Red Hat Looking for Growth in SMB Market

Lora Bentley

At its annual analyst day in New York, leading Linux distributor Red Hat told the audience that it was shifting its focus -- from large, Wall Street-type firms to the small and medium-sized businesses that populate Main Street. That's how the company plans to grow in spite of the current state of the economy.


Writing for The Register, Timothy Prickett Morgan quotes Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst as follows:

Red Hat does well with companies that use technology for competitive advantage. We have very high share here. For instance, Red Hat is as pervasive as water at the New York Stock Exchange ... Among the vast majority on Main Street, we barely have share.

To change that, Red Hat plans to gain 1 to 2 points of operating system market each year, by taking SMB business from other Linux distributors as well as from Microsoft, and also by converting nonpaying users to paying customers. Whitehurst says, "We have some customers who have bought one copy and then call us over 100 times a year. These are the nickels lying all over the floor."

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