The March 1 1999 launch of LinuxCare, a San Francisco, California-based support organization dedicated to the Linux operating system, has caused quite a stir. Founded by SF Bay Area Linux personalities Art Tyde, Dave Sifry and David LaDuke and backed by $2m of angel investment, LinuxCare won’t sell any software of its own, just technical support. Unlike most Linux ventures, the company is distribution-neutral, catering to users of Red Hat, Caldera, Pacific High Tech, SuSE, Debian, Slackware and Linux-PPC alike. The centerpiece of its strategy is an online Knowledge Base to be published at LinuxCare.com. The idea is to give Linux-shy corporations the reassurance of a reputable round- the-clock support contract. There’s no 1-800 number for Linux, Sifry told Wired News, and that’s what LinuxCare is providing. It’s a strong story, and news outlets are making the most of it. The only problem is that LinuxCare has been around since at least last November. That’s when the company swung its first service and support deal with German Linux distributor SuSE, as the most casual perusal of LinuxCare.com makes clear. ComputerWire was unable to resolve the matter since the company didn’t return our calls. Still, it wouldn’t be the first time a Linux-oriented veteran relaunched to take advantage of the prevailing mood. Pioneer VA Research Linux Systems did exactly the same thing last week (CI No 3,590).
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