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SAP invests in Red Hat

A major commercial-grade supplier of Linux wins a chunk of investment dollars from Germany's leading software company.

A major commercial-grade supplier of Linux scores a chunk of investment dollars from Germany's leading software company.

SAP today announced an equity investment of an undisclosed amount by the SAP Venture Fund in Red Hat Software, adding more support to the Linux bandwagon and the open source movement.

SAP, a long-standing partner with Microsoft, said Linux is a stable, reliable, and viable operating system developed according to the open source model that is now mature enough to run mission-critical business applications.

"The SAP Venture Fund is designed to foster innovative technology developments that will have significant impact and benefits for SAP customers," Howard Lau, executive vice president of the SAP Venture Fund, said in a statement. "Linux is becoming a significant force in the industry. We expect it to emerge as an attractive platform for enterprise computing, and Red Hat is a leading Linux distributor."

Founded in 1994, Red Hat Software is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, where it develops open source operating software, such as RPM and the disk druid installation tool. Red Hat Linux is available for Intel, Compaq Alpha, and Sun SPARC platforms.

With its SAP Venture Fund, SAP provides funding to companies it believes have "promising" technologies that are expected to further innovation in enterprise computing.

Today's announcement comes just a few weeks after the German software giant said it will support Red Hat's version of Linux for R/3 on Intel-based systems.

As reported earlier, SAP said customers will be able to order preinstalled and preconfigured R/3 systems on Linux. The firm plans its first shipment of SAP R/3 on Linux in the third quarter.