Red Hat Still Doesn't Need Desktop Linux

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 28, 2010

As we reported last week, Red hat has just reported another robust financial quarter--one of many achieved in a row. Earnings came in at 15 cents a share, or $24.1 million, compared to 12 cents a share expected by analysts, on total revenue of $209.1 million. Once again, Red Hat not only maintained its key subscribers but grew subscriptions and renewals.

While many people think of Red Hat as a Linux-focused company, and it is, CEO Jim Whitehurst has steadfastly maintained that Red Hat's strategy is not focused on desktop Linux. It's clear that that's still the case, and interesting how Red Hat can still win without any type of desktop Linux coup.

In a conversation with MSPmentor, a the recent Red Hat Partner Summit, CEO Jim Whitehurst clearly said that his company is not pinning its fortunes on desktop Linux. He made clear that Red Hat will continue to develop and support its desktop Linux offering, but won't make a substantial push with it.

The key to why Whitehurst is not so focused on the desktop operating system--and the company never has had that focus--lies in its focus on the cloud. Whitehurst has remained adamant that cloud computing is the future, and has even pronounced the age of the PC over. That pronouncement may be a little premature, with countless people tied to the computing model of running local applications on a powerful local operating system, but Whitehurst and his company continue to show that huge success can be built on a computing model absent a focus on the desktop OS.

The focus that Red Hat has on the cloud and on middleware will serve it well. As we keep hearing pronouncements from the company along the lines of the death of the PC, it's worth keeping in mind that the PC and local operating systems don't have to die for Red Hat to win. Red Hat just needs to keep incrementally carving out the new customers and new subscription revenue that it does carve out each and every quarter.