William Kramer

Red Hat Making BOP Play

One of my regular news feeds brought this item to my attention, and it struck me as perhaps a meaningful watershed.? Red Hat, the Linux software/middleware company, just announced last week the launch of its “Global Desktop” — enterprise software at affordable prices.? Red Hat has been working with Intel to maximize performance on low-cost, Intel-based desktop PCs.? It has also been working with One Laptop Per Child to simplify the functioning of highly-sophisticated desktop suites.? Interestingly, Red Hat seems to have navigated the sometimes hostile relationship between Intel and the OLPC people for the purposes of this project.

For the open software folks, you’d think that the emerging economy markets would be a high visibility target, but the economics of their businesses are perhaps even more demanding than the proprietary software solution providers.? The development, then, of specific solutions for low-income consumers represents to me at least a significant shift in the center of gravity of the overall markets.? Admittedly the customers for this software are at the top of the BOP market, if not above, but still, it’s a great sign.?