New chief exec makes first Red Hat conference keynote speech

Newly appointed Red Hat chief executive Jim Whitehurst claims that his employer's future lies in becoming an open source advisor to end-user companies to allow them to share internally developed software with the rest of industry.

Newly appointed Red Hat chief executive Jim Whitehurst claims that his employer's future lies in becoming an open source advisor to end-user companies to allow them to share internally developed software with the rest of industry.

Speaking on the first day of the Linux specialist's annual user conference in Boston, Whitehurst said that the company had done very well so far with a business model of making community developed software enterprise-ready but there is still a whole lot more that could be achieved.

"One thing is clear, we have built a great business around open source but a specific sliver of open source," he said. "But that is the tip of the iceberg, the vast majority of software is written in the enterprise and not for resale."

Whitehurst claimed that Red Hat's future lies in helping and encouraging companies to share internally developed software with other businesses – and therefore enriching the number of open source applications and platforms available.

"We need to get customers as not just as customers of open source but truly engaged with the development model. Red Hat needs to be an open source advisor," he said.

Rival Novell also made its presence known at the conference with a subtle banner hung right outside entrance to the conference.

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