Vendors Flesh Out Details on Linux Plans, Support

Next week at the Linux World Expo in San Jose, many vendors that once offered only betas of their software ported to Linux with little or no technical support will line up to provide concrete information about their products.

Oracle Corp. said it will announce a business unit dedicated to developing and supporting products on Linux, and a Linux version of its browser-based WebDB data reporting tool is available for download. Its Developer programming tools for Linux will also debut this fall. Support for Extensible Markup Language on Linux, with tools such as parsers, will be available in two weeks.

Sybase Inc. in Emeryville, California, said it will offer technical support for Linux versions of its Adaptive Server Enterprise, Enterprise Application Server, Replication Server and SQL Anywhere. Enterprise Application Server will be available on Linux in September, and Replication Server is due at the beginning of next year. SQL Anywhere was released for Linux last month.

Vendors have seen real demand for products that run on Linux and are continuing to pour hardware and software into the Linux market. IBM plans include a new entry-level Netfinity server with 90 days free support for any of the four major Linux distributions. IBM will also announce that it's helping port SAP AG's R/3 to Linux and that Hill House Hammond, a British insurer, is buying 290 Netfinity servers to run Linux-based applications.

Silicon Graphics Inc. in Mountain View, California, this week unveiled a new Linux server and a partnership with Red Hat Software Inc. in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, to ship its Linux version on Intel Corp.-based SGI servers.

Linux distributor TurboLinux Inc. in Millbrae, California, will announce a high-availability clustering technology for Linux and Version 4.0 of its Linux distribution for corporate servers.

In addition, Motorola Inc. in Schaumburg, Illinois, in conjunction with Caldera Systems Inc. in Orem, Utah, will announce a Linux high-availability technology for its niche market of telecommunications companies. Motorola will also announce a Linux server appliance for Web hosting and embedded Linux products, .

For mainstream desktop users, Corel Corp. in Ottawa, will unveil a distribution of the operating system, with a strong emphasis on ease of use and installation.

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