Red HatRed Hat's annual revenues now top $520 million, according to financial results released today, and the company is charting a course to $1 billion. Sounds wonderful. But there's a bigger story here: Red Hat's financial momentum will pave the way for more open source IPOs.

MySQL, the open source database darling, was expected to launch an IPO sometime this year -- until Sun Microsystems stepped in to acquire the company for $1 billion. Now, the most likely IPO candidate appears to be SugarCRM, which enjoys 100 percent annual revenue growth and a hybrid model that includes open source and software as a service.

Back at Red Hat, executives are making some lofty statements about future results. The company expects current-year revenue to grow to $655 million to $680 million, according to Reuters. And there are also signs that the company' JBoss middleware sales are finally hitting their stride.

Still, The VAR Guy would like to hear more from Red Hat on several fronts, including:
  • Red Hat Exchange - the online store allows customers to purchase multiple third-party applications. Sounds great but Red Hat hasn't said much about how it plans to grow the store.
  • Amentra -- Red Hat recently acquired the middleware integrator, which could help JBoss sales. But how will the deal impact Red Hat's partner strategy and channel efforts?
  • Linux Desktop -- Novell says it's gaining momentum on the desktop and doesn't encounter much -- if any -- competition from Red Hat. And Ubuntu has plenty of Linux desktop buzz as it prepares to release version 8.04, a major upgrade, next month. Is Red Hat really in this game?
Of couse, The VAR Guy is splitting hairs. At a time when most software companies are announcing less-than-stellar results, Red Hat delivered the goods today.