Video Interview: Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst

Dec 08, 2008

Red Hat president and CEO Jim Whitehurst sees opportunities for open source firms that might be putting undue burden on their dwindling IT departments because of the current economic downturn. Whitehurst offered his views in a press conference in Munich. His conclusion: "When people look at alternatives, often Open Source wins."

Jim Whitehurst, who has been head of Red Hat since January 2008, compared the current financial crisis with that of the dot-coms in 2000. The pressure toward austerity was the same back then for Linux and the open source community. It was the first time IT chiefs especially in banking and insurance sensed the need to count costs.

Whitehurst's interview is not without its plug for Red Hat, considered by some the only currently profitable open source developer. The reason for its success may not only be its features, but its business model. Whitehurst explains that Red Hat doesn't just sell open source functionality, "we make money by making the operating system enterprise class." The added value for customers, he says, are the stable Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) releases that create robust APIs and open standard components for the IT of the future.

As for what's coming in 2009, Whitehurst promised further management and migration functions for KVM virtualization, as well as a new version of the Enterprise IPA identity management system for Linux. Additionally, RHEL 6 should be out by the end of 2009.

Mathias Huber from Linux Magazine Online interviewed Red Hat's new CEO, Jim Whitehurst.

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