Who makes money out of free software? Support organisations do. One of the hottest properties in recent months has been Red Hat - an organisation that specialises in providing support services for open source software such as the Linux operating system and Apache web browser.
Earlier in March Compaq, IBM, Oracle and Novell each announced that they were investing in Red Hat. Now SAP has joined this club of high profile IT firms by announcing its own investment in Red Hat.
Bloor Research believes that the open source movement has now reached critical mass. The one factor preventing major organisations relying on open source software has been concern over support issues. The confidence shown in Red Hat by this significant group of vendors should demonstrate that Linux and Apache can now join the list of products capable of supporting a mission-critical environment.