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Linux Magazine: The Cat in the Red Hat

May 27, 2000, 21:06 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert McMillan, Lee Gomes)

"His company's wildly successful IPO kicked off the market's Open Source infatuation. So what's on Bob Young's mind these days?"

"LM: You once said that you didn't want Red Hat to make Microsoft-style monopoly profits. You wanted to make the operating-system business a $500 million commodity business. What did you mean by that?

BY: What we're talking about is something like Federal Express. At the time they got into the business, delivering packages between cities overnight was a $200 service. Federal Express was not trying to take over that $200 service. They were trying to do a service worth 10 bucks a package. In doing that, they reinvented the need and they turned a sleepy, few-hundred-million-dollar-a-year industry into a multibillion-dollar industry because people found new applications for that service."

"LM:: If you could snap your fingers and port any application to Linux, what would that be?

BY: I can think of a dozen that are important. I can't think of any one that would make an impact by itself. I can point at one application that I think would improve our market share by one percent, but in the end who cares if we go from 16 percent to 17 percent? We need to go from 16 to 40 percent. So one application that takes our market share up by one percent isn't going to do it. I need 100 applications that are going to take our market share up by 20 percent. What's important and what is exciting to me is the volume of applications being ported, not the single applications."

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