Red Hat and Intel forge a new Linux Desktop
San Diego (USA) – Traditional desktop operating systems? Obsolete. This is the harsh sentence of Red Hat, which presented a new client version of its Linux distribution at the San Diego Summit, calls Global Desktop according to him destined to change the very concept of desktop computing.
What makes Global Desktop so special in Red Hat’s eyes? The fact that this software forms the basis of a modular and flexible platform that, according to the company, over time it will blend seamlessly with the web .
“Global Desktop is not yet another Linux desktop distribution trying to clone an outdated operating system like Windows,” said Gerry Riveros, marketing manager at Red Hat. “The old concept of a desktop is dead: what they need today, companies and public administrations are a platform capable of adapting to individual needs, providing a simple and flexible licensing model and expanding in a natural and transparent way towards the Web and online services “.
Red Hat explained that its new platform will allow users to extend the functionality of the operating system through web applications, and to access local and remote applications and data in a unified way . For example, users will be able to combine the popular OpenOffice office suite with Google Docs-style online applications provided by Red Hat itself and its network of partners. The platform will be based on the service oriented architecture (SOA) model and on user interfaces capable of integrating with web services.
The concepts brought to the table by Red Hat are certainly not new, but the red-hat company hopes to put them into practice sooner and better than its rivals. For the moment, the current incarnation of Global Desktop, arriving in June, it is tailor-made for small businesses and public administrations in developing countries , and will come pre-installed on a limited number of desktop and notebook PCs. Intel has also collaborated on the development of Global Desktop, which will use it in its Classmate PC and other low-cost computers as an alternative to Windows XP Embedded.
The software is based on the same code developed by Red Hat for the One Laptop Per Child project (OLPC), which in turn derives from the Fedora Linux distribution. Global Desktop does not share the Sugar GUI with OLPC, but adopts a traditional interface (presumably based on GNOME) which gives access to a selection of applications such as Firefox and the aforementioned OpenOffice. With subsequent updates, Red Hat will progressively implement the model described above, where traditional applications integrate with online ones.
At the Red Hat Summit the company with the red hat also announced the development of an operating system for virtual appliances capable of supporting Intel’s vPro platform. Also in this case, the Santa Clara chipmaker will collaborate on the project, confirming his growing interest in developing alternative solutions to those of Microsoft.
Red Hat Virtual Appliance OS, the operating system it has been optimized to run on top of virtualization software such as Xen and incorporate specific applications or services, such as network security, monitoring and provisioning: the virtualized appliance can be managed with the technologies provided by the vPro platform and run isolated from the host operating system. In partnership with Intel, Red Hat intends to develop, manufacture and support the software components required for Virtual Appliance OS, including the hypervisor and software development kit.
The project is currently under development: the beta version will be available towards the end of the year, while the final release is scheduled for 2008 .