IBM to honour support for Red Hat installations

AUCKLAND (11/27/2003) - Users of Red Hat Inc. 's Linux distribution can take some solace in IBM Corp. promising to keep existing support contracts going.

Last month, the North Carolina open source outfit decided to ditch support for versions 7.x and 8.0 of its Linux distribution with immediate effect, and for version 9.0 in April 2004.

Red Hat has told users of existing distributions to either migrate to its Enterprise v 3.0 Linux, or to use the unsupported community effort, called Fedora.

However, IBM has been telling U.S. customers that support contracts for existing Red Hat Linux installations will be honored.

IBM New Zealand spokesman Jeremy Seed says the same will apply for New Zealand customers. He says Big Blue advises customers to migrate to Red Hat Enterprise version 3 once the existing contracts expire, or to Fedora if the customer wants to handle its own support.

Currently, IBM does not plan to offer extensions to the support contracts.

Quizzed on why IBM doesn't recommend SuSE Linux instead, Seed says that's "because existing Red Hat users may be more comfortable with migrating to a new version of a product they already know than going to a new product altogether; however, customers who are new to Linux would be shown both options."

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