RealTime IT News

Red Hat Intros Version 7.0, New Network

Red Hat Inc. Monday unleashed Red Hat Linux 7 to the developer world, adding security and new features for fans and users of the open source king's popular product line.

Users can expect increased 3D support, along with dozens of new applications. For Red Hat 7, the upgrade also features more powerful software that will work to utilize the power of Intel Corp.'s higher-end chips.

The upgrade appears to feature a little something for everyone -- including digital photography viewing and diagram drawing programs for WorkStation users to an updated development suite and a preview of new development tools such as the new GNU compiler for the Java programming language for developers.

But perhaps just as important is the firm's simultaneous launch of the Red Hat Network -- a new service for deploying and managing open source platforms.

Red Hat's Network, which features customizable preferences for security alerts, update management, and technical support, may be used by Red Hat 7 users beginning Tuesday on a free, five-day trial basis. Red Hat Network technology will be a part of all of Red Hat's service offerings beginning in December. Pricing after the free trial depends on whether a user is an individual consumer, or small- to large-sized firm.

Paul McNamara, vice president of products and platforms at Red Hat, said the network simplifies deployment and delivers proactive services to keep systems secure and reliable.

Victor Krutul, manager of operating system programs at Intel, said such services as the network have become more and more necessary as developers continue to port applications to Linux.

"Using Red Hat Network, developers have on-line, real-time access to open source products, service, support as well as Red Hat Linux 7 upgrades delivered to them automatically to take advantage of the new capabilities and features," Krutul said.

In addition to chip superpower Intel, Red Hat enjoys strategic partnerships with IBM Corp. and Novell Inc., among others.

Open source OSs seem to sell themselves. International Data Corp. research states that paid Linux shipments grew faster than any other server operating system over the past two years, and their preliminary figures for 1999 show Linux shipments hold 24.6 percent of the server operating system market, up from 15.8 in 1998.

IDC also states that Red Hat holds 50.2 percent of Linux vendor market share and that Red Hat Linux is the most popular distribution, preferred by 68.7 percent of U.S. Linux users.

The Red Hat Linux 7 Standard edition runs for $29.95; Red Hat Linux 7 Deluxe edition is $79.95; and Red Hat Linux 7 Professional edition costs $179.95. All versions are available Tuesday for ftp download.