Red Hat isn’t the only company to be taking a new look at the Linux desktop lately. Sun has also been talking about a Linux desktop strategy, both at LinuxWorld last month and at the SunNetwork conference last week.
Sun’s Linux OS though, is merely a “Sun-ification” of Red Hat’s 7.x distributions, according to Troan. Furthermore, Red Hat has not been involved with the development of Sun’s distribution to any degree, Troan said.
“We’ve been curious as to what Sun might come up with–to see if there might be something compelling that we’ve overlooked–but there really hasn’t been anything new from Sun,” according to Troan.
“Sun is trying to use Linux to save its hardware business,” he charged. “They make a big deal out of bundling Linux software free of charge with their hardware. I’m not at all sure, though, that people are going to be willing to pay for Sun’s hardware, just to get free software.”
Meanwhile, Red Hat has produced a product known as Advanced Workstation, which is being sold exclusively with IA-64 hardware from HP, a long-time Sun competitor.
Red Hat is currently developing a IA-32 version of Advanced Workstation, Troan acknowledged. “We’ll probably open up the IA-32 edition to other hardware makers, too,” he predicted.
Red Hat 8.0 is available in both personal and professional editions. In both editions, Red Hat is providing the 8.0 OS on a five-CD set. Professional Edition includes two extra CDs plus additional documentation. One of the extra CDs contains OpenOffice and other apps. The other CD is for systems administration tools.
The OpenOffice suite includes document, presentation, and spreadsheet apps. Red Hat is also offering a wide gamut of mail clients. Aside from updated editions of the Sendmail and Samba clients, choices include Konqueror; Kmail; Galeon; Ximian Evolution, a mail client application with an integrated contact manager and scheduler; and Mozilla, an Internet browser packaged with a mail client, address book, and HTML authoring environment.
In GNOME’s default configuration, Red Hat uses Mozilla instead of Galeon. In KDE’s default configuration, Mozilla appears in place of Konqueror, and Evolution in place of Kmail.
Built into 8.0, as well, is Ximian Connector, for accessing Microsoft Exchange tools from Linux desktops.
Red Hat has updated the core components of its OS to gcc3.2 and kernel 2.4.18. Other components of the new release include Apache 2.0 Web server, plus updates to the Sendmail and Samba servers; NFS; FTP; DNS; BIND; and the Squid Web proxy server.
Administrators are getting tools for configuring peripherals, personal firewalls, small networks, and servers such as Apache and Samba.
MSRP is $39.95 for the Personal Edition of Red Hat 8.0 and $149.95 for the Professional Edition.