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Will Red Hat Dunk With JBoss?

Red Hat has announced it will acquire JBoss, an Open Source Software enterprise service platform. Red Hat apparently made the decision based on its desire to jump into an SOA-enabling technology built on a proven, low-cost OSS product.

The move makes sense for Red Hat, but what about for potential customers? The memory of Fedora and early treatment of its distribution may have many treading carefully until the company reveals its long-term plans.

JBoss is commonly distributed as a low-cost alternative to competing commercial platforms, such as BEA Systems' WebLogic and IBM's WebSphere, for Web-based admin consoles. Whether this will remain true will depend on Red Hat's plans for integration, and whether the company will continue to support JBoss as a standalone product. The company says it has no immediate plans to change anything. Once the deal is completed, it will provide a detailed blueprint.

Red Hat picked up JBoss for $350 million in initial consideration, plus $70 million subject to the achievement of certain future performance metrics. The transaction consideration is composed of about 40 percent in cash and 60 percent in Red Hat common stock. The acquisition is expected to be completed around the end of May.