stage last week, the dominant Linux distributor was rolling out a new version of its flagship open-source product. Red Hat called the release "a major
milestone" in its oft-stated strategy to penetrate the enterprise.
This version of the Raleigh, N.C.-based company's Linux distro is actually the second version to target corporate users, replacing the Red Hat
Advanced Server product line. The new implementation is also part of the firm's effort to narrow the gap between Linux and rival Unix operating
systems, execs said, by boosting scalability and performance, and extending system coverage and stability. In fact, Red Hat bills the new Red Hat
Enterprise Linux 3.0 as a "unifying platform" that can support a range of client and server hardware architectures.
Paul Cormier, executive vice president of engineering at Red Hat, contends that the new version marks a significant achievement in the maturation of
open source and, by extension, cuts down on the demand for proprietary Unix systems.