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Intel Expands Linux Investment

By Matthew Beale
Nov 29, 1999 12:00 AM PT

Moving to boost its investment in the expansive market for Linux-based business solutions, Intel has joined venture capital group Apax Partners to fund Linux vendor SuSE Linux AG.

Intel Expands Linux Investment

The equity funding, which is subject to shareholder agreement, will pump 12 million Euro (almost 12.1 million US$) into SuSE's growth strategy, and add to the momentum that the Linux community has gained following the landmark Microsoft antitrust trial ruling.

"With the funds from Apax and Intel, we have acquired international investors who, through their market expertise and strategic network of contacts, will be instrumental in SuSE's expansion and IPO efforts," commented Roland Dyroff, chairman of SuSE Linux AG.

SuSE will channel funding into the establishment of new sales and support offices and also toward the expansion of its network of SuSE Business Partners. The company currently has offices in the U.S. and throughout Europe.

The Penguin Inside

"Intel is investing in SuSE because we want to encourage the diffusion of Linux on Intel-based computers in Europe," stated Tim Keating, director, Content Group, Intel EMEA. "Our focus will be the Pentium III Xeon processor and eventually the Intel Itanium processor."

The chip titan recently invested in eSoft, Inc. (Nasdaq: ESFT), adding to a list of Linux investments that includes Red Hat, VA Linux Systems and TurboLinux.

Broomfield, Colorado-based eSoft develops Linux-based Internet appliance solutions for small-to medium-sized businesses.

SuSE Gets E-Commerce Enabled

SuSE announced last week that it had tapped outsource solutions provider Digital River, Inc. (Nasdaq: DRIV) to add an e-commerce component to its Web site. The deal is one of several key moves that the company announced via the Linux Business Expo stage at the high profile COMDEX show in Las Vegas, Nevada earlier this month.

"As Linux moves into the mainstream marketplace as an operating system, SuSE is a key player in this burgeoning arena," stated Digital River CEO Joel Ronning. "They understand the value of delivering software online to meet expanded customer demands."

Under the terms of the agreement, Digital River will host and provide marketing and merchandising services for and carry through with product delivery for online customers.

The open-source software solutions provider also recently announced a strategic partnership with VA Linux Systems, a developer of open-source software products and services, to collaborate on a version of SuSE Linux to be factory installed on VA Linux servers and workstations.

SuSE Linux 6.3 To Launch 12.1.99

This week, SuSE will launch version 6.3 of its Linux distribution, promising a new graphical installation program that will simplify the process for newbies. The updated SuSE package includes over 1,500 applications, including the Apache Web server, the latest KDE (K Desktop Environment), samba, sendmail and StarOffice 5.1a. SuSE's Linux 6.3 features improved security and enhancements for using Linux as a server.

An additional feature is the inclusion of a trial version of Hummingbird Exceed, an X-server for Windows. The product allows users to "run Linux programs under Windows on a Linux server," according to SuSE.

Founded in 1992, SuSE is a provider of Linux-related products and professional services.

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