A public preview of UnitedLinux will be available before the end of the month, the companies behind the project have confirmed.
Although based on the SuSE distribution of the operating system, UnitedLinux will incorporate elements from three other partners: Turbolinux, Conectiva and the SCO Group.
There had been some fears surrounding the development of UnitedLinux after Turbolinux was acquired by Japanese vendor Software Research Associates and Caldera became the SCO Group.
SuSE's announcement of a public preview seeks to allay any doubts.
UnitedLinux is designed to be a standards-based version of the open source operating system and will go into direct competition with Red Hat, the current Linux heavyweight.
The preview version, which is the first chance most users will get to see the product, is set for release in the last week of September. Version 1.0 is expected to hit the shelves sometime in November.
It has been reported that the server edition of UnitedLinux will cost less than $1,000, but a final price has not yet been officially announced.
The pricing, which includes maintenance, support and upgrades, has been welcomed by users, and pitches the product firmly against Red Hat which is almost three times more expensive on the server.
UnitedLinux said that the finished product will be the "result of an industry initiative to streamline Linux development and certification around a global, uniform distribution of Linux designed for the business" effectively moving away from the traditional "tweaking under the hood" philosophy of other Linux flavours.
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