Red Hat bought by IBM for $33 billion, new era for open source?

IBM has acquired Red Hat for $33 billion, they say they want to bolster their cloud services business which makes sense. At the moment, AWS (Amazon Web Services), Google, and Microsoft are eating the cloudy lunches of IBM and Oracle who have turned out to be the big losers so far in the cloud wars.

Buying up Red Hat which maintains Red Hat Enterprise Linux and has their own verified Docker registry along with many tools for deploying to scalable instances (such as with OpenShift, which they handed small how-to tutorial books on at LinuxCon 2016) is a great idea…for IBM:

The tech giant said it would use its expertise to help expand Red Hat’s open-source software, which spurns proprietary code in favor of systems that can be used and modified by the masses.

About 20 percent of applications have been transitioned to cloud servers, leaving 80 percent that continue to be run on local servers, according to IBM and Red Hat.

“One of the reasons a lot of applications haven’t moved is because of concerns about security,” Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst told USA TODAY in an interview.

Whitehurst said IBM and Red Hat will combine their expertise in cybersecurity to protect customers from threats and ensure data privacy.

But what will it mean for free/open source developers who rely on Red Hat?

Thankfully with free/open source licenses, it’s possible to fork the code if IBM starts to clamp down on Red Hat’s culture and creativity that is enabled by that open source culture. This acquisition has come out of the blue (ha. ha.), and we’ll all have to watch and wait and see what happens in the next year.

Microsoft embracing open source and buying Github, IBM acquiring Red Hat? What’s next?

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