Netline, which is evaluating moving its headquarters from Olpe, Germany, to Boston sometime in the next two years, will be establishing a local subsidiary housing its alliance management, sales and marketing teams in Boston in the next few months. At the annual LinuxWorld conference and expo in San Francisco this August, Netline announced that it was open-sourcing Open-Xchange Server under the GNU General Public License.The open-source version of Open-Xchange is available for free download here and features most of the attributes of the commercial product. It runs on the most widely used Linux operating systemsNovells SuSE Linux, Red Hat, Red Flag and Debianbut does not include support and maintenance, third-party applications, or any connectors. Netline released the Open-Xchange code at the end of August, and Hoberg said there has been more than 50,000 downloads of the code and some 1,500 developers and testers signing up to support the project. Netlines business strategy is to have an open-source unsupported product and a commercial, supported and maintained version, and Hoberg said he expects to release the commercial Open-Xchange Server product in March 2005. While the core code will be the same for both versions, Hoberg said Netline will add some administrative front ends to make the product easy for administrators to install and manage. "We are also going to provide a guarantee that we will maintain this version for five years, including upgrades, patches and a future-looking product road map," he said. Customers will also get a subscription service, renewed annually, and will be able to use Netlines Outlook and Palm connectors for free. Hoberg declined to give specific pricing for the product, but said the goal is to have it cost at least 50 percent less than the Microsoft Exchange solution. Netline is also free to pursue similar deals with other vendors and is actively discussing this with interested companies in Asia, South America and the United States, Hoberg said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
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