IBM closed its $34 billion\u00a0acquisition of Red Hat\u00a0on July 9, and statements from the leadership of both companies sound promising. But some Linux users have expressed concern.\nQuestions being asked by some Linux professionals and devotees include:\n\nWill Red Hat lose customer confidence now that it's part of IBM and not an independent company?\nWill IBM continue putting funds into open source after paying such a huge price for Red Hat? Will they curtail what Red Hat is able to invest?\nBoth companies\u2019 leaders are saying all the right things now, but can they predict how their business partners and customers will react as they move forward? Will their good intentions be derailed?\n\nPart of the worry simply comes from the size of this deal. Thirty-four billion dollars is a lot of money. This is probably the largest cloud computing acquisition to date. What kind of strain will that price tag put on how the new IBM functions going forward? Other worries come from the character of the acquisition \u2013 whether Red Hat will be able to continue operating independently and what will change if it cannot. In addition, it's easy for Linux devotees to recall Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2010 and Sun\u2019s slow death in the aftermath.\n\nThe good news is that this merger of IBM and Red Hat appears to offer each of the companies some significant benefits. IBM makes a strong move into cloud computing, and Red Hat gains a broader international footing.\nThe other good news relates to the pace at which this acquisition occurred. Initially More than eight months after the deal was announced on October 28, 2018, it\u2019s clear the leadership has not rushed headlong into this new relationship. Both parties appear to be moving ahead with trust and optimism. IBM promises to ensure Red Hat's independence and will allow it to continue to be "Red Hat" both in name and business activity.\nThe end of Red Hat highly unlikely\nWill this acquisition be the end of Red Hat? That outcome is not impossible, but it seems extremely unlikely. For one thing, both companies stand to gain significantly from the other\u2019s strong points. IBM is likely to be revitalized in ways that allow it to be more successful, and Red Hat is starting from a very strong position. While it\u2019s a huge gamble by some measurements, I think most of us Linux enthusiasts are cautiously optimistic at worst.\nIBM seems intent on allowing Red Hat to work independently and seems to be taking the time required to work out the kinks in its plans.\nAs for the eventual demise of Sun Microsystems, the circumstances were very different. As this coverage in Network World in 2017\u00a0suggests, Sun was in an altogether different position when it was acquired. The future for IBM and Red Hat appears to be considerably brighter \u2013 even to a former (decades earlier) member of the Sun User Group Board of Directors.\nThe answer to the question posed by the title of this post is \u201cprobably not.\u201d Only time will tell, but leadership seems committed to doing things the right way \u2013 preserving Red Hat's role in the Linux world and making the arrangement pay off for both organizations. And I, for one, expect good things to come from the merger \u2013 for IBM, for Red Hat and likely even for Linux enthusiasts like myself.