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Linux seller Caldera beats estimates

Caldera Systems, which continues to struggle to catch up with other Linux firms, reports a smaller-than-expected loss of 18 cents a share on revenue of $1.2 million.

Caldera Systems on Wednesday reported a smaller-than-expected loss of 18 cents a share on revenue of $1.2 million.

Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial expected a loss of 22 cents a share for the quarter, which ended Oct. 31. In the year-ago quarter the company had a net loss of 17 cents per share on revenue of $874,000.

The company's net loss widened from $6.9 million to $4.5 million for the year-ago quarter.

Caldera, which went public just before the stock market began to sour on Linux, is struggling to catch up with other Linux companies. Red Hat reported revenue of $18 million in September, and VA Linux Systems had revenue of $56.1 million.

Caldera is banking that its pending acquisition of the Unix products of the Santa Cruz Operation will put it in a more competitive position, with a stronger services business, international sales, and an operating system with high-end features.

The company also is working on sales of its server product, which comes with e-commerce software.

E-commerce also is a focus at Red Hat, which announced new services for its Apache and Stronghold Web server products. Stronghold, developed by a company called C2Net that Red Hat acquired in August, is a version of Apache that includes encrypted transaction capabilities.

Red Hat added services such as guaranteed one-hour response times for premium customers, training, and consulting services for installation, troubleshooting and configuration.

Meanwhile, Linuxcare, a company that's recovering from executive departures and a withdrawn initial public offering, announced several major new customers for its services Wednesday.

Veritas, Adaptec, Digital Island, SGI, Maxtor, 3ware, Espial, Ecrix, WSE/Honeywell and Ivenue all signed up for Linuxcare services. Adaptec and 3Ware are paying to use Linuxcare's testing and configuration abilities; the others are using the company's professional services.

Turbolinux also had CNET's Linux Centernews. Mega, an Internet service provider in Tokyo, is using Turbolinux "cluster" software to join servers used for Web hosting, email and file sharing. Hitachi, a Turbolinux partner, built the system for Mega, the company said.

Dozens of Hitachi servers are joined together in the cluster, Turbolinux said.

In addition, Turbolinux released version 3.0 of Unicon, software for adding better Asian language support to Linux. Turbolinux got its start in Japan and is working to maintain its foothold against Red Hat while trying to expand into the United States.

Unicon initially was developed by Turbolinux programmers in China. It was released in 1999 under the General Public License, meaning that it can be incorporated directly into the kernel of Linux itself.