Red Hat CEO sees open source as a 'model for government'
"President Obama came to office with the promise of change. His administration has pledged to create an environment of openness and participation," according to Jim Whitehurst, the CEO of the leading seller of Linux software in the US, in a blog post this week on the Red Hat company site.
"Red Hat is excited that the Obama administration recognizes the value of open source beyond software."
Whitehurst also noted that some have dubbed Obama the "open source president." Obama, whose presidential campaign relied heavily on technologies such as e-mail and social networking, first received the designation "open source president" from CNN contributor Alex Castellanos, when Castallanos lauded Obama's "bottom up" management style on national TV last fall.
Also in his blog post this week, Whitehurst contended that open source software supports a government of openness and participation by saving money for government agencies; bringing choice; providing "access to information" through the Open Document Format (ODF) standard; and producing a "meritocracy," in which "everyone can contribute, and ideas are adopted and rewarded" on the basis of merit.
Why is open source an "ideal model for government," in Whitehurst's view? Open source is "collaborative to its core. With the same models employed in government, we believe that representatives can distribute more information more quickly, and in turn, citizens can share the knowledge representatives need to make informed decisions," he wrote.
"We believe that the Obama Administration has an unprecedented opportunity to use open source to spark innovation and positive change. It won't happen overnight, but all levels of government can make it happen if they work collaboratively and follow Obama's rallying cry, 'Yes, we can.'"
A list of "possibly related posts (automatically generated)" below the blog includes a link to an article in Barrons.com called "Signs Show Oracle Won't Buy Red Hat Soon."
With 40,000 customers added and a positive financial outcome for its recently ended fiscal year, Red Hat certainly doesn't seem to need Oracle or any other suitor right now.
Meanwhile, during a conference call with analysts, held about two weeks ago to announce his company's financial results, Whitehurst mentioned that "government markets are very good" for Red Hat: "I can tell you that open source and RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), specifically, [are] well adopted in the government -- not only US government but state and local government and foreign government."