Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Should Microsoft buy RHT?

Coming back from the Open Source Goat Rodeo (OSGR) and spending excellent time with old and new friends got me thinking again about this theoretical possibility.

Here are various reasons, some of it serious, some not. It is a somewhat ordered list, but left as an open list to you the reader.

MSFT should buy RHT because:

  1. they can
  2. it's kind of cheap
  3. RHT deserves this fate
  4. my stock in RHT would go up
  5. it would piss off IBM, SUN and LarryE all at the same time, it's beautiful.
  6. they would integrate the business model without skipping a single beat. Contrary to popular belief the RHT model is already a proprietary distribution of OSS.
  7. cloud computing a la Amazon, Google both directly compete, may bypass anti-trust regulation
  8. need for those virtualized runtimes across run-times in windows, Unix. Think VMWare.
  9. could provide basis for a larryE style acquisition of VMWare.
  10. It kind of shocked Matt Asay, who muttered something about not being able to admit to it publicly "because it's not his schtick," but upon reflection wouldn't turn his back on a new, more powerful sugar daddy, should the opportunity arise.

OSS is just a better R/D and distribution model. You can use that and expand from there.

More than just an optimization on closed source development, RHT monetizes a community base on its own terms, including proprietary. For those of you who wondered, the model that monetizes OSS is the proprietary one. Even IBM knows that!

Also I would be singing the Spanish soccer chant "OLE! OLE! OLE! OLE!" from here for at least a good 6mo, with video and all, free of charge.

Gaming on my PS3, love you guys at the Borg, mwwaaaah!

Bill Hilf, are you listening?


Anonymous said...

brilliant strategy. The funny thing is I bet that the bankers have pitched this many times! MSFT needs to start to embrace open source; sooner or later their customers will demand it. This would do it in a big way.

PS. More photos from OSGR here:

Marcf said...

Zak, good seeing you this weekend.

I would argue their customers are asking already as they talk about interoperability a whole bunch these days...

Roy Schestowitz said...

Savio asked this question before. Why kick around this question again?

Botchagalupe said...


Can't tell which one I like best "RHT deserves this fate" or how it would screw with Asay. I love Asay however, he does tend to ramble a little bit on MS (sorry Matt).

Marcf said...

who the f is savio?
just kidding.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it make more sense to buy Novell since they already are in bed together?

Anonymous said...

Why bother buying...they could just build their own Linux based Distro spin off Fedora or Ubuntu.

Call it Windora or Winbuntu like what Larry E is trying to do

Soyuz said...

Another possibility is to later discontinue or kill the product offerings (a general practice of MS to kill competition - acquire, stall & discontinue)

I know, its arguable if RHT is a serious compettion (I see ubuntu server being a more threat in near future) but overall Linux server is just a long term threat to MS.

So acquire (when they are still cheap) and kill'em all is still viable for M$

Given the noise it will make in FOSS world, they will have to do it in the name of maling "interoperability" better.

Anonymous said...

Buy NOvell instead of RHT. why? they have the unix license (SCO vs NOVELL / SCO vs IBM). now that will scare OSS..Patent issues.

Anonymous said...

If MSFT loses the EU market, starting with EU gov't contracts (due to repeated anti-trust business practices violations & ISO vote-rigging), it doesn't matter who or what they buy...if they are associated with MSFT, they are going down.

Anonymous said...

And why exactly do RHT deserve this fate?

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of non-sense wishful thinking. MS will never buy a Linux company? Why? Very simple: PATENTS. MS makes a lot of money from patents and also uses them in defensive manner. They have amde a lot of noise about Linux "infringing" on their patents but they have never shown in what way they infringe and everyone dismiss those claims as pure FUD. If MS were going to distribute Linux, it would have to shut down the distribution OR by having to release the GPL code, it would be distributing the code that they "claim" infringe on their patents. You cannot distribute that code through the GPL and then claim others were not allowed to do the same. Dream on guys. GPL is the greatest thorn on MS side

Anonymous said...

I've got the feeling that no one really wants to be bought off by MS unless they're desperate. Even Yahoo are kinda shunning them. I think Novell/Red Hat have a much better game to play on their own feet than by becoming an unconforming addition to a crumbling edifice. Now shareholders' opinions might differ.

Anonymous said...

MSFT $$ > RHT?

Moron, stop supporting MSFT.

Marcf said...

He he,

Bill Hilf IS listening ;)