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Redhat Responds: " Oh no you di'ent! "

Much earlier today, I wrote about SpringSource CEO Rod Johnson's take on Redhat's recently announced Open Choice application strategy and I believe two words best sum up the tone in Mr. Johnson's article: "It's on!"

Well it didn't take long for Redhat to respond. Rich Sharples, who has the impressive sounding title "Director of Product Management for JBoss Application Platforms and Developer Tools" at Redhat posted in his blog today a rebuttal highlighted with competing Job Trends charts from indeed.com. Most of the article makes perfect sense: JBoss is recognizing that JEE, while very popular, isn't the only very popular framework stack out there. Rails is popular, Spring is popular, so why should they box themselves into supporting just one kind of stack. Developers certainly don't, which I experience everyday when I see developers creating sites that incorporate both Spring and JEE. From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense to this Music Major.

That being said the closing paragraph did get me thinking:

"This really isn’t about Spring Source - in fact we don’t even compete with Spring Source. Our sights are set much higher."

One could read this in a couple of ways, one of which involves me blowing it way out of context and saying that Redhat is essentially saying "Spring...who?" but it's also easy enough for me to sit back and wonder, "why Redhat?" Of all the companies that SpringSource could have put on notice, why did they decide on Redhat? The two companies, at least to me, seem almost like extended family. Redhat's supporting Spring and as of October 2008, springsource.com is running on Redhat Linux and could very well still be. I **think** that the Spring Framework has been integrating with Hibernate for years. It almost seems as if SpringSource's position has taken Redhat by surprise. Redhat doesn't view SpringSource as a competitor while SpringSource views Redhat as a suitable target.

So, my question to SpringSource, as already asked, is "why Redhat?" Is it because Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft are simply too big? My question to Redhat is, "what's next?" Is Redhat's position on SpringSource going to be changing over the course of this next year?


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