Oracle is not buying Red Hat

Oracle is not buying Red Hat The rumor mill has it that Oracle may be buying Red Hat. Don't believe it. All it took was one mention that Oracle might do well to own Red Hat, but that the timing wasn't right, by Jefferies & Co. analyst Katherine Egbert for people to start talking up Oracle buying Red Hat. Folks, it's not going to happen. IBM will buy Sun. Oracle buying Red Hat? No.

This isn't the first time that Egbert has dreamed up fantasies of Oracle buying Red Hat in the minds of silly investors. She was wrong then. She's wrong now.

Why? The reasons why it didn't make sense in 2006 are still the reasons the move makes no sense today.

First, what could Oracle CEO Larry Ellison get from buying Red Hat? Red Hat Linux? Duh, hello? Oracle already has RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), except they call it Oracle Unbreakable Linux. So, he'd want to buy the real thing because...? Let me know when you come up with a good reason.

It's certainly not because Oracle wants to own an entire software stack. The Linux vendors are more than happy to work with Oracle. Besides, Oracle is already one of the leading contributors to the Linux kernel. Oh, and did I mention that Oracle already distributes its own version of RHEL?

So, again, why buy Red Hat, a company with a market capitalization of over $3 billion? Oracle could afford it, but come on, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison didn't become a billionaire by wasting billions. At least when he burns money on his planes and yachts, he gets a heck of a ride out of it.

If you want to talk up potential deals, then you can talk about how IBM/Sun makes sense. Or, if you want something more speculative, you can consider Cisco picking up VMware from EMC. But, Oracle buying Red Hat? It's not in the cards.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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