RHEL 5 Nearly Ready

CEO Matt Szulik predicts next version to go gold on Feb 28.

CNET reports that the version 5 of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL 5) will begin shipping on February 28. Red Hat CEO Matt Szulik confirmed this during a recent conference call announcing the company’s strong quarterly earnings.

This target date comes just a month after Red Hat released a second beta of RHEL 5, which nearly 70% of our readers in an informal poll said they planned to test, with the new Virtualization Manager being the most anticipated feature, followed closely by the new package manger, yum.

Analysts are not projecting the RHEL 5 release to produce a large spike in revenue for the company, which is probably more conservative than is truly necessary. There are likely many enterprises and server vendors that have been waiting for an integrated virtualization solution from Red Hat and they’re soon to be rewarded for their patience.

And at this point, a revenue spike would be icing on the cake now that the company has handily weathered the early fallout of Oracle’s entry into the Linux market, migrating their shares from the NASDAQ to the NYSE, and are gradually steering the JBoss acquisition in the right direction.

Red Hat tends to be a rather quiet company. They go about their business, contribute to the community, and release product without a great deal of hoopla. Following Larry Ellison’s confrontational keynote at Oracle OpenWorld and the Microsoft / Novell Alliance, however, they’ve been forced to make some noise. So far, it would seem that being more vocal is paying off.

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