Red Hat Hires Sun VP To Focus On Desktop Strategy

The group grew out of a task force the company launched earlier this year to investigate desktop Linux technologies and marketing strategies. Tegan Padir, who joined Sun in 1993, will report to Paul Cormier, Red Hat's executive VP of engineering.

The move signals Red Hat's aspirations to compete with Windows, the leader in desktop operating systems. "Linux on the desktop is a formidable competitor to Windows," Tegan Padir says. "One of the keys will be to work with hardware OEMs that Red Hat is already working with on the server side to come up with programs for selling Linux desktop."

Hewlett-Packard or IBM might promote Linux-based PCs, even though they're already selling plenty of PCs running Windows, because "the marketplace is looking for open-source technology," Tegan Padir says. Red Hat's success selling its Linux operating system in the server and, particularly, workstation markets gives it the confidence to push in this next logical direction, she adds.

Tegan Padir's hiring follows Red Hat's move earlier this month to acquire Netscape Directory Server and Netscape Certificate Management System from America Online for possibly as much as $23 million. These two applications are expected to help integrate desktops with a networkwide set of computing services that up until now had been available only from a small set of proprietary vendors, Red Hat says. Specifically, the addition of Netscape's software will help Red Hat offer single sign-on to multiple applications via its desktop operating system.

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Tegan Padir, who will work out of Red Hat's Westford, Mass., Engineering Competency Center, is one of the founding members of Sun's J2EE organization, where she managed the creation of specifications, compatibility test suites, blueprints, and guided implementations of Java in the enterprise. Most recently, Tegan Padir was responsible for the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition; Java System Application Server products; and Java System Message Queue, Integration Server, and Database technologies.