[ 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
"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
"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
"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
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