Red Hat reported its fiscal fourth quarter earnings on Thursday and delivered a few interesting tidbits on the conference call.
1. Red Hat is optimistic about the third GPL draft, but prefers to stay out of the limelight. Szulik said:
The GPL 3, like all versions of the GPL, works very much like a good open source project. You get lots of opinion and lots of enthusiasm, but it continues to iterate. I think the draft that we saw last night was much better than earlier drafts, specifically around the areas of patent and patent infringement, (and) innovation activities that have been described.
I think, although I have not spoken to Linus, things that I have read online said that he is more positive of this most recent draft.
I think we have been quiet because our team here chooses to work through the committees and not hopefully waste your time or others’ time with public statements about one opinion or another. But we think that like a good open source project, it continues to get better with each iteration.
2. Red Hat's relationship with Yahoo is solid despite what Oracle has said. On Yahoo as a customer Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik said:
I spoke with the Yahoo! executives yesterday and they were very quick to respond that they have had and continue to have a very successful relationship with Red Hat, that they have selected Oracle Linux to run on a number of Oracle database servers, but they expect to currently and in the future continue to have a successful and positive relationship with Red Hat. In my discussions also, they are in discussions of expanding their Red Hat Enterprise Linux footprint with us as well.
3. Szulik wouldn't comment on whether Red Hat would be a preloaded desktop option on Dell PCs.
4. CIO interest--and spending on open source software--is solid. Szulik noted:
There is a healthy mix right now of customers trying to create and shift dollars from the management of historical legacy systems and how do they migrate and create the availability of dollars and resource in technology to accelerate and move towards web-based systems. That is happening.
Our interactions with our customers have been positive toward that end because of the rapid ROI that they have gotten. Remember, with open source software, it is likely that they have been using Linux, they have been using JBoss, they have an opinion and their goal is migrating into a production environment that would require a service level premise.
I would say that the overall macro spending environment for software has been positive in our worldwide review over the last six months.