RealTime IT News

NetZero Embraces Linux Platform

Free Internet access provider NetZero Inc. Tuesday announced that it would offer a Linux version of its advertising-supported software.

Ronald Burr, NetZero president and chief technical officer, said it was anxious to move into the world of services offered on the Linux platform.

"Linux is becoming a strong market for non-PC devices and is an increasingly popular alternative to Windows for business users," Burr said.

NetZero currently serves more than 4 million registered users registered users in 3,000 U.S. cities, all of whom rely on the Windows operating environment.

The Linux version of NetZero's software delivers near-identical functionality to its Windows counterpart. To move could export NetZero's free Internet access strategy into new business relationships with companies operating on the Linux platform.

Burr said the company leveraged its Java technology to enhance its product lineup.

"It provides us entry to the largely untapped Linux market and should help us forge partnerships with other players in the Linux space."

In addition to the Linux release, NetZero revamped its custom navigational tool to provide a speedy dial-up key to targeted Web sites and NetZero features. The toolbar can be docked at the bottom of a member's screen to maximize available display space.

According to IDC, Linux server shipments increased 166 percent last year, making it the fastest-growing operating environment in the server market.

Even though Linux represented about 6percent of the entry server market in unit shipments, IDC analysts tagged Linux to become an important growth factor within the server market. As more and more branded vendors come out with Linux server offerings, the platform has been dubbed a "Windows killer," much in the same manner that NetZero has been called an "ISP killer."