H-P should not make Marc rich (yet)

For any business to make sense as an acquisition for an outfit like H-P, it has to be scalable, and it has to be large enough to make an impact on the H-PO bottom line, if not right now, then soon.

Marc FleuryRegular readers may remember my lunch last summer with Marc Fleury, which I dubbed Marc Fleury's Best Day Ever. He had just signed contracts that assured JBoss' future as a going concern, and celebrated with a big steak.

Now Hewlett-Packard is launching a new offensive in selling open source services, and at least one wag has opined that it's time they bought JBoss.

While it would be fun to know a rich man (especially if this gig ended) this is really not the right time.

For any business to make sense as an acquisition for an outfit like H-P, it has to be scalable, and it has to be large enough to make an impact on the H-P bottom line, if not right now, then soon. JBoss is a nice little business, which seems to be running well, but it's not going to get those jobs done.

Besides, H-P can do a lot more good for itself, in terms of the hardware sales it must make, by simply working with JBoss, and the dozens of companies like it throughout the open source world, until they find something they want to build a software services operation around. Why create competition when cooperation works better and costs less?

Give this sector a few years on its own to shake out, and then you can buy something. For now, let Marc make his money the old-fashioned way, by earning it. The customers will appreciate it.

One caveat. If you think Marc Fleury is the right man to lead H-P's open source efforts going forward, and that Atlanta is the right place to do it, then by all means go for it. And feel free to overpay. I could use another free lunch.