16,1999 [CNET News.com]LAS VEGAS--Intel has invested in eSoft, a maker of Linux-based
servers for small businesses, the chip giant's fourth Linux investment.
amount of the investment was not disclosed. Under a deal with Intel also announced
today, Intel will help the company develop software for Linux servers designed
to be used on the Internet.
are confident this support will enable eSoft to accelerate our future research,
development and business expansion activities," eSoft Chief Executive Jeff Finn
said in a statement.
first Linux investment was in Red Hat, the leading seller of the Unix-like operating
system. Since then, Intel also has invested in VA Linux Systems, a maker of
Linux computers that is about to go public, and in TurboLinux, another Linux
seller whose strategy is to add proprietary software on top of the operating
Coupled with Intel's recent decision to make Red Hat Linux available on their
servers (See TEC News Analysis article: "Intel
Throws its 'Red Hat' into Linux Ring", November 3rd, 1999), as well as their
investments in VA Linux and TurboLinux, this continues a significant push by
Intel to develop a "Lintel" presence. Linux already ships on approximately 15%
of the servers sold in the US, this announcement will help increase that percentage.
As Intel increasingly throws its weight behind Linux, the Linux market will
alliance will not lead to immediate consolidation, since the Linux server market
is presently expanding with many entrants trying to create a leadership presence.
As with previous Lintel-related announcements, this will provide reassurance
to potential users concerned about Linux not being supported by a major computer
manufacturer. In addition, users considering Linux will value the proliferation
of choices in this market, despite the potential for confusion re: differentiating
between Linux vendors.
of the indirect effects of this announcement is movement of the Linux server
choice away from the risky OS-based decision and closer to the product-based
decision. As support for Linux continues to build, users should be less concerned
that their investment in an "alternative" OS will lead them toward a dead end.