Red Hat's Red-Hot Deal

The outfit's purchase of JBoss is the strongest indication yet that the open-source player is ready for prime time

Red Hat's announcement that it would buy JBoss for up to $420 million came as a surprise to many in the software industry. It wasn't because JBoss got sold. Reports swirled for months that JBoss, which specializes in software distributed at little cost over the Internet, was in talks to be bought. Would-be suitors included Novell (NOVL), Oracle (ORCL) and Red Hat. And judging from the surge in Red Hat shares, there was scant concern JBoss would be a good fit.

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