"There's no denying that the past few years have seen a
significant shift in the way people think about Red Hat.
Comfortable in its dominance of the North American Linux market,
disinterested in trying to push retail product, there's been an air
of staleness and perhaps uncertainty coming out of the company.
"It's a bad time for a market leader to be in anything less than
top form, too. When Novell acquired SUSE in late 2003, the dynamics
of the game in the United States changed abruptly. SUSE had
struggled for years to get a toehold in North America, which Novell
gave it. That toehold paid off in less than a year when Dell
announced it would support SUSE on its 1- and 2-way servers,
alongside Red Hat. There's no sign of a massive shift in market
share yet, but the NetWare migration to Linux is still in the early
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