Linux Fever Catching at First Major Trade Show

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A year ago "Linux trade show" would have sounded like some e-mail hoax. But yesterday as many as 10,000 people showed up for the kickoff of LinuxWorld at the San Jose Convention Center in Silicon Valley. Even stranger is the stream of announcements coming from major companies investing in the populist operating system.

Database software giant Oracle plans to announce an investment in Red Hat Software Inc., a privately held distributor of Linux that also provides service and support. The investment, which Reuters sources said will be announced next week, is the first investment by the Oracle Venture Fund, which is targeted to promising companies in the Internet arena. A spokeswoman for Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle declined to comment, as did Red Hat in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Last year, Red Hat received an undisclosed financial investment from Intel Corp. and Netscape Communications Corp. MORE>>