Red Hat Weighs Hancom Office Bundle

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 Openoffice.org 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."