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The Register: Red Hat, Linux, Consumers, Money--Do They Mix?

May 23, 2003, 01:00 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Lettice)

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"Earlier this year Red Hat split its range into two segments--effectively, business and everything else. It did this in the wrong order, as The Register remarked at the time, but subsequently the company has padded out its Enterprise range to consist of Advanced Server, Enterprise Server and Workstation, so here at least it has a complete set.

"But what's going on with 'everything else,' the product line Red Hat terms 'consumer'? After speaking to Red Hat marketing VP Mark de Visser last week The Register left with the strong impression that the answer in the short term was not a lot, or more of the same, while the real upheaval will take place in the longer term, and probably doesn't yet have anything you'd call a serious blueprint. Our parting impression, incidentally, should not necessarily be viewed as criticism; Red Hat, in common with the other major distributions, is still trying to figure out how you make money starting from free, and the bottom line is that the enterprise line shows prospects of making money while the consumer one as currently constituted does not.

"When talking to us de Visser stressed that he wasn't there to make product announcements, but he was prepared to talk about the company's views and aspirations in sufficient depth for us to make inferences. So note that what follows is largely Register inferences, not a Red Hat roadmap..."

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