December 13, 1999
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC (AP) Red Hat Software (NASDAQ: RHAT) CEO Robert Young announced today, at a hastily-assembled press conference, his company's purchase of Redmond, Washington's Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT). This news follows a whirlwind week for the North Carolina company, which has seen its stock rise to $957 a share, after gains of $52, $267, $244, and $162 in the last four trading days. Pending approval of the deal, Microsoft shareholders will receive one share of Red Hat for every nine MSFT shares they own.
The news comes after weeks of speculation over possible Red Hat takeovers, including Corel, Sun Microsystems, and Intel.
Via satellite, top Microsoft executives Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer made short statements while wearing red fedoras. Mentioned were a set of new pieces of beta software - to be released later this week on the internet - including Microsoft Linux and Linux versions of Microsoft's popular Internet Explorer browser and Office 2000 office suite.
After his brief statement, Young would only add "Oskee wee wee! Oskee wa wa!" when asked for further comment or clarification.
On Slashdot, the freewheeling web site popular with computer hackers, there were quick calls to "GPL the Windows 2000 source code", before Slashdot's servers melted, approximately 11 minutes after news of the Red Hat announcement was posted there.