SAN DIEGO—Red Hat announced its upcoming new client product, the Red Hat Global Desktop, at its annual summit here on May 9.
The global desktop is designed to deliver a modern user experience with an enterprise-class suite of productivity applications, and was developed in collaboration with Intel to enable its design, support and distribution.
"We are taking advantage of the global desktops high performance and minimal hardware requirements to support a wide range of Intels current and future desktop platforms, including the Classmate, Affordable, Community and Low-Cost PC lines," Red Hat Chief Technology Officer Brian Stevens said.
Red Hat recently told eWEEK that it was planning a packaged Linux desktop product that it hoped will push its desktop to a far broader audience than exists for its current client solution.
"As we move out with this new desktop strategy, which we will announce sometime over the next few months, we will really look at the desktop from the perspective of a very different market. This will be a more comprehensive offering that will target markets like the small and medium-sized business [SMB] sector and emerging markets," Paul Cormier, Red Hats executive vice president of engineering, told eWEEK in an exclusive interview on this.
The move is designed in part to compete with Novells SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 platform, which includes SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, both released in July 2006.
"To us, the traditional desktop metaphor is dead; its a dinosaur," Stevens said during his opening keynote address at the summit May 9. "We dont believe that recreating the Windows paradigm does anything to increase the productivity paradigm of any user. The new model has to be about the user, centered around activities and not just based on documents and applications,"
Steve Dallman, the general manager of Intels worldwide reseller channel organization, said the company had worked with Red Hat to deliver a pre-certified, cost-effective solution that Intels reseller channel could use to extend their business value.
"Running the Red Hat global desktop on Intel processor-powered PCs provides full access to applications and rich experiences to users across local markets, education, small businesses and government agencies," he said.
The global desktop was the defining client paradigm for the future; one that allowed communication and collaboration along with document management at every stage, Stevens said.
It includes technologies like Mugshot, Red Hats open-source networking service, which was announced last year, he said. The companys continuing investments were also aimed at developing next-generation desktop user experiences where online services were ubiquitous and information was hosted in a virtual environment.
"This will support a world where client computing user experiences are online, global, pervasive and span a wide range of new devices," he said.
Stevens also showed how its partnership with the One Laptop Per Child foundation to design and develop the user interface and operating system for a laptop had quickly yielded hardware that is already in the hands of children in developing countries.
Users, requirements and technologies have changed dramatically over the past few years, so that the traditional one-size-fits-all desktop paradigm was now simply exhausted.