Red Hat Cans Linux Distribution

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-11-03 Print this article Print

Leading Linux distributor on Monday to narrow its focus on the enterprise space, telling customers that it will end its Red Hat Linux line after the end of April 2004.

Leading Linux distributor Red Hat Inc. on Monday made clear its intention to focus on the enterprise space, telling customers that it will no longer be maintaining or releasing any of the its Red Hat Linux line after the end of April 2004. The Raleigh, N.C. firm sent its Red Hat Network customers an e-mail, informing them of the upcoming discontinuation of Red Hat Linux and providing them with "resources to assist you with your migration to another Red Hat solution.
"As previously communicated, Red Hat will discontinue maintenance and errata support for Red Hat Linux 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and 8.0 as of December 31, 2003. Red Hat will discontinue maintenance and errata support for Red Hat 9 as of April 30 2004. Red Hat does not plan to release another product in the Red Hat Linux line," the email said.
The move is designed to push customers to migrate to Red Hats Enterprise Linux line of products, which carry an annual subscription fee. "With the recent announcement of Red Hat Enterprise Linux v.3, youll find migrating to Enterprise Linux appealing. We understand that transitioning to another Red Hat solution requires careful planning and implementation. "We have created a migration plan for Red Hat Network customers to help make the transition as simple and seamless as possible," the company said in the e-mail. As an incentive to help drive customers to the more costly enterprise products, which are paid for on an annual subscription basis, Red Hat said those customers who bought its Enterprise Linux Workstation or Enterprise Server Basic product before February 28, 2004, would get two years subscription for the price of one. The company has also created a Red Hat Linux Migration Resource Center. A Red Hat spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. The move follows the release last month of the companys strongest financial results since its listing, on the back of strong growth in sales of an-nual subscriptions. At that time, Kevin Thompson, Red Hats chief financial officer, said sales of annual subscriptions for Red Hat Enterprise Linux technologies grew by 10 percent, or 2,300, to about 26,000, with some 1,700 of these being new Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers. Subscription revenues from enterprise technologies grew 21 percent quarter-on-quarter and 123 percent year-over-year. Renewal rates for the second quarter remained strong at 90 percent, Thompson said, adding that the company expects "a reasonable renewal rate of 75 percent going forward. Our strong quarterly operating results reflect the strong demand for standards-based Red Hat Enterprise Linux solutions in the en-terprise," he said. Also at that time, Red Hat Chief Operating Officer Tim Buckley said many of the companys Red Hat Linux customers are upgrading to Enterprise Linux or have indicated that they will. Discuss This in the eWEEK Forum
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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