Red Hat Shuns ‘Windows Clone’ Model for Global Desktop

SAN DIEGO—Red Hat officials gave more details about the company’s new global desktop on May 9, revealing that it is based on a stripped-down version of the existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop 5 and contains applications such as Firefox, OpenOffice and Evolution.

“Our enterprise desktop has some 1,500 applications, so we stripped this down to about 700 by getting rid of a lot of things like developer tools and compilers, which helped reduce the hardware requirements for the system,” Gerry Riveros, head of Red Hat client solutions marketing, said at a press conference here at the company’s annual summit.

The product initially will be targeted at small businesses and governments in emerging countries, a market that partner Intel and its associates knows very well, Riveros said.

While the desktop is not another “Windows clone, it is also not a new desktop environment as it is based on RHEL Desktop 5. The key for us was getting the feature set these customers wanted, and then getting it into the channel for distribution,” he said.

“We have partnered with Intel on this front, as the target customer tends to buy from white-box vendors, and Intel understands that market and its market set extremely well,” Riveros said. “The idea is to enable Intel’s base of fast system builders with this desktop product.”

To read more about Red Hat’s new global desktop, click here.

Red Hat is also working closely with Intel to support and certify the wide range of hardware these system builders use, as this huge distribution channel is key to the success of the product and its reach. “The Red Hat global desktop has the ability to change the accessibility of technology for this market,” he said.

Red Hat is training and enabling those system builders to do front-line support, which would escalate to Intel if not resolved, and finally to Red Hat.

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