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What Linux Distribution do VARs Like Most? It's Definitely Not Red Hat Linux

Oct 31, 2000, 14:26 (26 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Reichard)

By Kevin Reichard, Linux Today

The readers of VARBusiness should be an important constituency for Linux: in the corporate world, VARs are typically the first line of attack when initiating sales and the go-betweens in ongoing support, and a good VAR program can add legitimacy to a middling product.

But according to VARBusiness's annual report card of vendors, Linux vendors come up short when compared to other OS vendors. In the rankings announced yesterday, Microsoft led the way, followed by Novell, SCO, Caldera, Red Hat, and LinuxOne. The vendors were ranked in the following categories: Product Quality, Product Availability, Revenue/ Profit Potential, Pre-sales Support, Post-sales Support, Marketing Support, Administration of Program, Communications, Channel Strategy, E-business Program, and Ease of Doing Business.

Trailing these more established companies were the Linux distribution vendors, led by Caldera. Interestingly, the offerings of LinuxOne -- a company that has been widely ridiculed in the Linux press -- came out tied with Red Hat Linux in total points, and surpassing Red Hat in terms of ratings for post-sales support, pre-sales support, and the ease of doing business. And, in some key categories -- Revenue/ Profit Potential and Pre-sales Support -- Red Hat lagged far behind the rest of the field.

Now, it's important to note that this was a tight race, and it's not as though Microsoft is running away from the rest of the field. But if Linux is to do a better job in corporate usage, it must do a better job of working with VARs -- and this survey clearly shows that there's much room for improvement.

VARBusiness Story

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