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Red Hat returns to the Linux desktop

Red Hat used to be in the desktop business along with all the other Linux distributors. Then, they left. As Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat’s CEO, explained Red Hat’s desktop approach to me last year, “There are companies that sell hundreds of products for millions of dollars and there are companies that sell millions of products for hundreds of dollars. Guess which kind of company Red Hat is?”

Now, however, Red Hat is switching from Xen to KVM for virtualization. As part of that switchover, Red Hat will be using not only KVM, but the SolidICE/SPICE (Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments) desktop virtualization and management software suite to introduce a new server-based desktop virtualization system.

Does this mean that Red Hat will be getting back into the Linux desktop business? That’s the question I posed to Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens, in a phone call after the Red Hat/KVM press conference, and he told me that, “Yes. Red Hat will indeed be pushing the Linux desktop again.”

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