Red Hat Software announced last week that its Linux 6.0 version is available, prompting related announcements that IBM's speech recognition technology is part of the updated operating system and that Dell will factory-install the OS on some of its servers, workstations and PCs.
Red Hat Linux 6.0 includes the Linux 2.2 kernel, the most recent kernel available. The updated version of the popular open-source OS also includes symmetrical multi-processor (SMP) support for use on servers with up to four processors, as well as two new graphical user interfaces that eliminate the need to type in commands.
Red Hat also said that Linux 6.0 has full RAID (redundant array of independent disks) storage capabilities and installation improvements that allow direct Web downloads to a user's hard drive.
Red Hat Linux 6.0 costs $US39.95 to $US79.95 and can be downloaded from the company's Web site (http://www.redhat.com) now. A boxed version will be available in retail outlets on May 10.
In conjunction with Red Hat's announcement, IBM said that its ViaVoice speech recognition technology has been ported to the new version of Linux. IBM further said that it intends to offer ViaVoice through other Linux distributors, including Caldera.
IBM is offering its ViaVoice Software Developers Kit (SDK) and the ViaVoice engine for Linux. The beta versions are available in US English, but IBM intends to add more languages and more functions to the SDK for Linux, said Steve DeGennaro, IBM manager of speech tools and architecture.
"When we started to talk about it, it was surprising how many people are already running Linux at home or at their offices," DeGennaro said of the input received by IBM as it considered porting the ViaVoice technology to Linux.
IBM is also hosting a Web site for new Linux-related technology downloads and technical discussions among developers. Additional information on that site may be found at http://www.software.ibm.com/speech. Visitors to the site should then choose the "Linux" option. Information on IBM's support of Linux also is available at http://www.ibm.com/linux/