Tag Archives: Licencing

The Red Hat/Microsoft Alliance

If an enemy has alliances, the problem is grave and the enemy’s position strong; if he has no alliances, the problem is minor and the enemy’s position weak.

Sun Tzu, “The art of war”, written between 476 and 221 BC (approximately)

We continue our analysis of the “hypervisor wars” with another reference to the 2000-year-old- Art of War.  It is clear that virtualization has shifted the alliances in the industry, and that new alliances are being forged.

Red Hat and Microsoft have spent the last ten years battling each other across the frontiers between Linux and Windows, J2EE and .NET, SQL Server and LAMP, Office and OpenOffice.  Red Hat and Microsoft have been too powerful to forge alliances with each other. When Microsoft decided to come to an uneasy truce in the battle between Office and OpenOffice, it ostentatiously chose the weaker Linux player, Novell, rather than the dominant player, Red Hat.

But needs must, and given the existential threat posed by VMware (that we noted in a recent post) and no matter how remote it may consider that threat to be, in February 2009 Microsoft joined forces with Red Hat to cross-certify their flagship server products, and on October 7th both Red Hat and Microsoft issued synchronised announcements,