Photo: Red Hat
Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat has some fighting words for old-school software makers like Microsoft, VMware and Oracle.He wants them gone. Or at least, he wants their closed, proprietary software outta here.
Now that Red Hat has become the first and only pure open-source company with a billion dollars in annual revenues, his goal is the death (more or less) of proprietary software.
“We got to a billion dollars by convincing the world that open source is a viable alternative to traditional proprietary software,” Whitehurst told Business Insider. “The next step is to make open source the default choice in this next generation of computing. That’s what takes us from $1 billion to $5 billion and beyond.”
Open source lets software users make changes and freely share the software with others. Companies that sell old-fashioned software licenses don’t let users do that.
He says his dream of a fully open-source enterprise world is not as crazy as it sounds. It’s already happening for Web startups. Plus, “the Amazons and Googles and Facebooks and Twitters are all running open source” he adds.
And by open source, he doesn’t mean Red Hat. This is “broader than Red Hat,” he says.
With open source, customers help build the software. For instance, Google tweaks the software so it works for their data centres. That means it will certainly be good enough for the average enterprise trying to build its own cloud.