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Red Hat Summit: 5 Boldest Remarks From IBM, Microsoft and Red Hat CEOs

‘To be blunt, five years ago we had, I guess to be polite, it would be called an adversarial relationship,’ Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst says to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

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Going Bold In Boston

More than 8,900 attendees swarmed the Red Hat Summit this week in Boston, where the enterprise open-source software company released the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 operating system and its OpenShift 4 Kubernetes platform.

IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shared the keynote-session stage with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst at the 15th-year installment of the open-source technology event. Rometty talked up IBM’s pending $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat and their future relationship. Nadella was there to help herald Azure Red Hat OpenShift, the new enterprise-grade Kubernetes platform that allows developers to run container-based applications on-premises and across Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud. Microsoft will jointly manage the platform with Red Hat.

“The CEOs of (two of the) largest technology companies in the world on stage in the same keynote, and it’s a Red Hat keynote,” Whitehurst said. “Who would have expected that? Hopefully it says something about open source and our role, but it also certainly says something about those companies and their desire to serve customers and their desire to embrace open source.”

CRN assembled some of the top talking points from the conference, which speak to Rometty’s view of how Red Hat will operate under IBM, Whitehurst’s message to channel partners who may be wary of the IBM acquisition, Red Hat’s more contentious past relationship with Microsoft, and Nadella’s thoughts on the demand for software engineers and democratizing innovation.

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