13 September 2002 UnitedLinux, an initiative between four open-source software distributors, will release its first jointly developed Linux operating system in November 2002 – for less than $1,000 (€1,019) per server, according to US press reports.
Unveiled in May 2002, UnitedLinux is an attempt by Caldera, SuSE, Conectiva and Turbolinux to introduce more rigorous standardisation to the Linux operating systems produced by the four vendors. These vendors have combined their development teams to produce a more common distribution in an attempt to wrest market share from dominant vendor Red Hat.
The cut-price cost of UnitedLinux version one will include maintenance, support and upgrades, says US IT publication InfoWorld, as vendors ostensibly sell Linux software for ‘free’. In October 2002, UnitedLinux will announce additional prices for features such as multiple installations.
The new product will be based on one underlying distribution from SuSE, which is arguably the best of the four vendors’ distributions and highly regarded for its combination of reliability and ease-of-use.
Gregory Blepp, vice president of international business at SuSE Linux in Germany, says a beta version of its new product will be available from the UnitedLinux web site before the end of September 2002.
Red Hat and MandrakeSoft, two of the biggest Linux operating system distributors, have turned down an invitation to join the UnitedLinux initiative.