Feeds

Red Hat takes aim at Linux Web portal business

Huge switch in business focus to come via e-commerce, content efforts

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Red Hat is planning a dramatic shift in the focus of its business by - effectively - betting it on the Web. Speaking to The Register earlier today company COO Tim Buckley said: "Our goal is to become the definitive site for Open Source software." Over three to five years, says Buckley, Red Hat intends its business to split as follows: 30 per cent product, 35 per cent services and 35 per cent portal (i.e., the Web bit). Those numbers may be more than a little understated: confronted with them chief marketing officer Tom Butta chirruped "80 per cent portal" before being gently countermanded by Buckley. But it's clear that Red Hat is seriously keen on switching the company focus to the Web. You can get some perspective on this by noting that currently Red Hat's business is 80 per cent product. The company has, says Buckley, been running the plan past analysts over the past few months, and the reasons for the move are pretty convincing. The product itself is free, so there's an imperative to derive revenues from support and services (which is the open source model anyway). But as bandwidth availability increases, "you can download in seconds rather than 36 hours" - the product becomes even less of an issue, because you can get it instantly, and the mechanism whereby you get it, and what you do along the way, becomes far more important. So Red Hat is developing a combo e-commerce and content site which is intended to provide both that mechanism and an 'everything you want to know about open source' service. It's being worked on by Atomic Vision, the San Francisco Web design outfit Red Hat bought earlier this year, and the content side is being masterminded by an ex-Wired luminary. Funnily enough, the acquisition of "certain assets" of Atomic Vision was casually mentioned in Red Hat's Q2 report, and nowhere else. The report laconically says this has resulted in improvements to Red Hat's Web site, which would appear to have been something of an understatement. Former Atomic Vision president Matt Butterick has been Red Hat's director of Internet business since the acquisition in May. There are obvious gotchas to the scheme. Red Hat professes not to see other Linux distributions as competition right now, because they're all ramping as fast as they can go anyway, but "the definitive site for open source" has to be seen not to favour one company, and that doesn't sit well with Buckley's view that the Red Hat brand will be important to the portal. On the other hand, you might say similar about VA's association with a Linux site with similar ambitions. Still, figuring the difference between promoting Red Hat as the only true open source Linux (Buckley's words: "Everything we do is open source - that is not the case with our competitors") and Red Hat as the proprietor of the source of all open source knowledge and info, will be tricky. The Register, which knows a thing or two about content, Web operations and their funding, suggested that Red Hat must obviously have thought about the possibility of spinning the portal operation off and going for an IPO for it, but Buckley insists that this hasn't been considered. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.