By now, some of you have read that several analysts downgraded Red Hat due to Red Hat’s execution of the JBoss acquisition. I chose not to blog the story because, well, it’s about the performance of a competitor (JBoss) to IBM WebSphere Application Server.

Matt blogged the downgrade and his belief that JBoss is doing fine. Then things got interesting with comments CNet readers. I’ve clipped a few because they highlighted key points that enterprise vendors should consider before an OSS vendor acquisition. As Roy points out, an OSS acquisition is truly about the people, not the technology, being acquired. In Red Hat’s defense, it was unlikely that JBossians would find the culture at any larger vendor, including RH, to be close to the freedom of the JBoss culture.

Roy:

“They’re looking at the amount of money RHT spent on the JBoss acquisition and the poor revenue return on it. That sorta tends to happen when you destroy the sales and marketing machine JBoss had built.”

Matt:

“I’m not looking for any blame. I’ve yet to see any reason to believe that Red Hat isn’t getting JBoss moving. I know there are plenty of JBossers who have left the company who are happy to dig at Red Hat not loving them enough, but I’m not overly bothered by their outside perspective on what’s going on inside the company.”

Roy:

“Remember… what was RHT buying? They weren’t buying code (OSS). So they were buying… yep… people! As luck would have it, once the “special” people started leaving, the investment’s downward spiral began. Today it seems the surprise is on RHT.”

Then, a rather long comment from a (likely ex or current) JBossian:

“RH is more concerned with creating policies and initiatives that ran contrary to the spirit which Fleury and his team created – one of openness, caring for their work, and the motto have fun which was present every day till the day RH took over. RH was more concerned with making sure no one on @core used profanity, or communicated anything with anyone about any of the projects we were working on. It became the Borg Collective, and that hardly inspires creative and talented people to keep on doing what they do best.

….

Did JBoss’ers think they were special, sure we did, and we were. We were the trailblazers, doing something innovative, and different. We fought the likes of IBM, BEA who tried to drown and kill us at every turn, and we survived, and even managed to come out on top in many ways. So yes, we are a special bunch, and proud of it. It’s to bad RH management tried to take that feeling away. They are paying the consequences for it now, and there will be more to come.”

Let’s hope that comment didn’t come from Marc speaking in the third person ;-)