Although neither AOL nor Red Hat Linux have officially commented on rumors of a merger between the two, sources familiar with both companies emphatically deny that a sale is in the works.
Nevertheless, even if a sale doesn't take place, a deal between Red Hat and AOL makes a lot of sense. Because of Linux's open-source licensing, computers using Linux are cheaper. It would also strike against AOL rival Microsoft.
"A desktop vendor in Latin America or especially China, if they can save 50 to 60 bucks on a PC that's a big deal," an analyst said. "It's conceivable that a Linux alliance with a media company could work in that environment."