Thursday, October 16, 2008

Red Hat: Economic crisis to boost open source

The global economic crisis would provide a boost for open-source software, Red Hat Chief Executive Jim Whitehurst claimed during a visit to Sydney this week.

Whitehurst, who stopped over down under as part of a tour of the Asia-Pacific region, said in an interview with ZDNet Australia that the crisis would cause companies to consolidate their technology infrastructure and reduce spending.

"So the bad news is, when things get tight, people stop investing as much in the future," he said. "I would expect to see a slowdown in spending for new functionality." However, the CEO said this would cause more companies to consider open-source software as an option.

"What I do know is that open source will be in much better shape, coming out of the financial crisis than going into it, relative to our propriety competitors," he said.

Whitehurst said this is because open-source software provides a better economic model for creating software.

However, Kevin McIsaac, a Sydney-based analyst for Intelligent Business Research Services, said he does not expect the trend to increase the market share of companies such as Red Hat.

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