"In fact, it may well have been the burden of its IPO
that set Red Hat scurrying to marry open-source ideology with
hard-headed business acumen, a thought prompted by Red Hat's
bizarre history of acquisitions. This history suggests that much of
Red Hat's laser-like focus on core infrastructure today may stem
from its wild forays into just about everything else in the past.
"In 2000, Red Hat made five acquisitions: Cygnus Solutions (at
$674 million, the most expensive by far), Bluecurve, Wirespeed
Communications, Hell's Kitchen Systems, and C2Net. From secure Web
servers (C2Net) to embedded systems (Cygnus) to e-commerce payment
processing (Hell's Kitchen) to software for enabling wireless
devices to communicate with the Internet and private networks
(Wirespeed) to performance management (Bluecurve), Red Hat's
acquisitions were scatter-shot and, ultimately, mostly a
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