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Corel takes strategic stake in Linux connectivity startup

We knew Cowpland would eventually get all the way to Omega...

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Corel has taken what it describes as a "strategic ownership stake" in Newlix, an Ottawa-based Linux start-up headed by John Hansen, who had 14 years at Intel, finishing up as technical sales manager for Canada and central USA. Newlix's first product is Omega, a Linux-based system for small-to-medium sized businesses for connecting up to about 50 PCs. It handles the connections, email, file and print, and has a firewall. Unlike rebel.com and Cobalt Networks (which filed for an $86 million IPO recently) who focus on distribution through ISPs, Newlix plans to bundle the software with hardware from partners such as IPC Direct, a subsidiary of PC Chips. Corel of course has its own deal with PC Chips, which Corel CEO Michael Cowpland said at the time was to get market share rather than royalty. This was just as well because some say that PC Chips is on the tight side when it comes to forking out cash. In remarks to the Ottawa Citizen today, Hansen said: "We're not trying to be everything to everybody. Our plan is to grow large, very quickly, by catering to computer makers who want to get into the business of offering Linux-based appliances." With Corel announcing its LinuxOS desktop last week, which it says will run Windows applications seamlessly over any connection with GraphOn Bridges, and with more than 100,000 copies of its Linux distribution downloaded, it looks as though the company is keeping up its momentum. Those shareholders who stuck with Corel may well be cheering Cowpland as he faces an inquiry into his trading activities. ®

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