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
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
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.
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