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Red Hat has open source credibility: CEO Jim Whitehurst

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Red Hat

Red Hat’s strategy remains unchanged. We are an open source software company looking to deliver open source platforms. Every line of code we have is open source—that will continue to be true going forward. In fact, even for employee contributions, IBM changed their entire contribution policy to match that of Red Hat. The logic of the deal is more around how IBM's go-to-market capability can help us scale faster. Earlier, we just didn't have the size and the scale to really be able to deliver these huge platforms for telcos, etc. IBM is working hard to better optimize their software to run on our platforms.

I think the biggest change really has happened over the last 6-7 years. Open source has grown from basically being used either by hobbyists, or vendors looking to build alternatives to traditional software, to being adopted by large IT users such as Google and Twitter and LinkedIn and Facebook—all of whom have started doing most of their own engineering work for their infrastructure and doing it with open source. Open source has also evolved from being a lower-cost alternative and something you might consider if you're a techie, to consume it if I want to innovate. So if you want to do Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning (ML), you're going to use open source. If you're going to use cloud, you're going to use open source; if you're going to do analytics and Big Data, you're going to consume a lot of open source. That’s a fundamental switch in the minds of enterprises. In the context of developers, too, the vast majority of open source is coming from programmers paid by their employers.

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