Red Hat, Intel Partner On Linux Desktop


Appliance for vPro, low cost version planned, "sugar" next gen services client


Red Hat and Intel are collaborating on a virtual Linux appliance for managed vPro desktops and a low-cost global desktop aimed at emerging markets.

The virtual appliance Linux OS, which is due to ship in 2008, is aimed at desktop PCs using Intel's vPro management and security technology, the companies announced at Red Hat's annual conference in San Diego on Wednesday.

This will allow partners and customers to deploy appliances in virtual machines that can be managed and secured by Intel's vPro technology. The appliance OS will move into beta testing later this year, Red Hat said.

Additionally, the two companies will co-develop and support additional components for the virtual OS appliance including a hypervisor and software development kit.

The product will also support pluggable appliances including security, provisioning, monitoring and asset management plug-ins from third party ISVs.

The appliance is just one of three planned Red Hat desktop products planned for release over the next several years.

While the appliance is aimed at more mature markets, Red Hat and Intel also announced at the summit a combined desktop offering for emerging markets called the Global Desktop that is designed to be channel friendly.

The Linux distribution, due to ship in June and available to Intel system builders in emerging markets, will ship with fewer applications than the enterprise desktop in order to consume less power and processing capabilities.

The Global Desktop is designed for Intel's new desktop platform such as Classmate and other low-cost PC systems developed by Intel.

Red Hat will target Intel system builders, not top-tiered OEMs, initially. When asked about Dell's plans to bundle Linux distribution Ubuntu, desktop executives said Red Hat has no plans at this time to pursue large OEM deals in "saturated" markets such as the U.S. and Europe.

Red Hat also plans to evolve its Global Desktop over time that offers a new paradigm.

At the summit, the Raleigh, N.C.-based leading Linux company also outlined its plans for a next generation online-based desktop code named "Sugar" that signals a radical departure from the traditional Windows client metaphor.

Red Hat's future services-based client will seamlessly integrate Web-based services including virtual identities, authentication, real-time messaging and social collaboration through its "mugshot" social networking software.

The Linux company has set no date of delivery for the services-orinted client.