Red Hat pulls plugs on Red Hat Linux product line

Red Hat yesterday unveiled its answer to the vexed question of what it should do about its consumer line - dump it. This is not quite how CEO Matthew Szulik put it to The Register over lunch yesterday, nor indeed did he say flat out 'oh, by the way, we're shooting the Red Hat Linux distribution when North Carolina wakes up, bye now,' but that is indeed what the company did.

Red Hat maintenance and support for Red Hat linux 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and 8.0 will end as of 31st December 2003, and for Red Hat 9 as of 30th April 2004. "Red Hat does not plan to release another product in the Red Hat Linux line," says the 'you're fired' email sent out to The Register's Red Hat Network account yesterday. Red Hat Linux channels will remain open for six months after the product's end of life date, but no new errata will be posted after EOL, and no Red Hat Network support accounts could be bought or renewed as of yesterday. So it's very dead, very soon, and Red Hat is now about Red Hat Enterprise and... Fedora.

The move is a sensible one from the company's point of view because it provides a clear answer to the 'what do we do about the bit that doesn't work' question. It could perhaps have been done a little less brutally, and people who bought RH8 or RH9 both surely have good reason to be sore about how swiftly the support is vapourising (RH8 in particular - a year ago this looked like a product line with a future and a roadmap), but there really was no easy way to do it. A more honest way, probably...

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News source: The Reg

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