Red Hat Weighs Hancom Office Bundle

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-06-07 Print this article Print

Linux vendor Red Hat is evaluating Hancom Office, a desktop productivity suite produced by Korea's Hancom Linux, for possible inclusion in its European and American distributions.

Linux vendor Red Hat is evaluating Hancom Office, a desktop productivity suite produced by Koreas Hancom Linux, for possible inclusion in its European and American distributions. Last month eWeek reported that Red Hat would no longer include Suns branded StarOffice desktop productivity suite because Sun had decided to charge for the product and because it included non-open-source technologies.
Matthew Szulik, CEO, president and chairman of Red Hat Inc., told eWeek in an interview that he is committed to continuing to ship completely open source solutions on the desktop.
"There are a variety of possible solutions out there, but theres a fantastic product being developed in Korea by Hancom Linux … which is increasingly becoming a very popular productivity suite in the Asian markets running on Red Hat Linux," Szulik said. Hancom Office, which is included in the Red Hat Linux distribution in Asia, includes word processing, spreadsheet, graphics and presentation applications and can open and save Microsoft Office files. Szulik said Hancom Office is being considered as a StarOffice alternative along with the recently released suite. "I use Openoffice every day and thats a very good alternative for someone like me. Our chief financial officer and general counsel, who exchange documents externally every day, also both use Openoffice," Szulik said. "The key to the desktop is the browser, which for us is as, if not more, significant than the productivity suite. Were very pleased with the progress of Mozilla ," he said. Red Hat also is talking to the four companies involved in the recently announced UnitedLinux initiative. "I was unable to get a significant amount of detail to understand what we would be grouping with," he said. "As a publicly traded company its important for us to have that knowledge before we enter into any relationship. We have worked very hard as a group to continue to be true to the principles of open source computing and support of the GPL at great expense. That has been a stake we put in the ground at founding."
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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