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Forbes.com: Red Hat Lives In Microsoft's Crosshair

Jul 16, 2002, 20:30 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lisa DeCarlo)

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"Why would a person choose to head a firm that is square in the sights of the most fiercely competitive--some would say ruthless--company in the tech industry? That's exactly where Matthew Szulik, chairman of tiny Red Hat Software, finds himself every day: on Microsoft's radar.

"Consider the bodies of soldiers left dead on the field in Microsoft's wake: Netscape in Web browsers and WordPerfect in office suites. IBM failed to make inroads against Windows with OS/2; once high-flying RealNetworks has come under enormous pressure as Microsoft threatens to surpass Real's market share in streaming media. The same is happening to Palm, once the dominant platform for handheld software, which is now being seriously challenged by Microsoft's Pocket PC.

"It's even hard to get venture capitalists to back a firm whose ideas put it in direct competition with Microsoft. Yet that's where Red Hat stands. Still, Szulik's ideology seems to be a good fit with that of the open-source movement that defines Linux..."

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