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Intel, Netscape buy stakes in Red Hat Linux

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Intel, Netscape and two venture capital companies have taken minority stakes in Linux distribution company Red Hat Software. The presence of two VCs circling doesn't mean a lot, while Netscape already supports Linux, so we're not necessarily talking major breakthroughs here - but the presence of Intel, and the presence of Netscape and Intel - that's important. Intel can play down the significance of its investment if it wishes to, because the company has a long track record of seeding money into start-ups and small outfits with good ideas. Some of these investments might even be entirely philanthropic. But before it announced the Red Hat deal it made it absolutely clear that it saw Linux as a strategic platform, and that it was going to put it together with Intel hardware to make it a standard, commodity platform (Earlier story) That won't play well with Microsoft. Meanwhile, Netscape's interest in Red Hat may have a lot to do with the venue. The announcement was made at ISPCON in San Jose, where Netscape will have been working hard to get ISPs to adopt or stick with its software as their platform. And as right now everybody thinks Linux is the happening OS, well, Netscape software on Intel is clearly something worth pitching to the ISPs. But with Intel trying to figure out how to reduce its dependency on Microsoft, and scoping Linux as a possible escape route, Netscape may actually have run into a couple of companies that it has quite a few things in common with. And could you seriously believe that Intel and Netscape just happened to both invest in Red Hat at the same time by accident? Quite... ® Other current Linux stories include: The Linux challenge to NT in the enterprise Informix becomes latest Linux recruit Intel puts its weight behind Linux - and Linus Click for more stories

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