to a new version of Linux software to get a bug fixed. Oracle’s new Unbreakable Linux program 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.
Oracle is offering its Unbreakable Linux program for substantially less than Red Hat currently charges for its best support. “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,” said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. “Intel is a development partner. Dell and HP are resellers and support partners. Many others are signed up to help us move Linux up to mission critical status in the data center.”
And that brings us to the big boy part of the story as described by Michael Kahn and Eric Auchard at Reuters:
The news was met with a flood of endorsements from Oracle’s closest technology partners, including Intel Corp., Dell Inc. and EMC Corp. International Business Machines Corp., a major rival in database and middleware software, also signaled its support for the move.
Now I don’t follow the daily doings in the commercialized Linux market, but Red Hat certainly seems to be short on friends. I also wonder what Oracle has after Red Hat goes casters up – maybe they plan to buy it cheap? In any case, Red Hat’s share price went in the tank after this was announced.
So what’s the Microsoft hook? Just what you’d expect:
Apart from the impact on Red Hat, the move is significant for Oracle because it can now supply not only databases and applications but also an underlying operating system, giving it what the industry calls a complete “software stack.”
Analysts also see it as an important counter-balance to the Windows operating system of Microsoft Corp., Oracle’s main rival.
It looks like Mr. Ellison got himself an operating system in a typically odd Ellison way.
Colin Barker at ZDNet UK
Long hailed as the provider of choice for companies looking for PC solutions based on Intel hardware and Microsoft software, Dell says that Linux now makes up 25 percent of its enterprise market.
The company also claims to have made inroads in the Linux services market and to have reached a comfort level with Linux systems where it can now solve over 90 percent of Red Hat Linux service calls without need to involve Red Hat.
The figures were revealed by Dell’s worldwide marketing director for PowerEdge servers, Jay Parker, at a conference in Monte Carlo on Tuesday.
“As part of Dell Service we have managed over 500 Unix to Linux migrations,” Parker told ZDNet UK. “We see that growing, not shrinking, over time.”
Linux is now “over a quarter of what we sell”, said Parker.
Virtually all of the business has come from customer migrations from proprietary Unix environments, from companies such as IBM and Sun.
Not all Windows and, of course, not all Intel either.