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SEC: Cobalt's S-1 IPO Filing Document

Sep 24, 1999, 01:55 (0 Talkback[s])

[ Although this is a preliminary filing, with many of the blanks not filled in, there's a lot of detail on Cobalt's plans to launch the second Linux IPO - LT ed. ]

"We are a leading provider of server appliances. Server appliances are a new category of network infrastructure devices that are specifically designed and optimized to deliver one or a few network-based applications well."

"Our products tightly integrate the open source Linux operating system with software applications embedded in dedicated hardware designs. This software includes a rich set of core applications developed by us and by the open source software developer community, as well as proprietary third-party applications. Our use of the Linux operating system enables us to leverage the rapid application development cycles of the open source software community to reduce the time to market for our new and innovative products."

"Dataquest, an industry research firm... expects the Linux- based server appliance market to grow at approximately 69% a year between 1999 and 2003..."

"...if corporate information technology organizations do not accept Linux-based operating systems... our business would likely suffer. ... We may not be able to release major upgrades of our Cobalt Qube, Cobalt RaQ, Cobalt Cache and Cobalt NAS products on a timely basis because our products use Linux as their operating system. The heart of Linux, the Linux kernel, is maintained by third parties."

"To date we have optimized our Linux-based operating system based on a version of Red Hat Linux, which we have licensed for a nominal price. If we were unable to access Red Hat Linux, or Red Hat Linux were to become substantially more expensive to obtain... [bad things would happen to our business].

"We may not succeed if Linux fragments, and application developers do not develop software for our products."

"Our products are designed to require little or no support from us and to be deployed quickly and easily by our customers."

"In the market for server appliances, we face significant competition from larger companies who market general and/or limited purpose servers and have greater financial resources and name recognition than we do."

"Research and development expenses increased from $22,000 in 1996 to $1.1 million in 1997 and to $3.5 million in 1998. The increase in research and development expenses was due primarily to expanded technology development efforts related to our new products, user interfaces, Linux operating system optimization and application software."

"We believe that our use of the Linux operating system is a fundamental element of this program, since an open source operating system better enables developers to create optimized and reliable high value added applications. We believe there are currently over 40 applications developed by third parties for our product platform. We intend to leverage our position in the Linux community in order to expand upon the base of third party developers for our products significantly by providing a high volume channel for their Internet and electronic commerce applications. In order to encourage the continued growth of the Linux community, we will continue to give back to the community those elements of source code that we write that are relevant to the Linux kernel, while still developing a proprietary base of intellectual property."

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