UnitedLinux Group Plans Tuesday Surprise

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-11-14 Print this article Print

SuSE Linux, Conectiva and Turbolinux are all expected to launch on Tuesday the latest versions of their Linux enterprise distributions powered by the UnitedLinux core, sources say.

SuSE Linux, the SCO Group (formerly Caldera International), Conectiva and Turbolinux are all expected to launch on Tuesday the latest versions of their Linux enterprise distributions powered by the UnitedLinux core, according to industry sources late Thursday. This will be the first time the four Linux distributions are based on the UnitedLinux core, and follows the May announcement by the vendors that they would standardize on a single Linux distribution for the enterprise. The move, they said, should streamline Linux development and certification.
While the companies have all committed some technology and expertise to UnitedLinux, SuSE Linux took responsibility for the development and quality assurance of the final release, which is based in large part on the SuSE Enterprise Server.
Each vendor will also bundle value-added products and services along with UnitedLinux, which they will still sell and market under their own brands. UnitedLinux Version 1.0 will be compliant with existing Linux standards such as Linux Standard Base (LSB) and OpenI18N (internationalization and localization), and will be available in English, Japanese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, German, French, and Hungarian. Supported by leading global ISVs and IHVs, UnitedLinux will have local language and local time zone support for customers around the world, and a combined channel of more than 16,000 resellers. UnitedLinux is based on the 2.4.19 Linux kernel and will ship with the K Desktop Environment (KDE) 3.0. The four vendors are most likely to simply release the product as the next-version of their enterprise offering and each will simply have the notation "Powered by UnitedLinux". SuSEs offering will thus be known as SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8. It is expected to ship with the Apache Web server and the Mozilla browser. It is also expected to have raw device support for databases as well as direct I/O and multipath I/O. But the road to this point has not been easy for the UnitedLinux consortium, which has had to deal with concerns about their declining U.S. operations presence and the dominance of Red Hat Linux in the U.S. In August, Turbolinux sold its Linux business to Software Research Associates Inc., of Tokyo. The new Turbolinux business is now based in Japan and has fewer than 10 U.S. employees. Earlier in the year Caldera laid off 15 percent of its global work force and shut offices in Massachusetts and Germany. SuSE last year itself laid off 30 of the 45 people in its Oakland, Calif., office and shifted much of the responsibility for North American operations to its headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany. A study by International Data Corp. the same month reported that Red Hat won nearly three-quarters of the $80 million in U.S. Linux sales last year. Most of the balance went to SuSE Inc., the report said. Those vendors contacted by eWeek on Thursday for comment on the release of TurboLinux declined to comment.
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 www.eweek.com.


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