Red Hat Sets Sights on Linux Desktop

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-01-20 Print this article Print

Red Hat is doing its part to truly make 2004 the year of the Linux desktop with plans to bring an enterprise Linux desktop to market before the year ends.

NEW YORK—The battle over the Linux desktop is about to heat up, with Red Hat Inc. planning to bring an enterprise Linux desktop to market within the next year.

That move comes after Linux luminaries like its founder Linus Torvalds and Andrew Morton, his right-hand man and maintainer of the kernel, both said 2004 will be the year of the Linux desktop. Check out eWEEKs interview with Andrew Morton.
Red Hats upcoming move will put more pressure on Sun Microsystems Inc., which is aggressively pushing its Java Desktop System with good success, and Novell Inc., which last year acquired Ximian and SuSE Linux, allowing Novell to offer customers a complete Linux-solution stack and global technical Linux support.
It should also give Microsoft Corp. more to worry about, as the Redmond, Wash., company already perceives Linux as one of its greatest threats. "In the year coming I think its safe to say that we will come out with an offering specifically aimed at the enterprise desktop user that will not only use existing Red Hat solutions but also some pieces that we and the open-source community are working on to make this a more complete offering," Paul Cornier, executive vice president of Red Hat, in Raleigh, N.C., told eWEEK in an interview here ahead of the annual LinuxWorld conference. But Cornier declined to give too many specifics about the offering. "We are, in association with the community, building parts of the product. The tools, the consistency within the operating system and across the user interfaces, more work is being done on expanding fonts. We are capable of doing more work on OpenOffice. "So those are the kinds of things we are building toward so we can put together a more complete offering," he said. Next page: OpenOffice: Productivity suite of choice.

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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