Should Microsoft buy Red Hat?

I can almost hear the Linux community welling up with tears as the rumours circulate that Microsoft may in fact decide to buy Red Hat.

An anonymous reader writes “Various news sources including ZDnet [blog] are today reporting that Microsoft is considering buying out Red Hat, speculating that ‘Microsoft could see Red Hat’s acquisition as a nice way to undermine IBM, but might not consider that a sufficient reason to do it,’

My first, immediate reaction via IRC was: I think microsoft feels in a sort of obligated way about Linux the way it does with Apple; it is willing if they have to support the platform on one level because ultimately it sells software and they should want to be on as many platforms as possible.

The flipside, however, is they also want to control their proprietary OS and if they also own Red Hat which is free online, but can be packaged with goodies and sold like Red Hat does in stores like Best Buy, they would be competing with themselves. But is competing with themselves such a bad thing? [Read the rest]