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Linux support specialist Linuxcare took its latest step into the wide world of professional corporate IT, with the announcement today of a new CEO and its first round of venture captial financing. Taking over from founder Arthur Tyde, Fernand Sarrat was named Linuxcare's chief executive. Tyde himself will remain at the company as executice VP for operations and external relations. Previously head of Cylink, a developer of network security software, Sarrat brings to Linuxcare 23 years' experience of working at IBM. That experience will be essential as major IT companies like IBM and, more recently, Hewlett-Packard, offer their own Linux support products. Both IBM and HP already sell support packages that provide 24 hours a day, seven days a week unlimited phone and email support covering all varieties of Linux on any kind of hardware. Linuxcare will have to work hard to match, let alone beat that level of competition. Still, the company's venture capital backer, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, clearly reckons there's room for Linuxcare among the IT support giants. If Linux continues to eat into territory held by other varieties of Unix and, more specifically, Windows NT, at the rate the pundits are predicting (see IDC predicts Linux growth to beat all other OSes), there is likely to be space for many support providers, both large and small, before the inevitable market shake-up occurs. ® See also Recent Register Linux stories

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