Red Hat Inc. announced it was dropping the desktop version of its high-profile Linux operating system to concentrate on corporate customers with its
Enterprise Linux line, first released last year. And within days, Novell Inc. announced that it had purchased SuSE Linux AG, Red Hat's most important
competitor, based in Nuremberg, Germany.
Initially, Red Hat's decision dismayed open-source devotees. The company, based in North Carolina and co-founded by Canadian Robert Young, sent them a
letter stating all versions up to 8.0 would cease to be supported at the end of the year, and the latest version, 9.0, would not be supported after
April 30. It did throw its clients a bone, however -- a slightly different version of Red Hat Linux, called Fedora, has already been released as
Fedora Core 1, aimed at the hobbyist and independent-developer market.