Red Hat has released more details about its plans for Linux on the desktop, including news of a launch delay.
Red Hat Global Desktop is aimed at small businesses and local government organisations. Red Hat sees this as making a client available for those who cannot afford or don't want to pay for Microsoft Windows. It's described by the desktop development team's blog as "a fully featured desktop with a comprehensive suite of applications. It has everything that you or I would expect in a desktop."
New versions will be released every year, said Red Hat, although competitors such as Ubuntu experience a refresh every six months.
However, Global Desktop, which was due this month, now won't ship until September because of the time taken to negotiate agreements with other developers, said the company.
Red Hat said: "We initially were trying to bring Global Desktop to market by August, but decided to delay until September. To improve the user experience, we have been looking at how we can provide legal versions of the most popular multimedia codecs needed to listen and view the majority of the content on the Internet. We are wrapping those negotiations up and hope to deliver those codecs with Global Desktop when we launch in September."
The company added that it plans to distribute the software through small, so-called "whitebox" PC vendors. "Our partner, Intel, has done a great job designing PCs aimed at these markets and enabling this very large distribution channel of local system builders," said Red Hat. "By creating this partnership, we will support Intel’s growing lines of low-cost PCs and greatly expand the distribution channels to these markets beyond what has been traditionally available.
Red Hat has yet to release further details of exactly what is in the product, its price and how it differs from Enterprise Linux Desktop.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop 5.0, released in March, remains the flagship product, which the company describes as "an enterprise-class desktop targeted at professional computing users who value performance and reliability." The product is being touted as a replacement for Windows that's useable, easy to manage, and secure.