While there has been "extraordinary demand" for the product in Europe and the United States, Red Hat will first roll it out where it is most neededwith emerging countries, he said. In an interview with eWEEK, Crenshaw bristled at the suggestion by some that the company is not serious about the desktop market.Red Hat is planning a Linux desktop offering "for the masses." Click here to read more. It would be hard to find another company making as many investments in the Linux desktop space as Red Hat, he said, noting that the global desktop is all open-source and is about providing offerings that people actually need. While Red Hat is not interested in providing a Windows clone, its investments and delivery in the space are "unparalleled." It is also important to remember that the global desktop is a for-profit initiative, he said. "The numbers are staggering, and we think we are going to do quite well," Crenshaw said. Riveros said that the new desktop will help democratize technology, which is why the initial focus is on delivering it to emerging markets. "We want to see wide adoption of Linux desktops around the world, but providing a Windows clone has no value," he said. Until now, this customer segment had three product choices: Buy Windows Starter edition, which does not have the functionality or applications they need; purchase Windows Vista, which is too expensive and requires an upgrade of their existing hardware; or download Linux, which did not give them the support and certification they needed, or have a brand name behind it, he said. Microsoft has come up with a $3 anti-Linux weapon. Read about it here. "We want to reach as many people around the world as possible. We believe that with this new distribution model, which is wider than anything that has been done in the past, and available on as many hardware platforms as possible, big and small, through our partnership with Intel, that we will be able to deliver this solution across the globe," Riveros said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
"With this deal we have built a new and innovative support network that involves training qualified resellers, Intel and Red Hat. While there is no strong value proposition around Linux now for going after your grandfather and grandmother who might want to buy a computer, this initiative is a major expansion of our desktop into emerging markets," he said.