Feeds

Red Hat scurries away from consumer desktop market

Pesky Microsoft just won't play ball

High performance access to file storage

Linux and open source software giant Red Hat has abandoned plans to develop a consumer desktop product because it cannot compete with the might of Microsoft.

The firm said in a statement yesterday: “As a public, for-profit company, Red Hat must create products and technologies with an eye on the bottom line, and with desktops this is much harder to do than with servers.

“The desktop market suffers from having one dominant vendor, and some people still perceive that today’s Linux desktops simply don’t provide a practical alternative.”

That dominant vendor which Red Hat also described as a bad "community player" is of course Microsoft, with its Windows operating system.

Red Hat has also been forced to rejig its roadmap somewhat. The company said its Red Hat Global Desktop (RHGD) product – which was announced last year and is aimed at the small, reseller-supplied deployments in emerging markets such as Brazil, China, India and Russia – has been delayed by nearly a year.

Red Hat had originally planned to cough up RHGD in the next few months, but said that “business issues” have pushed the launch date back.

It’s encountered a variety of problems with developing the product including startup delays with resellers, hardware and market changes and “some multimedia codec licensing knotholes”.

Red Hat acknowledged it had stumbled onto the garden fork with its second failed attempt at a consumer desktop Linux distribution in as many years. Explaining the rather hefty RHGD delay, it urged caution: “The desktop business model is tough, so we want to be prepared before delivering a product to the emerging markets.”

Yesterday, Novell’s president and CEO Ronald Hovesepian agreed that it will take time to develop its own Suse Linux desktop distribution for the consumer market.

According to reports, he said: “The consumer market is taking longer to develop… The market for the desktop for the next three to five years is mainly enterprise-related."

Major computer makers such as Dell and HP have been experimenting with open source flavoured desktop products over the past year in an apparent attempt to satisfy customer demand by offering a Windows alternative. But even though the Vista OS has received a lukewarm at best response from customers, it's too early to declare Linux a fully fledged consumer OS.®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.