UnitedLinux plans under-US$1,000 release

The first release of a version of the open source Linux operating system, developed by a quartet of companies known as UnitedLinux, will be globally available in November at a price of less than US$1,000 per server including maintenance, support and upgrades.

A beta version will be available on the UnitedLinux Web site in late September, with production of the software to begin after a code freeze in October and distribution to follow in November, said Gregory Blepp, vice president of international business at SuSE Linux AG in Nuremburg, Germany.

SuSE Linux, Caldera International Inc., TurboLinux Inc. and Conectiva SA are the four software companies that elected in May to combine their development teams into one and distribute a common product. Their key aim is to unseat Red Hat Inc. from its leading position as a provider of Linux software.

UnitedLinux Version 1.0 will be compliant with LSB (Linux Standards Base), Blepp noted. LSB comprises technical specifications managed by the Free Software Group.

Additional price points, including discounts for multiple installations, will be announced in October, according to Blepp. The licensing fees, he said, are needed to pay for the development costs.

Separately, the four UnitedLinux founding members have set up a legal entity, UnitedLinux LLT, which is located in Boston, Massachusetts. "We plan to announce a managing director next week," Blepp said.

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