After more than 17 years on the market, the open saucer Red Hat is officially worth over a billion dollars.
According to Wired, it is the first time that any open-source company has cracked the $1 billion barrier which would have been considered impossible in 1993 when it launched AAC Corporation. At the time it used to sell more books than it did software.
Some have made a lot of money selling Linux but it is always as a way of selling hardware or other services. Red Hat just built software.
The key to Red Hat's success is that ten years ago it ditched its Red Hat Linux product and moved into more open source business software. It is certified to run Oracle and SAP and other business applications.
It also sold its Linux products as a subscription which means that its results are stable, keeping investors happy.
But it is one of the few Open Sauce success stories. Its closest rival, SuSE Linux, only makes $170 million a year.