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Why the RHEL clones will fail

I think it’s fair to say that when Oracle joins a group that promises “free lunch,” it’s someone else’s lunch that Oracle is hoping to eat. How else to explain the Open Enterprise Linux Association (OpenELA)? This trade association formed by Oracle, SUSE, and CIQ declares “freeloaders welcome” as it tries to build a free clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

None of these companies is in the business of giving away their own products for free, yet they dearly hope you’ll look to them to get free RHEL—and stick around to pay them for their services. As companies that have never successfully competed individually against Red Hat, they can be forgiven for assuming a collective effort will make a difference. It won’t, but hope and industry associations spring eternal.

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