Red Hat delays new software for PCs until January

BOSTON (Reuters) - Red Hat Inc RHT.N has postponed until January the launch of a new Linux software product for personal computers that would directly compete with Microsoft Corp's MSFT.O Windows operating system.

Introduction of the software, which would also compete with Novell Inc's NOVL.O Suse Linux software and would initially be sold in developing countries, had previously been delayed twice.

Red Hat Chief Executive Matthew Szulik had said in September that he expected to get the new product on the market by the end of November.

Late on Monday, spokeswoman Leigh Day said the company planned to release the software in January, five months after the original target date of August that it had promised customers.

She said Red Hat was postponing the product’s release again because it has yet to resolve problems getting the right to distribute software for playing music and viewing videos with the Linux software.

Red Hat generally provides its software at no charge and makes money by providing technical support, upgrades and bug fixes.

Most of its revenue comes from software used on server computers, not personal computers.

Szulik said in September that Red Hat did not plan to support the Linux PC software in the United States or other developed countries.

Still, it can be freely copied and used anywhere in the world at no charge, Szulik said.

Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn