Linux Today: Linux News On Internet Time.

NewsForge: Red Hat's reputation is its business

Dec 19, 2001, 17:32 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jack Bryar)
"Why is Red Hat Software picking on a bunch of low-rent CD salesmen about their use of the term "Red Hat" on the disks they are peddling? It is Red Hat's collection of code, although UnixCD and CheapBytes may have every right to peddle it. However, Red Hat has a good reason for complaining. It's the same reason that the company has made a business of selling something you supposedly can get for free. Here's a hint: Red Hat's success has almost nothing to do with the software.

A few years ago, I said a lot of mean things about Red Hat. I suggested that commercializing Open Source software was an inherently silly idea, and its investors were very silly people. That may have been true about nearly all the other vendors in the Linux environment, but it is time to recognize that Red Hat has made a real business out of the platform. The way the company has done it shows how good management can build a brand.

Let's be frank. There's nothing all that special about Red Hat's technology. It's Linux, the same powerful, clunky, indestructible code base you can find on the Web in a lot of places if you're patient and willing to look. While the company has done a tremendous amount of work extending that code to such an unlikely system as an IBM mainframe, there are plenty of other developers who have done the same thing. It isn't Red Hat software that makes the company and its product so valuable."

Complete Story

Related Stories: