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Could Microsoft Buy Red Hat?

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the sure-they-could dept.

Microsoft 572

An anonymous reader writes "Various news sources including ZDnet are today reporting that Microsoft is considering buying out Red Hat, speculating that 'Microsoft could see Red Hat's acquisition as a nice way to undermine IBM, but might not consider that a sufficient reason to do it,' adding that Red Hat is however '...a company that wants to be Microsoft and, like Microsoft, makes its living packaging and selling other people's ideas.'" That description seems to miss the key point that Red Hat releases the software they package and sell as Free software, and that both companies pay coders to create and improve software in the first place.

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I don't think so... (4, Interesting)

bananahead (829691) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545629)

This is just not going to happen. The Executive team at Microsoft is so focused on taking on and taking out Linux that this would be laughed out of the room for the following reasons:

1. It would be seen as an admission that the Windows Server technology is not what it is cracked up to be, and be read by the market as such. The immediate impact to the server business would be significant, and it is the only segment at Microsoft that is growing.

2. It would be seen as an admission that Linux MIGHT have some redeeming qualities, something that the Executive team at Microsoft has been avoiding at all costs. Just like Hertz and Avis, #1 should NEVER acknowledge #2 in the market.

3. It would dramatically confuse the market at a time when Microsoft is trying very hard (read $100M+ marketing) to win the server space and defend the desktop.

You may not like Microsoft, but they don't tend to make really stupid mistakes, and this would be one. It just ain't gonna happen.

Re:I don't think so... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545661)

Or perhaps they could buy them out to shut them down?

Re:I don't think so... (4, Insightful)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545806)

Same thing I was thinking...

Being that Red Hat is one of the largest financial contributors to Linux and open source, Microsoft buying them and cutting that funding would take a huge chunk out of who they see as their only real threat at market dominance, the open/free community.

Re:I don't think so... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545893)

They would also be able to use contracts to hold hostage Alan Cox and the majority of the other top kernel contributors.

Re:I don't think so... (4, Insightful)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545895)

And then the RH executives who lost their jobs as a result of the shutdown should just make a new company, with the same, or similar, products.

How does Microsoft win?

Re:I don't think so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545869)

Wouldn't matter - if MS bought RH, that would be the same as shutting them down.

Re:I don't think so... (4, Insightful)

aralin (107264) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545738)

The reason, why this is not going to happen is not the fact its a complete lunacy, but the fact that Microsoft already has a monopoly position in the market and has been convicted from abusing that position. Buying any company trying to create a competition in the PC Operating System market would be laughed out by the FTC. :)

Re:I don't think so... (5, Interesting)

team99parody (880782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545889)

One more reason - They're much more likely to buy Sun first.

Why?

  • Sun has valuable patents that fit Microsoft's new IP strategy.
  • The can get their 2 billion back from Sun that way.
  • Sun and Microsoft have a good working relationship; could be rephrased as McNealey makes Balmer Smile [slashdot.org]
  • and most importantly, it seems like McNealey wants to sell [slashdot.org]
Buying RedHat wouldn't hurt IBM at all considering that they're at least as much a SuSE/Novell partner as they are a redhat partner.

Re:I don't think so... (4, Insightful)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545890)

You may recall that the decision to drop the monopoly case and not punish Microsoft for that conviction was made by the same administration of which the FTC is a part.

I wouldn't count on regulators stopping Microsoft from acquiring a competitor any time soon if that's what they want to do.

Re:I don't think so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545894)

I'm not so sure about that. The USA has one of the most pro-corporate governments in its history at the helm.

Microsoft's conviction happened when Clinton was in office, and their subsequent slap on the wrist punishment happened after Bush took office. It is no co-incidence that Microsoft is a heavy contributor to Republican coffers.

Re:I don't think so... (5, Informative)

njvic (614279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545755)

Interesting, although I read this blog entry [ianmurdock.com] earlier and it is good food for thought.

Re:I don't think so... (4, Interesting)

l2718 (514756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545765)

This is just not going to happen.

Couldn't agree more. The Linux market offers little opportunities for complete domination. Moreover, could you really imagine Microsoft distributing software governed by the GPL after all the "viral code" FUD?

Re:I don't think so... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545840)

The Windows Services for Unix package includes GPL'ed code, including gcc.

Re:I don't think so... (5, Interesting)

justanyone (308934) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545767)

...an admission that the Windows Server technology is not what it is cracked up to be

1. This could be viewed as a 'strategic acquisition' so as to provide 'leading edge technologies' from wherever they were. Then, they could release brain-dead and damaged versions of RedHat Linux that failed under certain conditions; ...that Linux MIGHT have some redeeming qualities...

2. Admitting that Linux has redeeming qualities is not a problem given that the marketplace has already proved that. Like NASA's mantra, "Buy It and Kill It" (tm) would be an easy operation to undertake.

It would dramatically confuse the market

3. Dramatically confusing the market would work in Microsoft's favor. further, they would offer "upgrade paths" that start in Linux and go towards MS Server 2k3 in short order.

As a way to reduce competition, this might make total sense. Yes, it would be profoundly evil, and the antitrust authorities might look at it that way, too, but given the Bush administration's justice dept., any challenge to (potential or actual) big money donors seems unlikely.

Re:I don't think so... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545856)

Boy, that's a lot of addition of bold and italics to a quote just to get to " Bush administration ."

W kicked my dog.

Re:I don't think so... (4, Insightful)

oGMo (379) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545779)

You may not like Microsoft, but they don't tend to make really stupid mistakes, and this would be one. It just ain't gonna happen.

Actually I don't like Microsoft, and they do tend to make really stupid mistakes from time to time. Ignoring the Internet for so long. Microsoft Bob. WebTV. Others I'm sure we can think of.

But I don't think they'll make this one, for all the reasons you mentioned, and possibly more: One, they're in denial. I think they believe they're superior in all ways, and unbeatable. Two, pride. "If you can't win 'em, join 'em", and they're not willing to admit they can't win, because they always have. Three, history: they never pick up on the latest technology until everyone else has, and they've still got a grip on the market.

Re:I don't think so... (2, Funny)

lousyd (459028) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545787)

1. It would be seen as an admission that the Windows Server technology is not what it is cracked up to be, and be read by the market as such. The immediate impact to the server business would be significant, and it is the only segment at Microsoft that is growing.

Microsoft is dedicated to innovating on behalf of you, our customer. With the recent acquisition of Linux vendor Red Hat, Inc. we will continue to deliver on this promise. Customers who have grown beyond Linux now have an easier upgrade path for their expanding needs. "We feel that Microsoft can bring to the table a complete business solution with the new Windows Services for Unix 9.0," said Microsoft spokesman John Smith.

Re:I don't think so... (4, Interesting)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545796)

I wonder if the Novell purchase of SuSe doesn't have something to do with this.
Putting an old, familiar name on a distribution like Novell legitimizes the idea of using a Linux distro much more than reading, say, "polychromatic platypus" on the disks, especially when it all works well with Netware.
Also, with Novell sponsoring Mono, and the threat of OpenOffice, seeing a C# port of MS Office to run on Mono would be an obvious way for Mr. Softy to keep the cash cow spouting the milk of currency.
Recall, Redmond's only ideology is money; they leave the fanaticism to the FSF.

Well (2, Insightful)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545643)

I seriously doubt the courts would approve such a purchase.

Re:Well (1)

parasonic (699907) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545660)

With all the distros and everything that the courts HAVE approved, I still wouldn't be surprised.

Re:Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545664)

Care to give a reason?

Re:Well (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545678)

Anti-trust.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545741)

Redhat is not a competitor in the desktop market, and Microsoft isn't even close to have a monopoly in the server market. Try again, friend.

Re:Well (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545747)

Don't think so.

RedHat doesn't have anywhere near a majority share of the market. Nor is it the only distributor of Linux, so Microsoft couldn't be accused (successfully) of buying RedHat to kill Linux, so why would the courts care?

Re:Well (0)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545786)

Nope.

Linux by it's licensing nature does not prevent ANYONE from creating a distro.

Re:Well (1, Insightful)

UID500 (715267) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545812)

sure they would. what % does RH linux have of the dekstop? 0.0001%

and how many other linux distros are there? 10,000?

Re:Well (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545827)

Indeed. Considering that the two companies philosophies and product strategies are basically incompatible, the only really viable reason MS would have for buying them is to shut down a competitor. Such an action would not be viewed well by the courts given Microsoft's position as a convicted monopoly.

Never has a Simpson's quote been more perfect (2, Funny)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545649)

Buy him out boys!

Re:Never has a Simpson's quote been more perfect (1)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545717)

Disregard this one... Posted before I was done typing ;)

More relevant quotes (0)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545774)

Gates: "Don't let the haircut fool you, I am exceedingly wealthy."

It is a shit haircut !!

Gates: "Your Internet ad was brought to my attention, but I can't figure out what, if anything, CompuGlobalHyperMegaNet[Red Hat] does, so rather than risk competing with you, I've decided simply to buy you out."

HOMER:

(to Gates) "I reluctantly accept your proposal!"

GATES:

"Well everyone always does. Buy 'em out, boys!"

Re:More relevant quotes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545850)

At which point they proceed to trash the place.

Huh? Links to the stories - (4, Interesting)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545650)

First off - the link goes to someone's security blog - Here are the links to the Zdnet/News.com stories -

http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/index.php?p=275 [slashdot.org] ">ZDnet story

http://news.com.com/A+Microsoft-Red+Hat+warming+tr end/2100-7344_3-5701700.html?tag=nefd.top [slashdot.org] ">News.co m story

The ZDNet blog states the biggest problem posed to RedHat would be IBM settling with SCO and developing an OS for the new Cell processor. Why would IBM settle now? After http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/05/05/224209 &tid=136&tid=88&tid=123 [slashdot.org] ">they just delivered their evidence to SCO, what would the point be in settling. The blog continues to state that most other distros (Linspire, Debian, SuSE) are largely irrelevant now, and goes on about how IBM would sell Linux/Cell-based workstations and servers. How close are we to cell processors? I thought we were still some distance from seeing as widespread use as the blog seems to state.........

Re:Huh? Links to the stories - (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545829)

Nice links... Mods having fun today?

why not (1)

RestonVA (593792) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545652)

ok i will just buy red hat then kkthxbye

Pie-in-the-skying on a slow newsday (4, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545653)

Only this and nothing more.

While the articles make a case that it might be beneficial for RedHat, what's in it for Microsoft? Plus, what are the chances of it clearing anti-trust hurdles?

Re:Pie-in-the-skying on a slow newsday (1)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545734)

Anti Trust???? Linux is free and open source. There will be harm to the Linux market with the possible absorption and loss of a key player, however it will heal itself over time and keep going. To dominate Linux, Microsoft would have to buy out every geek out there hacking Kernel source now and in the future. Not impossible for a billion dollar company but extremely difficult.

In regards to Microsoft? A perfectly viable alternative to Microsoft taking over RedHat would be for them to roll their own Linux Distro provided they GPL it and everything.

For these 2 facts I don't see how the O/S market is significantly harmed, and how Microsoft gains marketshare. No anti-trust here I'm afraid :-/

Re:Pie-in-the-skying on a slow newsday (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545818)

It can potentially reduce the number of choices in the market by taking out the #1 player in "commercial linux".

Re:Pie-in-the-skying on a slow newsday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545823)

It's a good conspiracy theory, though :-)

Look at it from the slashbot point of view:

RedHat is killing Solaris in the enterprise, and Sun and Microsoft are now friends. Sun has licensed a load of technology to Microsofyt and vice versa, and Microsoft paid Sun $2G. Not only that, but Microsoft has been funding the company formerly known as Caldera (SCO) and Sun also bought some device drivers from them (or paid them off if you are a slashbot).

Microsoft almost completely dominates the world, and only has a few places left to go. Now that it's appeased Sun, it just has to get RedHat and IBM. HP has already capuitulated.

Sun is in quite a bit of trouble. Look at the share price. The galaxy servers are delayed. UltraSPARC IV is uncompetitive and USIV+ will barely put it back in the same ballpark (if it comes out on time and to speed) as POWER 5. Sun is selling Windows-certified Opteron servers and workstations by the boat load. All customers are not running Linux or Solaris on them. A substantial number are running Windows, to which a lot of engineering applications have been ported in recent years.

Sun made a huge mistake with Project Janus - it's Linux compatibility layer - this year when it cut all UK Solaris R&D and accidentally made the entire Janus engineering team redundant before it had made it into mainstream Solaris. Witness recent reports in the press where Sun tried to wriggle out [theregister.co.uk] of its commitment.

This is a superb conspiracy theory. Microsoft has finally tempted Sun over to the Dark Side. Microsoft, SCO^H^H^HCaldera and Sun will rule the galaxy as father and son (and daughter?) when all competition has been eliminated.

Selling ideas? (5, Informative)

aweiland (237773) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545657)

Doesn't red hat sell support?

Re:Selling ideas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545722)

Yes.

If Microsoft bought out Redhat half the people would desert immediately and create 'BlueHat'.

Even if Microsoft did that it wouldn't accomplish much. It would have a 50-50% chance to blow out RPM-based Distros and then 'Linux' would recenter itself on Debian-based setups and finally get the unified package manangement and remove more barriers to linux adoption.

(one program made for one Distro would be compatable with another)

I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545662)

Two blog entries.... not what I would call reliable sources....

egads (2, Interesting)

vashti (57127) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545665)

I can't help but be quite distressed that I see a blinky ad for Microsoft right below this story.

Over my dead body! (0, Redundant)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545666)

How DARE Microsoft think they can take down Red Hat?!?

there's no benefit in it for Microsoft.... (2, Interesting)

Cnik70 (571147) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545673)

They cannot control Linux by buying one distro, and at the same time a buyout would make it look as if Microsoft sees Linux as a threat, or that Microsoft is finally accepting Linux as valid.

What if they held out.... (1)

bigmike_f (546576) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545679)

Imagine the stock price if they held out.

Re:What if they held out.... (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545872)

If they held out for what? MSFT makes an announcement for a hostile takeover of RHAT at a 20% premium to tday's closing price. There's nothing that compels them to pay any more. Plus the people who decide are the big institutional investors, not the rank & file employees (or even the BoD).

It's all moot anyways.

Could Microsoft Buy Red Hat? (2, Insightful)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545680)

Yes, 50 times over.

Would Microsoft Buy Red Hat? Doubtful.

Re:Could Microsoft Buy Red Hat? (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545826)

Yes, 50 times over.

Would Microsoft Buy Red Hat? Doubtful.


Could Microsoft buy Linux? No.

Therefore, would Microsoft buy RedHat? No.

Re:Could Microsoft Buy Red Hat? (0)

spidereyes (599443) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545898)

Next up: Tin foil hats

Cyborg (1)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545682)

I knew it wasn't time to get rid of that Bill gates image yet.

...a company that wants to be Microsoft and, like Microsoft, makes its living packaging and selling other people's ideas.' Red Hat wants to be Microsoft.. Yeah I agree. Black is the new white afterall

Begin "We will integrate your technology and culture into our own.. --insert more Borg jokes here--..

I for one (0)

MajorDick (735308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545686)

Welcome our new blue screen over

FATAL EXECUTION IN PAGE X003FFFX3333333....

IF THIS ERROR OCCURS AGAIN PLEASE CONTACT YOUR VENDOR.......

Never has a Simpson's quote been more perfect (5, Funny)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545690)

Gates: Your Internet ad was brought to my attention, but I can't figure out what, if anything, Red Hat does, so rather than risk competing with you, I've decided simply to buy you out
Homer: I reluctantly accept your proposal!
Gates: Well everyone always does. Buy 'em out, boys!

Enron, Krispy Kreme, Sun, GM, IBM, Dell , MSFT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545691)

The financial experts think a bidding war will break out [yahoo.com] .
These guys are always right and stock rumors are almost always true. Better load up now so you can retire tomorrow. ... or buy a new house ... or something.

Red Herring (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545692)

Not red hat, red herring.

GPL? (1, Funny)

CypherXero (798440) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545696)

If Microsoft bought Red Hat, wouldn't this mean that Microsoft would be under the GPL when it comes to releasing software?

Re:GPL? (1)

GoCoGi (716063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545751)

No.

Re:GPL? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545816)

If Microsoft bought Red Hat, wouldn't this mean that Microsoft would be under the GPL when it comes to releasing software?

I'm glad you asked that, because I collect stupid questions and I hadn't seen that one before.

Re:GPL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545821)

or they could stop releasing those pieces of software that require the GPL and relicense everything they would own (taht redhat does own)

Re:GPL? (2, Informative)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545828)

No more than they currently are. When companies buy each other, they typically maintain corporate structures (or create new ones). It's actually fairly rare for a big company to be anything other than a holding company if they have participated in much acquisition activity. For example, MS Great Plains is probably still a separate corporation (entirely owned by MS).

Re:GPL? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545843)

Microsoft's relation to the GPL would not change at all if it acquired Red Hat. MS would need to release the source code for their own derivative works based on GPL code, but would not be obliged to release source for their own non-derivative work. This would be the case whether or not MS bought Red Hat.

Re:GPL? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545867)

Uh, no.
God, Mods, take your meds please.

Obligatory Star Wars quote... (5, Funny)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545701)

"Until Longhorn is fully operational we are vulnerable. Linux is too well equipped. It's more dangerous than you realize."

"Dangerous to your OS division, not to my Office line."

"Linux will continue to gain support along with OpenOffice as long as Red Hat continues to..."

"Red Hat will no longer be of any conern to us. I've just received word that the Emperor has purchased Red Hat and has ordered a completely new version of Linux that will be released sometime in the near future... IE not at all. The last remants of Unix have been swept away."

Now this deserves some +1 Funny MODs... (1)

cnelzie (451984) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545762)

If I had 'em, you would get 'em.

When Questioned (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545702)

Bill Gates responds by saying all he really wanted was a cool looking red fedora to match his new blazer and didn't know what all the hubub is about. Upon further questioning, Gates admits to picking up an apple fruit basket and maybe a pet tiger direct from Thailand later that night.

I've still got slackware (-1, Flamebait)

uberjoe (726765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545704)

At the worst, theres one less distro out there. At best they might learn something about OS design and make Winblows better. M$ cannot kill linux and they never will.

It's too late. . .We're everywhere.

Can you Just imagine it? (1, Funny)

Banner (17158) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545706)

A MicroSoft distro of Linux!!

People here on Slashdot wouldn't know who to hate!!

This is just the sort of theing MS would do to drive everyone here (and in the Open Source Community) crazy....

Re:Can you Just imagine it? (0)

ctid (449118) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545776)

Why? Microsoft can either fuck off, or become like us. We're happy to win by turning them into us. :-)

Re:Can you Just imagine it? (1)

CerebusUS (21051) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545798)

But there's no reason to buy RedHat for that to happen. It takes about 3 guys to roll an initial Linux distro, I'm sure MS has at least that many employees underutilized at the moment.

Not that it _would_ happen, mind you...

Yeah, right. (5, Insightful)

leomekenkamp (566309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545708)

I was reading this with a 'this just might be' attitude, until I came across "This combined with the the fact that the single biggest threat Red Hat faces right now is that of the possiblity of IBM could settling with SCO and then release its own Linux, (...)

IBM settling with SCO while they seem to be holding them at their balls? And then releasing their own linux distro? Yeah, right.

This 'article' is nothing, ziltch, nada, nop. No new facts, no reasoning, no nothing.

It gets worse (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545861)

"The biggest threat Red Hat faces right now is that IBM could settle with SCO and then release its own Linux along with workstations and servers based on the Cell processor."

Huh?

Other than that IBM is winning against SCO and that the cell architecture is intended for game machines and embedded applications, what's wrong with this picture?

Also, if Microsoft tried to buy Red Hat, even Bush's out-to-lunch antitrust enforcement unit would have to do something.

Don't know if it would really hurt (1)

killtherat (177924) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545710)

It would definitely hurt the Linux community at large, but I don't think IBM would be particularly troubled. While IBM is supposedly distro agnostic, I've seen a definite bias towards Suse when dealing with them.

Oh, please.... (4, Insightful)

dgrgich (179442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545711)

There is no way that this is remotely even feasible. Why would Microsoft want to buy Red Hat? Those with their tinfoil hats on would say so that could shut down Red Hat and thus, rid the world of a primary Linux-powered rival. However, think about it - someone would simply take their place - Novell, some corporate entity supporting a Debian or Gentoo distro - and they'd be right back where they started.

Others might think that Microsoft is ready to get into the Linux biz. For those, I have a large iron structure in Paris that I'm trying to get rid of; perhaps you'd be interested in buying?

Re:Oh, please.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545880)

Redhat pays a lot of people to code linux stuff. Those people would all of a sudden be working for microsoft to, uh, clean floors and stuff. Yeah they'd quit, but there'd be a lot less paying linux jobs out there to go to so they'd probably have to do something else for their money. A lot less work then gets done on whatever it was that red hat had them working on.

It's all very diablolical.

What if (1, Funny)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545714)

If Redhat bought out Microsoft...THAT would be something.

why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545716)

not like Red Hat isn't already basically a digital-whore. It's perfectly logical that MS would buy them out from where I'm sitting; it would give MS the perfect excuse to start making *nix apps for $, and the guys over at RH would get rich real fast, which seems to be the goal anymore....

sure... (1)

54v4g3 (756080) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545720)

ooh, scary-- code from microsoft coders in a linux distribution.

oh, wait- aren't they the ones who can't release source code because of some comments in it? Seriously, microsoft will never release code that their coders right, a prerequisite to owning a distribution of linux.

Cell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545723)

The Paul Murphy fellow in the zdnet blog seems to be implying that IBM's Cell is vastly faster than the x86... which is true, for floating point number crunching. But in the server market, the Cell will be a total waste of so many good floating point units. Why would Red Hat worry about that?

And it's not like Microsoft needs to buy Red Hat to get their hands on this new-fangled linux IP. Are Red Hat haters just trying to get the community even madder at Red Hat, or is something stupid brewing in Redmond?

This may seem rash ... (0)

Ssbe (614884) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545729)

but if this happened I'd shoot myself.

In a word, (0)

uberjoe (726765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545732)

No.

In two words, No Way.

Re:In a word, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545799)

I've got a great way to say it in three words! (hint: insert a word between no and way)

In 9 words, (0)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545873)

You might not have a say in the matter.

Big deal (5, Insightful)

Danathar (267989) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545735)

If they did...what exactly would they be getting? a Duplicate company called...say "Blue hat" could pop up in a couple of weeks with a duplicate copy of everything Redhat sells (besides the copyrighted red fedora) and start selling copies just like before.

Redhat's profits are primarily from service contracts and their automated patch udpates.

Remeber...everything is GPL'd...so buying out Redhat would at most just give MS some time (against Redhat ONLY)....there ARE other LINUX distros out there....like Mandrake...SuSE.....MEPIS...debian......

They'd only end up with the name (2, Insightful)

Sebby (238625) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545736)

I thing they'd really just end up with the RedHat name, and nothing else.

I don't think the community at large would really accept this buyout, and both companies' philosophies are quite different (at least the way I perceive it).

