The VAR GuyThe VAR Guy often crows about his successful predictions. But some of his blog posts -- including a few about emerging open source solutions like Google Android and Ubuntu Server Edition -- missed the mark badly in 2008. Time for The VAR Guy to take a break from holiday meals. Instead, he needs to eat some crow for these five open source statements that were off target in 2008.

1. Too Bullish On the Sun-MySQL Deal: When Sun Microsystems acquired MySQL in January 2008, The VAR Guy thought it was a fantastic move by Sun. (In fact, our resident blogger still thinks highly of the acquisition.) But at $1 billion, Sun likely paid too much for MySQL just before the economy truly imploded. And the MySQL channel partner program hasn't exactly been generating a lot of buzz.

2. Too Negative On Novell: The VAR Guy also predicted deals like Sun-MySQL would kill Novell. His thesis: Novell's SUSE Linux team would feel the squeeze as open source applications companies merged with one another or moved closer to Red Hat's universe. In reality, Novell's SUSE Linux sales grew as fast as -- or faster than -- the overall Linux market in 2008.

3. Too Bullish On Canonical Ubuntu Server Edition: This was supposed to be the year that Ubuntu jumped from Linux desktops to the server. But Sun Microsystems -- a struggling company -- is the only major server maker that promotes Ubuntu on the server.

The VAR Guy's sister site, (the independent guide to Ubuntu) is tracking hundreds of Ubuntu server and desktop deployments as part of the WorksWithU 1000 global reader survey. But Ubuntu Server Edition will require far more application and ISV (independent software vendor) support to get IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Dell server folks in the game.

4. Too Upbeat About Mandriva: The VAR Guy wrote a glowing post about Mandriva Linux's growing list of global IT channel partners. But our resident blogger failed to mention executive changes and layoffs at Mandriva. In the official Mandriva blog on December 3, the company's new CEO conceded:
"Dear Friends, Mandriva may have caught flu but is alive and very much kicking."
In stark contrast, The VAR Guy on December 16 made it sound like Mandriva was thriving. Clearly, he miss-diagnosed the situation.

5. Too Skeptical About Google Android: The VAR Guy thought Google Android would suffer from multiple project delays and canceled features. Instead, Google surprised The VAR Guy with a solid 1.0 release, forcing our resident blogger to admit he badly misread the project's progress.

What else did The VAR Guy get wrong in 2008? Surely, his wife has been keeping a list of errors, missteps and false claims. But readers will have to settle for the five items above.

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