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VA Linux proposes name change

California-based software and services company, VA Linux Systems, is asking its shareholders to eject the open source operating system from its corporate identity.

The company will ask shareholders to vote to change its name from VA Linux Systems to VA Software at its annual meeting on 5 December, according to a notice filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Our board of directors believes that the name VA Software Corporation better identifies us and our primary business: developing, marketing, selling and supporting the SourceForge collaborative software development platform," the company's filing said. "The board also believes that the name VA Linux Systems is primarily identified with our former Linux hardware systems and consulting businesses."

VA Linux announced in June that it would leave the hardware business, a market that had been the centre of its operations. The company was best known for selling servers based on Intel processors and preloaded with versions of the Linux operating system.

The company's hardware products were aimed at the dot-com start-up sector, which soon faltered. And with major hardware vendors such as Dell and IBM offering competing Linux products, VA Linux saw much of its market opportunity deteriorate.

Now VA Linux is focusing on its software platform, SourceForge, a collaborative development environment used to manage open source projects or proprietary internal software development projects at major technology companies. The company also operates the Open Source Development Network, which includes the developer community Web sites SourceForge.net, Slashdot and ThinkGeek.

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