WinLinux (1)

sheepoo (814409) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545746)

So we should then have a "true" version of WinLinux :D

What? No one else posted this yet? (2, Funny)

CSG_SurferDude (96615) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545753)

I can't believe no one else posted this yet...

MS Linux [mslinux.org]

Re:What? No one else posted this yet? (2, Funny)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545881)

This is probably more realistic...

MS Linux [mslinux.com]

How Dumb (4, Insightful)

GarfBond (565331) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545778)

Not only would this not be likely to be approved due to antitrust rules and such, what would be the point of such a purchase? Paying a large chunk of change for a competitor to do...what exactly? Microsoft isn't going to suddenly say "WinServer 2003 blows, here's RHEL 4" to all its customers, undermining the last 5 years of FUD. A purchase like this would contribute nothing to the MSFT bottom line. Not to mention that this completely ignores the efforts of Novell and SuSE. If RH went out, someone else would line up to take its place in a heartbeat.

I dont see this happening (1)

terryfunk (60752) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545780)

But if it does it would be a hostile takeover as they say. I don't think Management is in this for the short haul but rather the long haul. Selling out to MS right now would only give Management short term gains.

On the other hand, stockholders are nearly always short term junkies and would probably want it to happen if the price were right.

Spinning wheels (1)

weez75 (34298) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545785)

Should Microsoft actually manage to acquire RedHat they would have more than a slight problem on their hands.

First, the question quickly becomes, "What do we do with this?" Do they kill it, embrace it, let it stand on its own? Those are management questions that will take years to answer much like the way the same questions are lingering for all of their ERP acquisitions (AXAPTA, Great Plains, etc.).

Second, if they decide to integrate it, develop it or otherwise keep RedHat Linux alive they face all of the challenges of dealing with the various licenses and requirements imposed by Linux. They can't simply swipe code and keep moving. They've already used a variety of open-source code so this is a non-issue.

Finally, they would face no-less serious competition in the server market than they already face. With many other server operating systems to choose from, eliminating one will only lead to another challenger rising. Perhaps it would be IBM as suggested or Novell or the Fedora folks.

Who knows what this means if anything but I promise that it won't result in anything but heartache for the boys from Redmond.

Rainbow Hat... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545790)

Microsoft could buy up Red Hat and renamed it "Rainbow Hat" to show that it was an all-inclusive distro that embraces both Windows and Linux. The right-wing religious zealots down the street probably won't be lashing themselves to get a copy.

A disturbance in the Force (2, Interesting)

amichalo (132545) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545791)

With Star Wars III coming, I couldn't help but offer the idea that an MS buyout of Red Hat would create a huge "disturbance in the Force". MS would end up owning the leader in Linux software packages, but I think that a MS branded Linux would not be particularly well accepted by current Red Hat customers or current Windows customers.

MS would benefit if they wanted to move the next-version-of-Windows-after-Longhorn to a Linux codebase, but they don't need to buy Red Hat to do it.

Instead, MS would simply create a vacume in the Linux world which would be quickly filled by another distro vendor.

Pot, Kettle, Red (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545804)

Isn't ZDNet a company that packages and "resells other people's ideas" in its news reports? And didn't it try to become a news monopoly, like every other Web news rollup play in the 1990s? I guess that makes them an authority on monopoly abuse plagarism. Red Hat, of course, gives away its packaged ideas for free, and doesn't even have a monopoly to abuse.

Yet another mistaken news post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545833)

Red Hat DOES sell... they give out Fedora but they actually sell Linux distro's now (you can't download "Red Hat" as of version 9). I also don't see any mention of Microsoft attacking Linux so why are people jumping to the conclusion that Microsoft is trying to take over linux.. you're right! It's not possible! It's like trying to shut down BitTorrent and P2P stuff. You can't shut down what you can't control. Lastly.. even if Microsoft did stoop to buying Red Hat, sorry but they won't learn a thing. They wont include any features from Red Hat, they won't be under the GPL (what kind of dumb comment is that...) and it will be nothing but a positive move for the Linux community! Talk about publicity for the "enemy"... which is why I doubt any of this is worth worrying about.

