Red Hat Looks to Net Devices

Linux powerhouse Red Hat Inc. Monday made a move to expand the use of the operating system beyond the personal computer.

Red Hat (RHAT) is purchasing privately-held Cygnus Solutions for $674 million in stock. Red Hat will issue up to 6.62 million shares for all outstanding Cygnus shares. The deal is expected to close by the end of January.

Red Hat said the deal will broaden its expertise to include embedded systems and handhelds. Cygnus’ products include eCos, or Embedded Cygnus Operating System, a royalty-free operating system targeting embedded systems.

“Cygnus has enormous experience and technology leadership in software development and embedded platforms. The merger will create a single, worldwide source that lets developers rapidly create Linux applications for services and small devices, accelerating the adoption of open source technologies in enterprises worldwide,” said Matthew Szulik, Red Hat president.

Cygnus Solutions president and chief executive officer Alex Daly said the merger will be combining two of the industry’s most trusted open-source players.

“This meger will create a software company for the 21st century spanning powerful services, Internet infrastructure and pervasive post-PC centric computing platforms,” he said.

Early last month, Red Hat released Linux 6.1 whose features include automatic software update notification, improved management and installation tools and the Linux 2.2.12 kernel.

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