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Channel Insider has announced that Red Hat Enterprise Linux has beaten off the competition in the 2008 Product of the Year awards to scoop the server operating system award. This is important for two reasons: firstly the fact that awards are given to products which "exemplify attributes of high importance to the channel including value, support and profit potential" which gives it a very real world impact, but also because Microsoft could not muster a top three place at all. In fact, Sun came in second with Novell in third.

OK, Microsoft did pick up some gongs elsewhere, such as winning the client operating system category as well as the system and network management one. But this cannot dilute the fact that as far as the core group of Value Added Resellers that were surveyed by Channel Insider was concerned Microsoft simply is not as profitable, simply does not provide the value nor the support, in the server operating system arena. The point being that while it is all too easy to lay the blame for the Microsoft snub at the usual suspects, the Bill baiters and haters, the fact that Microsoft won other categories suggests this is not the case.

Server operating systems were ranked based upon familiarity with the product, opportunity for after-market sales, product profit potential, impact of the product on the technology market as a whole and the product vendor's service and support. "We are very honored to receive the award for best server operating system given the depth of expertise Channel Insider provides professionals in the channel community," said Mark Enzweiler, vice president, North America channels at Red Hat. "We continue to focus on becoming a channel-centric company and are seeing increased sales across the channel for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Middleware solutions."

Recently, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 was recognized by SearchEnterpriseLinux.com as Product of the Year in the Linux Server Distributions category for leadership in virtualization. The operating system was also recognized as a 2008 Product of the Year by Datamation in the Enterprise Linux category, and was named Best Open Source Solution in the 2008 SIIA Codie Awards.

All the Channel Insider Product of the Year award winners can be found here.

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