No Publicity is Bad Publicity (4, Interesting)

shrapnull (780217) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545845)

You really have to wonder who comes up with this information. That's not even a believable story yet it gets replicated and gives Microsoft another 5 minutes of exposure all over the blog media.

Wasn't it just last week we were talking about how Microsoft was going to begin hyping their products using a paid blogger 'grassroots' campaign?

You don't suppose a bullshit story like this that ends up on someone's blog could simply be testing the waters to see how effective the online rumor mill is, do you?

Dell by Red Hat Stock (1)

existentist (789771) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545852)

Now we know why.

Why Bother? (1)

fatted (777789) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545865)

If Microsoft wants a linux distribution, they can (probably) just put one together themselves. Heck, if they want a Redhat Distribution [whiteboxlinux.org] they can just nab that and change the little redhat icon, to a flag and the words "start".

so what if they did? (2, Insightful)

ajrs (186276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545866)

Everone would quit and form a rivial company. Microsoft would have just accquired an empty shell of a company with lots of support obligations and no way to meet them.

The new company,"Brown Bowler", would take a few years to rebuild their distribution chanel. Them maybe go public and let Microsoft make them rich again.

The only thing owned by Red Hat is the company name, support contracts, distribution channel, some office space and hardware, and the logo. All of the real value would just walk out the door.

Sounds good to me... (3, Interesting)

Abalamahalamatandra (639919) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545874)

Everybody would drop Fedora like a hot rock and move to a distribution that isn't just a free development vehicle for Red Hat to make tons of bucks.

Gentoo, Debian, Slackware, Ubuntu... They'd all be the biggest beneficiaries of such a move, and Microsoft would be left with a worthless property.

I dropped Red Hat after Red Hat 9, because it started to become clear to me that my customer space wouldn't be able to afford Enterprise and that Fedora was (by design) too fast-changing to support. I now run all my servers and desktops on Gentoo and it's working great for me. The main advantage I see is that I can control and minimize the dependency hell that Red Hat was and create tighter servers with less subsystems loaded on them to update in the first place.

Overall, though, this is just pie in the sky - it'll never happen. It definitely must be a slow news day in the IT world if this is even a valid topic to discuss.

Office Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12545876)

Would this mean a native version of MS Office for Linux? Or more probably a fork of linux that gets the MS seal of approval taking over since all the PHBs will read Infoworld and see that whatever MS makes is good for their business.

Here's the scenario:

1) MS buys RedHat, puts out a huge advertising campaign championing RedHat Linux as the Better Linux

2) MS puts a lot of work into making sure the new MS RedHat Linux is more "business friendly", as in making specific driver APIs incompatible, but now supported among many vendors "Linux compatible" only means for MS Redhat Linux.

3) MS does the same to create a new, incompatible binary format for executibles

4) MS "solves" some problems with Linux installers for commercial apps by creating a closed-source, cryptic installer requiring keys to make sure if you want a Linux compatible app to work on your system, you better be using MS Redhat linux

5) MS returns the code to all the GPL apps it has modified, but uses a MS compiler instead of GCC, with so many incompatibilites and changed code, that it becomes useless to the specific projects.

Essentially, MS would break Linux, gain marketshare, and be within the GPL without any significant legal issues. If it wanted it could either continue to sell RedHat Linux (without the MS name) or rebrand it MS Linux later on. They would not kill it for fear that Linux momentum would get started again and compete with the new RedHat Linux.

Better sense to buy Sun (5, Interesting)

rihock (680776) | more than 9 years ago | (#12545879)

Instead of Red Hat, MSFT would be better off buying Sun- they both sell propriatary systems, both dislike linux (not Sun so much, but they do) and it would be an extension of many of the deals they have struck recently. I don't see where RH makes sense, but I can see a better story with Sun given the slump in their stock, etc....
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