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It’s only been four weeks since the launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and we’re happy to report that as of today, we already have 90 partners and 132 applications certified to run on the latest version of our operating system. Leading up to the official availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 on March 14, our ISV team worked closely with our partners to provide early access to our beta program, allowing our partners to test, provide feedback via Bugzilla and certify their applications prior to general availability. The 132 applications now certified on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 range from CRM and Databases to Security and Storage solutions. For more on these certified applications, take a look at this Red Hat Magazine article.

As for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 itself, the four weeks since its launch have been very satisfying – perhaps best summarized by two words: enthusiastic customers. Customers have been thrilled to see the technologies and flexibility provided by the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform product and, never to be ignored, its compelling price. The $1,499 annual subscription allows customers to deploy a complete server and storage virtualization solution, on a server of any size, with any number of guests, using 32 and 64 bit x64, Itanium2 and POWER. Of course there are many benefits to the subscription model – for details take a look here. But the bottom line is that everything you need is provided under one umbrella with no hidden costs or nickel and diming. For regular Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers, version 5 offers more capabilities (including server virtualization) and more performance, and is provided as part of an existing subscription. And new systems can be deployed with no price increase.

It was great to see that people approved of our broader strategy for the company, announced on March 14, covering JBoss, service enhancements, Red Hat Exchange, the Certified Service Provider program and Red Hat Subscription Center. The Red Hat experience is so much more than an Enterprise Linux DVD. It’s about reducing costs and increasing flexibility right across the IT spectrum.

But what about the outtakes? What wasn’t quite perfect? There were a few minor things, but one misunderstanding that’s worth noting concerned virtualization subscription pricing. It seems that people were determined to think the subscription prices we were talking about only covered the host-level operating system and didn’t include the guests. The assumption was that the guests needed their own subscriptions. Not true. Only one subscription is required and it covers the host and all the (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) guests. Third party guests, of course, need to be licensed or subscribed according to the vendor’s policies. Somewhere along the way we failed to make this clear.

Things are already underway with 5.1 development. It’s too early to say much, but two things are clear – there will be more exciting virtualization capabilities and more exciting desktop capabilities to come.

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