Even as rumours that Red Hat is about to buy Corel are moving back onto the Linux watcher's radar screen, so has a further item of tittle-tattle that the best-known open source operation is about to buy alternative OS vendor Be.
Indeed, Be's shares rose 49 per cent yesterday, to $37.56, apparently on the back of the rumour. Neither company has yet commented on the claim.
Sounds an interesting plan, but the Linuxisation of BeOS would be tantamount to an admission of failure on Be's part, a confession that it can't after all compete with the open source OS. Be itself is doing reasonably well an OS vendor, with a small but solid band of supporters, and is pushing hard to make it big in the information appliance market. From that perspective, it doesn't need Red Hat. So unless Jean-Louis Gassee wants to cash in his shares or swap them for more valuable Red Hat ones (assuming some kind of share-for-shares acquisition), he's little reason to shake hands with Bob Young, Matthew Szulik and co.
Red Hat, on the other hand, needs Be rather more. Getting Be's technology and putting it into the Linux domain would give its distribution a major lead in functionality. But such is the open source philosophy, Red Hat would have hand it over to everyone else, and any advantage would soon be lost.
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