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Red Hat makes desktop push

May 10, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinuxOpen Source

* Red Hat announces Linux desktop strategy

Red Hat last week announced a Linux desktop strategy with an emphasis on enterprise security and manageability.

Calling it Red Hat Desktop, the open source software vendor said it will begin offering a suite of Linux-based client operating system software bundled with management server applications targeted at enterprises.

The Red Hat Desktop clients will be bundled in packs of 10 – which Red Hat calls “entitlements” instead of license. The clients will be tied to a Red Hat Linux Satellite or Proxy Server, which are client management servers that can be used to configure software and provide patches and updates to client PCs.

The desktop initiative runs counter to previous Red Hat strategy talk, where the vendor said it would deemphasize Linux on the desktop and focus more on Linux as an enterprise server platform. Numbers from IDC may have swayed the company’s decision, as the research firm expects Linux desktops to grow in market share from 2.7% to 6% of the PC market by 2007.

In addition to the packaged offerings, Red Hat said that it will work to advance its desktop product line through partnerships with third-party application vendors, including Adobe Citrix, Macromedia, Real, and VMWare. Red Hat says it will have certification programs for these vendors’ software in the coming months.

The packages start at $13,500, and come with 30-day support coverage for installation. A year of online support costs an extra $2,500. Additional desktop seats cost $3,500 for 50 more “entitlements.” The Red Hat Desktop offering will be available later this month.