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The Rapid Rise, Release of Asianux 2.0 - InternetNews.
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The Rapid Rise, Release of Asianux 2.0

The Asianux 2.0 Linux distribution hit the streets of China and Korea today, signaling the further rise of the joint Linux development effort against competing Linux distributors such as Novell , Red Hat and Sun Wah Linux.

Asianux is the joint effort of companies in China, Korea and Japan with the backing of government and multinational heavyweight Oracle .

Despite its ostentatious goal of being "the" Asian Linux, Asianux enters an Asian Linux market that is already extremely competitive with Novell, Turbolinux, Red Hat, Sun Wah Linux and others all jostling for a piece of the world's fastest growing economy.

The Asianux effort is currently made up of three Asian Linux companies, Red Flag Linux of China, Miracle Linux of Japan and Haansoft Linux of Korea.

Asianux officially got underway in January of 2004. By April of 2004, it had already certified 40 vendors on the platform. In July of 2004, Oracle threw is weight behind Asianux by bumping Asianux to its world-class Linux support program. Asianux 1.0 was launched a year ago in July 2004.

Much like Intel's "Intel Inside" branding campaign, Asianux 2.0 is marketed by each of the Asianux partners as "Asianux Inside" as part of the companies' respective product names.

The three Asianux 2.0 distributions are expected to be called "Haansoft Linux 2005 – Asianux Inside" by Haansoft in South Korea, "Red Flag DC Server 5.0 – Asianux Inside" by Red Flag in China, and "MIRACLE LINUX V4.0 – Asianux Inside" by MIRACLE LINUX in Japan.

Asianux 2.0 includes the 2.6 Linux Kernel as well as enhanced RAS (Reliability/Availability/Serviceability).

Carrier Grade Linux specification compliance is also part of the platform, which promises improved availability and reliability.

A modified version of the KDE desktop environment called ReFineD, developed by Red Flag, serves as the GUI for Asianux.

Localization in the form of Chinese simplified and traditional, Korean, Japanese and English language support is also a key part of Asianux 2.0.

"The release of Asianux 2.0 is significant since it has been specifically developed to be distributed to the Asian market," Haansoft spokesperson John Kim told internetnews.com. "As you may know, the U.S. market has Red Hat while Europe has SuSE. With this in mind, Asianux 2.0 will solidify its position as the leading distributor of Linux OS in Asia."

The Asian Linux market however is already being hotly contested with Novell/SUSE, Turbolinux, Sun Wah Linux, Red Hat and others all competing for share.

In April, Turbolinux claimed it was the Linux leader in China, based on the IDC report "China Linux 2005-2009 Forecast and Analysis." According to the report, Turbolinux had a 62 percent market share based on server revenues in 2004.

Novell has claimed that it leads the Chinese Linux industry in revenue.

Novell has since launched a dedicated Chinese language site for its openSUSE project, which allows Chinese software developers to plug into a global Linux distribution.

"The list of customers and partners we have in China is growing rapidly," Novell spokesperson Bruce Lowry told internetnews.com. "We think we are well positioned in the Linux environment there."

Sun Wah Linux is a home grown Asian Linux distribution as well, that will also compete against Asianux. Sun Wah recently released its Debian based enterprise Linux distribution RAYS ES.

"In general, Sun Wah Linux is happy to see more community effort in Asia," Alex Banh, CEO of Sun Wah Linux, told internetnews.com.

Banh however does not see Asianux as a threat and he doesn't see it as a global platform either.

"Asianux is only a co-operation between three companies in China, Japan, and Korea," Banh said. "I do not see it as a threat because after all, it's only another Red Hat clone."

"Sun Wah Linux is based on the Debian project which is a global effort and we are a member of DCCA which is also another global effort for co-operation," Banh explained. "Scale does matter and I think the Debian project represents a much more solid platform."