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Department of strange coincidences. On Friday Microsoft bought one Linux for Windows (See story),but on Tuesday another one pops up. JRCP's WinLinux 2000 was released for a public final beta today, and the final product is expected to ship in early November. Softway's Linux version of Interix didn't actually make it out of development before MS bought the company, so in addition to not knowing whether the deal was just done to kill it, we don't know if it was/would have been any use either. But there are several other Unix on Windows products available, and that means Linux on Windows can be implemented relatively easily, if there's a demand for it. Which also means that if Microsoft's sole purpose in this area is to buy them and kill them (as some observers are suggesting) it could get expensive. But not as expensive as stakes in cable companies. Will there be a demand? JRCP is pitching WinLinux 2000 as being attractive for both Windows and Linux users. We're not entirely sure it will play to the Linux camp, where it's the far groovier sounding VMWare that seems to be getting mindshare right now, but there might just be a possibility that products like this will overcome enough negatives to get Windows users to take the bridge into Linux. WinLinux is pitched as a full Linux distribution to be run on Windows installations. It installs under Windows as, effectively, an add-on, and shares disk space with Windows, using KDE and being bundled with Netscape Communicator and KOrganizer. JRCP reckons that by bridging Windows and Linux it will be stimulating the porting of apps, games and utilities to Linux. We reckon that might be a little bit hopeful, but it's worth a look. The beta is available here. ®

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