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Red Hat Takes Linux to the Business Desktop

Red Hat is gearing up to take Linux to the desktop within the enterprise with a new product planned for release within the next three months.

Red Hat Chief Technology Officer Michael Tiemann told IT Week that the product will be called the Red Hat Technical Workstation. The company plans a different approach than it has taken with its existing desktop offering, aimed mainly at programmers. With the Technical Workstation, the company only plans to update it every two years in order to make it easier for third parties to support.

Tiemann told IT Week that security problems associated with Microsoft's Windows operating system, and licensing changes which have displeased some Microsoft customers, have opened the door to make corporate buyers more receptive to desktop Linux. At the same time, new tools like the Gnome desktop (a graphical user interface with an appearance similar to Windows), make Linux more attractive. Other tools include the Mozilla browser and the OpenOffice application suite.

Finally, Linux already meets a number of U.S. government requirements, like access for the disabled, which may skew the picture in its favor for some.

Sun Microsystems which has recently vowed to support Linux, is expected to unveil plans for its own desktop version of Linux at the SunNetwork conference next week.