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Red Hat rolls out mid-level server OS

Red Hat will launch today a mid-level server operating system to expand its sales beyond its high-end, enterprise-focused Advanced Server. It also announced the availability of its workstation operating system for 32-bit systems.

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES runs on 32-bit Intel processors and is designed for network, file, print, mail, and web applications. The Advanced Server, now renamed as Red Hat Enterprise AS, runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

Red Hat also announced that its workstation software, now called Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS, will be available on 32-bit systems. It was previously available only on 64-bit Itanium systems through Hewlett-Packard.

With the ES and WS offerings, Red Hat hopes to expand its reach farther into its existing clients' enterprises, said Mark de Visser, the company's vice president of marketing.

While the Red Hat sales team is focused on enterprise customers, de Visser expected that resellers or computer manufacturers may find a market for the ES and WS products with small- and medium-sized businesses that may be attracted by the lower prices of the ES and WS products.

Pricing is based on annual subscriptions for levels of service. Advanced Server prices were $799 (£498) for a basic level of service, which included 90 days of installation support; $1,499 for a standard package, including five-day-a-week, 12-hour-a-day support, and a premium package, with seven-day, 24-hour support. Prices on Itanium systems are $500 higher.

With the launch of ES, the basic support option for AS will be discontinued. ES will be $349 for the basic support package, and $799 for the standard support package, with no premium package available.

WS  will be $179 per seat for basic support, and $299 for standard support. Again, prices are $500 higher for WS on Itanium.


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