3Com has built a Linux-backed version of its VoIP softswitch. Since its launch last year, the product has had interoperability problems stemming from its use of Sun's Solaris operating system.

However, while many partners did not support Solaris, the majority do run Linux. As such, the company will launch a channel-ready Linux-based version of its softswitch, to expand its reach in th corporate market.

3Com has been actively trying to bolster its enterprise networking, VoIP and security business. The company's latest Linux initiative is one of several steps it has recently taken as it tries to integrate with enterprise systems.

President and CEO, Bruce Claflin, said the Linux-based switch will be available to channel partners for sale to mid and large-sized businesses. "With the release of this," he explained, "we expect to open the aperture of sales, leveraging the channel base."

The move to support Linux has picked up speed since April last year. At the time, 3Com's technology strategy around the VCX line, also introduced in 2003, was coming across inter-operability problems. Once this issue became insurmountable, executives began working on porting VCX to a Linux or UNIX platform.

At the same time, 3Com has expanded its enterprise routers with eight new models, making up a new 'Router 6000' family, filling out the high and low ends. Last week, it launched its enterprise-grade Switch 7200 security switch.