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PR: Ximian Announces Red Carpet Services

Aug 27, 2001, 18:12 (26 Talkback[s])

Ximian Announces Red Carpet Services

Press Release -- SAN FRANCISCO --Aug. 27, 2001-- Ximian, Inc., the leading open source desktop company, today announced new Ximian Red Carpet services that simplify Linux and UNIX software updating and management processes for companies, while providing a far-reaching distribution channel for software vendors. The services include Red Carpet Express, which gives subscribers priority, high-bandwidth access to Internet software downloads and Red Carpet CorporateConnect, which provides customers a centralized method for managing software version control and installation on end-user systems. For software vendors, Ximian introduced the Red Carpet Partner Program, which allows software vendors to create and manage channels to distribute their Linux or UNIX software.

The new services integrate tightly with the Red Carpet client software used by hundreds of thousands of Ximian GNOME users worldwide. Red Carpet is a software management solution that efficiently and securely keeps Linux and UNIX systems up-to-date. Its intuitive software "channels" and automatic dependency and conflict resolution let users easily install, update and maintain software from Ximian, leading Linux distribution vendors and a growing library of other third-party independent software vendors (ISVs).

Especially important for mixed computing environments, Red Carpet uniquely provides multi-platform support, updating systems running a broad range of Linux distributions and UNIX variants, including Red Hat, SuSE, Mandrake, Debian, TurboLinux and more. Together, the new services announced today save end-users from complex system maintenance allowing companies to distribute software updates and control software versions on their employees' machines, while enabling ISVs to reach a large and active desktop audience.

"IDC studies show that Linux client operating environment users upgrade their systems very frequently. For Linux to transition to more general purpose use on desktops requires a more manageable environment, and Ximian's Red Carpet solutions addresses this problem head on," said Al Gillen, research manager for system software at IDC. "Simplifying the complexity of updating systems with hundreds of shared files will help lower the cost of ownership for Linux systems."

The Red Carpet services that will be offered are as follows:

Red Carpet Express for End-Users
Red Carpet Express is a time-saving subscription service that provides customers with priority, high-bandwidth Internet downloading and updating of Ximian and third-party software hosted by Ximian. Customers sign up for the service using a convenient web-based registration process and then simply activate the Red Carpet client included with their Ximian desktop software. During peak periods, Internet-based software installation and updating using Red Carpet Express will be up to 50% faster, depending on end-user configuration. The $9.95 per month service will be available within 45 days.

Red Carpet CorporateConnect for Corporate Workgroups and Systems
Red Carpet CorporateConnect is a unique ASP service that lets companies manage and control Linux desktop software standards and versions for users, teams, workgroups and departments within their organizations. In addition to providing end-user access to software updating through the publicly available Ximian Red Carpet channels, Red Carpet CorporateConnect lets administrators create and manage private, secure channels for company software standards and custom internal applications. These may include development tools, embedded systems, web applications and software from other internal projects.

Red Carpet CorporateConnect provides a web-based management console that lets IT staff define the software that corporate users can download and enables centralized management and version control of downloaded software. System components include the Channel Manager for defining the software applications, packages and supported platforms; the User Manager for inviting and managing desktop users; the Group Manager for defining software access privileges by team or workgroup; and Reports for viewing download statistics and installation by channel and user.

Red Carpet CorporateConnect will also be available to customers within 45 days and has an initial $2,500 set-up fee, and a $150 per year/per user subscription model. Optional professional services for custom Linux software packaging are also available.

The Red Carpet Partner Program for ISVs
In addition to providing software and updates for Ximian applications and the leading Linux distributions, Red Carpet will also offer users access to a growing library of software from a host of third-party developers. The Red Carpet Partner Program provides software vendors with a platform to reach, update and support the hundreds of thousands of current Red Carpet users worldwide. A web-based administration interface enables software vendors to quickly and easily create, configure and maintain their own custom Red Carpet channels for their software packages hosted by Ximian or on their own servers. The partners benefit from the broad distribution channel and simplified customer updating and support mechanisms.

"We currently use Ximian GNOME and Red Carpet," said Jeff Davis, senior systems programmer at Amerada Hess. "We are excited about the Ximian direction and the Red Carpet CorporateConnect solution for simplifying desktop management and controlling internal software standards. We look forward to evaluating it as soon as it is available."

"Linux software management is a major challenge for users, companies and software developers alike," said David Patrick, CEO of Ximian. "Companies we interviewed reported users each spending between five and 10 hours a week on system maintenance, while corporate IT wrestle with software version control for their growing populations of Linux desktop users. Our new Red Carpet services are enabling solutions that save end-users time and provide companies with centralized control and lower cost of ownership, while giving ISVs a powerful mechanism to reach and update their customers."

In addition to announcing these new services, Ximian today announced the Ximian Desktop, a complete productivity solution for Linux desktop users including the popular Ximian GNOME graphical user interface and a host of applications including the Red Carpet client. (See related release: "Ximian Ships Ximian Desktop Productivity Software Packages for Linux and UNIX Systems").

About Ximian, Inc.

Ximian is the established leader in providing open source desktop technology, applications, support and services for the Linux and UNIX marketplaces. Ximian products, in use by over 800,000 people worldwide, are providing the ease of use, productivity and interoperability needed to propel the adoption of the Linux desktop in corporate computing environments. Its Ximian Desktop software starts with Ximian GNOME, a productized end-user desktop based on the GNOME project, to provide a complete graphical desktop environment and productivity application suite for Linux and UNIX systems. Ximian Red Carpet and Ximian Evolution(TM) deliver software and personal information management solutions for both end-users and corporate customers. Comprised of many of the original architects of the GNOME system, Ximian is a founding member of the GNOME Foundation and sits on the advisory board. The company has secured funding from leading venture firms Charles River Ventures and Battery Ventures and can be reached at http://www.ximian.com