The Linux market currently risks falling victim to the old problems of the Unix space, with application vendors having to certify their applications for each distribution.
"To me the number one thing we need on Linux is application. We need customers writing applications to Linux, but we also need the independent software vendors to have their footprints on the Linux platform," Hovsepian told delegates.
Linux vendors currently compete mostly on the number of applications that are certified for their platforms. Instead, argued Hovsepian, they should compete on the quality of their support services.
He called on his fellow Linux vendors as well as software developers to create a vendor neutral software certification programme, arguing that it would bring them on par with Microsoft.
"Windows' application availability is far and away [Microsoft's] biggest advantage," Hovespian said.
"People go to Microsoft and they know that there is one platform that they have to deal with. They get their application certified and they get access to the market."
The Linux Foundation has created the Linux Standard Base (LSB) that aims to deliver on Hovsepian's vision, but the Novell executive argued that the programme is missing key components.
"I don’t think we need to create anything new. We need to take advantage of what LSB has already built, and build off that to [go to] the next level."
Hovsepian added that the company is alrady talking to other "stake holder", such as distros and developers
In an effort to further advance the adoption of virtualization, Hovsepian also unveiled ZENworks Virtual Machine Manager and version 1.1 of the ZENworks Orchestrator, which will allow IT administrators to start, manage and migrate virtual machines running on Xen, VMware and once it is released some time next year, for Microsoft's Viridian.
A video of Hovsepian talking about cross-distribution APIs is available on vnunet.com TV
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