Matthew Szulik, Red Hat's chief executive, has said once Linux is available for the Intel 64bit environment it will be able to take on Microsoft and Sun and consolidate the Unix market.
Szulik said that the project to port Linux to the IA-64 architecture will, for the first time, allow a level of functionality in the operating system comparable with systems such as Sun Solaris.
"Part of our mission, as a representative Open Source community, is to act as a Robin Hood and return all of that high-end functionality and make it freely available. Open Source development efforts provide an opportunity to bring a level of functionality to enterprise customers at a previously unavailable price performance level," he said.
Red Hat also expects to make hay in embedded systems. Szulik predicted Linux hand-helds will be cheaper than those currently on the market, and will be available within a year. "We will cannibalise the royalty stream Microsoft receives from its proprietary franchise from Windows CE, and hopefully this will be passed on to the consumer," he said.
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