‘Red Boss’: Day 2

There are lots of opinions
on Red Hat’s acquisition of JBoss.

Marc Fleury, CEO of JBoss, shared his thoughts on the deal and the prospect for future success during Red Hat’s
Open House for Institutional Investors, which was held today. Fleury’s comments
flew in the face of a 2004 blog posting by Fleury about his new employer.

Fleury defended his company’s decision to be bought by Red Hat, and argued
that it is not an “exit” strategy.

“It is not an exit,” Fleury said during the analyst meeting. “It is an
entrance into something brand new.”

Fleury noted the need for financial liquidity that the Red Hat purchase brings so that JBoss can now focus on the next step of business plan
execution and additional deployment.

Fleury also refuted charges that JBoss was somehow pressured into making a
deal. He did not mention Oracle by name, though Oracle had been
rumored by some to be a potential suitor for JBoss.

“You may have seen a lot of rumors about JBoss in the press,” Fleury stated.
“And we insist on characterizing this as JBoss chose this option.”

JBoss had been on track and was working to become a public company,
according to Fleury.

However, he admitted that the demands analysts place on
public companies in terms of growing cash flow quarter over quarter made it
clear that managing a public company and the expectations that it would
bring would have made the investment capacity limited for JBoss.

During his talk, Fleury took aim at a common misconception about JBoss as
merely being a re-packager of free software.

“Even open source software doesn’t just fall out of the sky,” Fleury said. “I think this is one of the myths of open source that is
encouraged by the press that in fact software appears for free. Ain’t that

“The reality is slightly different,” Fleury continued. “You still have
humans that create that software.”

JBoss’ model, he said, is based on recognizing the human element and
building software that has enterprise relevance. He noted that JBoss
currently contributed to or maintains over 30 different open source
projects, some of which will filter down into its eight product lines.

That Fleury said JBoss is not a re-packager of “free software” is
somewhat ironic considering that he
criticized Red Hat in a blog posting on the same topic in September 2004.

“RH [Red Hat] is a PACKAGER, not a technology house … it doesn’t create JACK, it doesn’t create Linux, it wraps it up
in proprietary s***,” Fleury wrote. “And no the contributions that they make don’t really
count. Linus Torvalds creates Linux.”

The blog post seems to have been deleted, but it is still available on Google’s cache of the blog.

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