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Caldera International, SuSE Linux, TurboLinux and Conectiva will a beta version of the UnitedLinux server operating system to select independent software vendors (ISVs) and other industry partners.
The beta software will be widely available to the public in September, executives from participating vendors said at the Linuxworld conference in San Francisco.
Launched in May, partly as an effort to unseat Linux maker Red Hat as the leading seller of Linux server software, UnitedLinux combines technology from each of the four vendors into a single distribution.
"We think people really want a couple of strong players at the top of this industry," Darl McBride, president and chief executive officer of Caldera. "They don't just want one big player."
UnitedLinux has yet to win any specific application support, though a number of vendors including Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Fujitsu have spoken out in support of the operating system.
The group said it has the market reach to make UnitedLinux a top-selling operating system. SuSE is focused on large enterprise companies and has close ties to IBM. Caldera focuses on small and medium-sized business customers; TurboLinux has a strong presence in Asia, and Conectiva reaches markets throughout Latin America.
When it reaches its final release, expected in the fourth quarter of 2002, UnitedLinux Version 1.0 will be compliant with the Linux Standards Base (LSB), a set of technical requirements managed by the Free Software Group, the group said.