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Red Hat Buys Network Software Firm

Red Hat Inc. Wednesday bought embedded network software developer WireSpeed Communications Corp. in a $33.3 million stock deal.

Red Hat , which inked the deal to bolster its embedded products offerings, will issue 1.5 million shares of common stock in exchange for all of the outstanding securities of WireSpeed. The deal is expected to be completed by July 31, 2000.

WireSpeed's software helps businesses integrate networking with embedded versions of all popular operating systems, including Linux and Windows NT. WireSpeed's clients include semiconductor, Internet device and industrial control leaders, including companies like Hewlett-Packard Co. WireSpeed will become part of Red Hat's Client Services Group, which offers open source development services in embedded, networked and post-PC devices.

Matthew Szulik, president and chief executive officer of Red Hat Inc., said Wirespeed's expertise in telecommunications and networking for embedded systems will fortify Red Hat's position as a market leader for Open Source Internet Infrastructure solutions

International Data Corp. research states that paid Linux shipments grew faster than any other server operating system over the past two years.

Netcraft Inc. states that as of May 2000, 36 percent of all public Web sites run on Linux-based operating systems.

In April, Red Hat purchased software firm Bluecurve for $37.7 million. Red Hat uses the firm's performance-management software for ca Web-based service that helps companies build and manage Internet systems.