Friday, December 22, 2006

Red Hat Might Just Be Getting Serious

I admit it. I've always discounted Red Hat a little bit-- like the kid down the street you have fixed in your mind as perpetually 10 years old. Until he looks you in the eye and says 'Hello' in a baritone.

Such is the state of affairs with their last earnings report.

The Oracle announcement was supposed to do this. The Microsoft/Novell pact was supposed to do that. All Red Hat did was execute, execute and execute.

What immediately came to mind is Red Hat actually might turn into a major player in any brewing OS war/evolution. There's been a bevy of speculation over at ReadWriteWeb about Google producing some sort of GoogleOS.

I do not agree Google would want to wade into the OS game, but perhaps they would consider throwing their weight behind Red Hat. Google's weight is considerable. If Red Hat, as they have just shown, has the momentum... who knows.

I wonder if I should amend my predictions.


Anonymous said...

I think there are a couple of things you need to consider:

The "OS Wars" will be mainly to gain control of the desktop - that's where the millions of users are that drive the whole consumer space - Redhat hasn't been involved in this area for quite a while now.

Google already has a relationship with Ubuntu - they use some of their code for their own internal OS apparently, their developers turn up to Ubuntu code meetings, and Ubuntu operates on the desktop arena - I think therefore that this is the more likely partner if they were going to "throw their weight" behind anyone - especially if Ubuntu can manage a coup like getting Adobe to port to Ubuntu first.

I'm not an Ubuntu fanboy (although I use Ubuntu on my desktop and openSUSE on my laptops) but I think they are the only serious player in the consumer desktop arena. By that statement I mean that Redhat/Novell are not really playing a major role, and I don't really see that changing any time soon, and Ubuntu is the only one left that produces a good desktop that also has a reasonably substantial commercial support.

John Milan said...

Thanks for the info. I didn't realize Google was such a large part of Ubuntu. It leads to my next question, which is just posted-- in order to be successful, does a 'real' open source project need big financial/resource backing?

I do agree with Red Hat *not* being on the desktop. However, I was approaching things from the server side. Red Hat seems like a great option here.

But obviously I should check out Ubuntu in 2007.