A rival appears to United Linux...Red Hat, Dell and Oracle have joined forces to develop and distribute Linux products for the enterprise market just days after rival vendors announced a similar pact. The three companies will work together to create pre-packaged versions of Oracle databases and application servers operating on Dell servers and certified on the Red Hat operating system. The companies also announced further plans to provide cross-vendor product integration and customer support. The move comes just days after Red Hat rivals Caldera, Conectiva, SuSE and TurboLinux joined forces with Computer Associates, IBM and Intel to develop a similar enterprise offering, dubbed United Linux. Red Hat was conspicuous in last week's announcement by its absence, as were its new alliance partners Dell and Oracle. But a spokeswoman for SuSE, the company spearheading United Linux, today said that the group was confident Oracle, Dell and Red Hat would participate in the alliance. She said: "We have indeed asked Red Hat to join the United Linux alliance. With regards to Oracle and Dell I know there have been talks. We are already working with them. In terms of the alliance we just hope the relationship goes from strength to strength." However, Mark De Visser, vice president of marketing at Red Hat, said SuSE had contacted the company just a day before the announcement was made, a situation Red Hat viewed as "less than impressive". He added that Red Hat was confident in its number one market position, and unlike the United Linux companies, it has sufficient clout to form partnerships with major companies without joining the club. De Visser said that while the United Linux enterprise product would not hit the market until December, Red Hat unveiled an enterprise product in March. He said: "From our point of view we are ahead of them. What they will announce at the end of the year, we are announcing today."