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For Sale By Owner: One Commercial Linux Company with excellent history and reputation in the enterprise Linux arena. Profitable concern specializing in open source and Linux-based solutions. Offers top-notch distribution with broad hardware support, superb technical solutions, built-in virtualization, education and certification programs. Known to the technical world as Red Hat, Inc. and listed as RHT on the NYSE. At $21.60 per share (Today's price), Red Hat is the perfect match to your existing portfolio. Please contact a Red Hat executive for more information.

OK, Red Hat isn't officially for sale but this is a great listing for them if it were to be so. And, in reality, everything is for sale--for the right price.

Why would Red Hat sell itself to anyone considering that it is very profitable--to the tune of about $78 million US. Though analyst opinions vary widely, Red Hat is an overall good catch. From Red Hat's point-of-view, a sale means lots and lots of money for stockholders and executives--so what's not to like from their side?

From a purchaser point-of-view, Red Hat is a tasty morsel just waiting to be gobbled-up by the likes of Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, or Novell. Who will it be who takes that leading first step towards this phenomenal purchase?

Oracle is a prime candidate for the purchase but I don't they they will make an attempt at it. Now that Oracle owns Solaris and OpenSolaris, why do they really need it? Of course, need never stopped Larry Ellison before but, still, I don't think Oracle will touch it.
IBM has lots of money and could absorb Red Hat without any issues. Although they are pretty deep into Ubuntu, a Red Hat purchase would be a nice addition to Big Blue's already bulging portfolio. My guess is that they would make an attempt if someone else showed interest. Whether they'd be successful or pursue it all the way is anyone's guess.
Novell already has SUSE Linux as its flagship operating system and a Red Hat purchase, while probably far more viable than its current holdings, isn't likely.
That only leaves one player in this game: Microsoft. Yep, Microsoft. The purchase of Red Hat by Microsoft would put Microsoft in the leading role as an open source company, as well as, a commercial software development company. Microsoft would then be able to provide, without hesitation, enterprise solutions unsurpassed by any other company--even IBM. Instead of floundering at a third of its all-time high value of $60-ish per share, a Red Hat purchase would up its value to at least twice its current price.
How could that be, you ask? Easy. Microsoft would then have all of Red Hat's customer base including its education and certification resources. They'd also have everyone's attention as a one-stop shop for software, operating systems and solutions.

I'm certainly no financial whiz nor am I an expert on such matters but it makes sense from Microsoft's perspective. In recent years, they've done a lot of handshake deals with Red Hat, Citrix and others who produce and embrace open source software. Microsoft itself started Port 25 as an outlet for those desiring those types of solutions from Microsoft.
Microsoft also released its virtualization solution, Hyper-V, as a free product. You can't beat the price on that--even with Linux.

Has a new day dawned in Microsoft's world? Who knows? Only time will tell but it does seem that they've come to embrace that which they once hated.

Will you soon see a headline that reads, "Microsoft buys Red Hat"?

Yeah, it could happen.

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Last Post by sammy_spade
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I'm sure there would be a few who would bail but...for the most part I think it would be a welcomed transition. Can you imagine having RHEL and Microsoft supported by the same company? It would be great for large companies, ISPs, hosting companies, etc.

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The DOJ and EU would never approve a Microsoft acquisition of Red Hat.

There'd also be incredible loss of talent at Red Hat within a year of the acquisition. IBM, esp, wouldn't just sit around and let Microsoft control it's Linux future, and you'd see another prominent Linux server distro emerge.

In the end, MS would spend a fortune on an asset that would quickly evaporate.

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