January 22, 2001

Linux Global Partners expected to acquire Corel's Linux division

Author: JT Smith

- by Dan Berkes -
Tuesday morning, Linux Global Partners is expected to announce that it has acquired most of Corel's Linux properties, likely ending the Canadian software vendor's foray into the world of Open Source software.The first indications that Corel wanted out of the Linux business came last November at COMDEX, the annual computer industry trade show in Las Vegas. At that time, CEO Derek Burney insisted that Corel was merely "refocusing" its Linux strategy.

That refocusing effort will conclude with the sale of most of its Linux product line to Linux Global Partners. The New York-based investment firm has made a name for itself in the Open Source community, funding popular Open Source efforts including Ximian (formerly Helix Code) and its GNOME desktop, and financial program GNU Cash.

On Tuesday, January 23, Corel is expected to state that they will continue to support Linux with "behind-the-scenes" support and services; the company has not yet ruled out serving a wide range of platforms as an applications service provider. However, the company's primary focus will shift to its Windows development efforts, including a recent $135 million agreement with Microsoft to work on popularizing the Redmond giant's much-hyped .NET development tools.

While the identity of Corel's Linux suitor is no longer a mystery, exactly what Linux Global Partners plans to do with its new purchases has yet to be determined. Possibilities include continuing current brands, licensing the name from Corel, creating an entirely new brand, or perhaps even dividing the spoils among the companies and developers it funds.

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