Which company did you think of when you read that title? My guess is that you didn't think of Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, or...Red Hat, though Red Hat claims this mission as its own. Why? Red Hat has taken as its mission the mantle of leadership into software's future, but it is not the company we most associate with the future. Who gets that honor?
Apple and/or Google.
I spent some time this morning discussing this with a friend who who runs IT for part of Google's European operations out of its London office. He has a hugely interesting background, having spent a few years at Red Hat before joining Google in 2007. He left Red Hat on great terms and continues to be an admirer of his former employer.
Yet it is his former employer. Why? And why have Greg Stein, Guido Von Rossum, and other prominent open-source developers and advocates joined up with Google?
It's not about the money. Most have made plenty of money elsewhere.
Instead, I believe it has everything to do with the customer which, not coincidentally, is almost certainly the reason that Google (and Apple) get credit for defining the 21st-century software experience, rather than Red Hat (or any other enterprise software company).
Let me explain.… Read more