Red Hat Plans Linux Desktop Offering 'for the Masses'By Peter Galli | Posted 03-19-2007
SALT LAKE CITYRed Hat is planning a packaged Linux desktop solution that it hopes will push its Linux desktop offering to a far broader audience than exists for its current client solution.
The move is designed in part to compete with Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 platform, which includes SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, which were released in July 2006.
"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," Paul Cormier, Red Hat's executive vice president of engineering, told eWEEK in an interview.
"This will be a more comprehensive offering that will target markets like the small and medium-sized business [SMB] sector and emerging markets. Part of this strategy is to get the desktop more to the masses than our existing client is getting today. So there will be a different packaged solution for the masses coming down the pike," he said.
Asked if part of the strategy is the mass consumer market, Cornier responded that Red Had has "no plans to go and sell this offering at Best Buy, if that's what you mean by the mass consumer market. Customers will be able to download it and get a Red Hat Network subscription on the Web for it, which is what we feel is the distribution wave of the future anyway," he said.
The news that Red Hat intends to re-enter the broader desktop market is not a surprise given the fact that Novell has for some time been offering a broad solution for customers from the desktop to the data center with its SUSE Linux 10 offering.