Wondering what Mark Shuttleworth thinks about IBM buying Red Hat? Well, wonder no more.

The Ubuntu founder has shared his thoughts on IBM’s game-changing purchase in a short but pointed blog post.

And, few of you will be surprised to learn, the space-faring free-software fan thinks the deal marks a “significant moment in the progression of open source to the mainstream”.

And rightly so: there was a time when open source was viewed as the outside option. Now, thanks to companies like Red Hat and Canonical, it’s the de-facto option.

Naturally Shuttleworth is also feeling bullish about Ubuntu’s position as a Red Hat rival, particularly in the area of cloud computing (the main market motivator behind IBM’s $34 billion buy).

Public cloud workloads have largely avoided Red Hat Enterprise Linux, container workloads even more so…

And, he adds, the world has moved on — even from Red Hat.

“The decline in RHEL growth contrasted with the acceleration in Linux more broadly is a strong market indicator of the next wave of open source,” he writes.

“Public cloud workloads have largely avoided RHEL. Container workloads even more so. Moving at the speed of developers means embracing open source in ways that have led the world’s largest companies, the world’s fastest moving startups, and those who believe that security and velocity are best solved together, to Ubuntu.”

Shuttleworth says theres an ‘accelerated momentum’ behind Ubuntu within the enterprise space, in all areas, from IoT, public cloud and Kubernetes to machine learning and AI — all sectors IBM and Red Hat will be hoping its combined clout can carve more marketshare from.

Companies aren’t just using Ubuntu. They’re choosing Ubuntu. It’s a confidence that won’t be knocked by IBM’s deal:

“We are determined that Ubuntu is judged as the world’s most secure, most cost-effective and most faithful vehicle for open source initiatives. We look forward to helping [companies…] deliver the innovation on which their future growth depends.”

While Mark Shuttleworth’s statement doesn’t strictly relate to desktop matters (the primary focus of this site) his take is worth hearing all the same. It’s reassuring to know that far from being intimated or downbeat about the biggest deal in open-source history, they feel Ubuntu still has plenty to offer.

In a game of who can be the biggest, best and most bountiful open-source software company, can the wider FOSS community ever lose?

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