rPath CEO Billy Marshall says Red Hat's Exchange initiative is as confusing as "erawtfos yrtsudni" -- or "software industry" spelled backward. He likens the idea of Red Hat, an operating system distributor, offering and supporting open source applications from other vendors to Emerson Electric selling and supporting Whirlpool appliances. Why would customers want the distributor of appliance motors on the hook for their appliances unless they are expecting the appliance motors to be loud and untrustworthy, and they want Emerson to be held responsible when the motor breaks down?
The same is true for open source, he says. If Red Hat Exchange is what customers want, then open source software is in sorry shape. Customers should expect quality products that don't require "more and better" support.
Moreover, if customers are concerned about the operating system upon which the applications run requiring extra support, the Exchange is not the way to go about it, Marshall maintains. Instead, they should look to software-as-a-service alternatives.