"After years of losses, Red Hat, Inc. announced its first
quarterly profit ever last month. The company looks at a bright
future, while others are struggling to survive. For Mark de Visser,
Vice President of marketing with Red Hat, who sees an irreversible
change in the market, this is no surprise. De Visser talks about
the industry, the struggles in the company, the future of the
industry, the community and the road ahead. The bottom line is
clear the prospects for Free Software are good.
"Red Hat is anything but usual for a company. Unlike others they
didn't have to reach break-even in two years, nor be profitable in
three years. The last eight years the financial results were all
written in red, while the company gained a position as a leading
GNU/Linux distributor. But while others still struggle to remain
profitable, Red Hat posted its first profit ever (US$305,000 on a
turnover of $24.5 million) and they expect better results to
"'When other companies claim big savings in TCO because of
Linux, every CEO has to ask himself the question if their
organization could afford not to use Linux' says de Visser, 50. He
says cost savings are driving businesses in the current economy.
'Costs were irrelevant in 1998/1999, but that's different now.
People look at the ROI of purchases.' De Visser is convinced that
the savings also cause a growth in turnover (21%) that is
substantially higher than the industry..."