Linux profitability [Red Hat , SUSE , Canonical]

Introduction

People involved in the FOSS movement ,claim that FOSS companies do have profits and benefits of open source. In this post  I will present some piece of information about the most significant ones [Red Hat , SUSE , Canonical] [1]

Case studies

SUSE :

In the summer 2012, at “SUSEcon 2012,” [3] SUSE itself was announced to be profitable, with revenues above $200 million (USD), with expectations of continued revenue growth into 2013.

I have to point out that, SUSE offers some pretty interesting services and products, including SUSE Linux Enterprise (in both Server and Desktop versions), server management tools, enterprise level support deals and SUSEStudio.

Red Hat :

The last December reported a profit of $38.2 million, with a revenue of $322 million for the quarter. Like SUSE, their success is not terribly surprising. Red Hat Enterprise server alone (and its various support deals and tools) is a huge business with a large user base. You can find more about Red Hats profit and financial statement here [2]

Cannonical :

In Canonical case , things seems to be different as Canonical is a privately held company and hasn’t released a great deal of financial information. But what we do know is this: Back in 2009, Mark Shuttleworth (founder of Canonical) stated that it was “creeping” towards its break-even point in revenue (roughly $30 million).

Then, during the announcement for Canonical’s latest project (Ubuntu for Tablets), Shuttleworth stated that the company was not yet profitable. And that’s just about the most detailed information we’ve gotten so far. Canonical estimates that there are roughly 20 million Ubuntu users worldwide. But, for SUSE and Red Hat, things are a bit more complicated, as there are multiple flavors to consider (Red Hat Enterprise, Fedora, openSUSE, Suse Linux Enterprise).

Conclusion

In 2010, openSUSE installations were estimated at over 2 million. Fedora (the Open Source, community distro that Red Hat Enterprise is based on) reports roughly 3.5 million unique IPs connecting to their software repository for the most recent version. Seems that companies have many and different ways to measure their success and profit.

 

References

[1] http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/linux-profitability-how-successful-are-companies-behind-biggest-versions-linux

[2] http://investors.redhat.com/financials-statements.cfm

[3] http://www.susecon.com/archive.html

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