Red Hat unfazed by Oracle competition

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Red Hat unfazed by Oracle competition

Low-cost support not enough to knock down the world's largest Linux vendor.

Red Hat isn't seeing any real impact from into the Linux support market six months ago.

"Historically, customers have always wanted to deal directly with the manufacturer. Especially one that is as unique as open source," Red Hat chief executive Matt Szulik said during a meeting with reporters at the Red Hat Summit in San Diego.

"Now, after six months of experience, I think that the company is competing well. Our rate of acceptance with customers is extremely high.

"Red Hat has no inclination to lose the competitive and market position as the world wide leader in open source software to anybody."

He pointed out that Red Hat is certified on numerous hardware platforms and a large number of software applications, arguing that Oracle can't rival that.

Oracle last October started supporting Red Hat's Enterprise Linux operating system, undercutting its prices and extending support beyond Red Hat's offering.

The database vendor in March a list of 26 companies which have traded in their Red Hat enterprise Linux subscription for an Oracle one.

But Szulik stressed that the company hasn't seen large scale customer defections, and that 98 percent of its accounts renew their subscriptions each year.

Oracle's support essentially amounts to a Red Hat fork, which means that hardware and software vendors have to certify their applications for the software to guarantee support services.

Oracle has publicly stated that it wants to build a complete software stack up from an operating system to the middleware, database and enterprise software. Rumours have claimed that the company might be interested in acquiring a Linux distribution.

The news of Oracle's support service last October knocked down Red Hat's stock by 17 percent, causing speculation that the move was merely intended to discount the company's acquisition price.

When asked if the company has had any acquisition talks with Oracle over the past six months, Szulik replied with a resounding "No".
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