Intel and Netscape may invest in Linux vendor

According to reports, Intel Corporation and Netscape Communications are preparing to announce equity stakes Tuesday in Linux vendor Red Hat Software. Linux, a free UNIX clone, has gained massive acceptance in the past few years, and there are now more people using Linux than any other non-Microsoft operating system. Linux is typically downloaded from the Internet or sold at retail by vendors such as Red Hat; commercial versions of Linux typically include some support and alleviate the need to download a somewhat huge number of files.

Should this deal go through, Intel might see itself facing a drastically different climate up in the Redmond area. Intel and Microsoft--sometimes referred to collectively as "Wintel"--together form a massive PC monopoly, with Intel responsible for the hardware most people use and Microsoft responsible for the software. Intel's backing of Linux, and of other non-Microsoft OSes, such as the BeOS, is likely to strain the company's relations with Microsoft

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