Both IBM and Oracle whom both have put some of muscle behind RedHat are both sporting application servers. What makes this question more interesting is when you consider the effect that bundling JBoss with the RedHat distributions could have on the ISP industry as a whole. Right now it is difficult to find an ISP that offers a J2EE environment. With JBoss bundled in all that could change in very short order. Would IBM and Oracle be interested in continuing with this effort under these conditions.
On a less positive but no less insightful blog, Tim O’Brian writes about the negative impact of having a single entity mediate a community.
you fail to attract those with casual , buy valuable interest, and you end up creating a top-down corporate structure.
Tim goes on to talk about the success of Apache in fostering community. He then provides us with a description of how that model has fostered the success of httpd, the Apache server. In this description he talks about how it is almost impossible to measure the true economic impact of httpd. He also speculates on what may of happen if that technology had of been owned by a single interest. That speculation includes the assertion that Java would not have taken off had Apache been controlled or heavily influenced by commercial interests.
The strictly not a technical publication, The register often covers tech issues and in this report they do no less but remind us of some of the positions members of JBoss Group have taken in the past. If you are wondering why RedHat would overlook these comments and engage then one need look no further the Cameron Purdy’s blog.
Cameron notes that the RedHat market cap of 20x revenues makes the JBoss revenue stream very valuable to them. So much so that RedHat reportedly will throw in an extra $70 million if JBoss Group makes certain revenue targets. As Cameron put it;
If JBoss can pull in an additional $60mm in revenue in 2006, and RedHat can maintain its price-to=sales ratio, then the less-than-$5 billion RedHat just became the more-than-$6 billion RedHat. All for the small one-time fee of $420mm.
And who knows, just maybe Marc can do a better job of cleaning up RedHats "girlie-man open source' image then he did of cleaning Googles archive.