Research Triangle Park, N.C. — Red Hat Inc. next week will announce a new concept in the provision of its Linux software to users.
The Research Triangle Park, N.C., company will launch the Red Hat Network, according to Paul McNamara, vice president of Products and Platforms. This is essentially a subscription service that connects customers to Red Hat’s central office, allowing them to receive all Red Hat Linux software updates and patches as well as news of kernel and other Linux developments for a monthly fee.
While this approach appears similar to the model used by ASPs (application service providers), the difference is that Red Hat will deliver the actual software over the Internet or on CD, which customers can install locally, both for servers and embedded devices like cell phones.
Clients will also be able to decide what information they want to share with Red Hat and what software, updates, patches and packages they wish to receive.
The subscription model will also underpin Red Hat’s revenue model going forward, as these services are expected to become an increasingly large contributor to profits. Customers will be charged according to their size and usage requirements. It is estimated that there are currently 8 million users of Red Hat Linux, and the company plans to try and capture as many of these as possible as paying subscription customers.
As such, it is also rolling out its new Red Hat Linux 7.0 software, which will be available for free FTP download from the Red Hat site starting Monday. All users of version 7.0 will be offered a free 60-day trial of the network, as will purchasers of Red Hat’s retail products. Version 7.0 contains a number of new features, including a new compiler.