Red Hat has long been the dominant Linux distributor. Its switch from a retail-box end-user Linux to a subscription-based business distribution made it no friends in the Linux community, but Red Hats bottom line showed that its path was a rip-roaring business success.
On the flip side, love him or hate him, JBoss CEO Marc Fleury, with his "professional open source," has made JBosss J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) server and its associated software—JEMS (JBoss Enterprise Middleware System)—the Java-based middleware stack for businesses.
Put them together and you get a company that can challenge Microsoft across the entire server line.
Thats not news, in some ways.
Linux owns edge-servers, which provide Web and Internet services. In enterprises, Linux also kicks rump and takes names, with its Samba-based file and print services.
In addition, LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl) servers have long been seen as the low-end for Web services. But, when they wanted serious enterprise services, most businesses have heretofore turned to a Microsoft proprietary stack or to J2EE.
Now, Red Hat will be able to offer an integrated software stack that can handle all of a companys server needs.