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Ideal Hardware has been chosen as the UK and European distributor for SuSE’s Linux solutions and services. The addition of SuSE’s retail and business-to-business Linux applications to Ideal’s software portfolio, will allow Ideal to attack the growing UK Linux market establishing itself as the No. 1 Linux distributor. In addition, Ideal will offer SuSE’s support and maintenance packages including installation, configuration and desktop roll-out options via UniServices, Ideal’s customer support arm.

Ideal’s strong presence in the UK retail, on-line and off-the-page markets will enable it to develop SuSE’s UK market share in these areas. Spearheading the European operations of its parent company US Bell Microproducts, Ideal plans to take SuSE’s Linux applications into European vertical markets, increasing SuSE’s profile, reseller base and market share. The multi-language feature of the product makes it perfect for rolling-out across Europe.

Jasmin UI-Haque, commercial director of SuSE Linux Ltd., comments: “This partnership with Ideal is a major step towards our goal of being the world’s number one Linux distributor and of course we are very excited about that. Ideal is a major player, with a strong and established distribution network and an admirable sales force. SuSE is embarking on the next stage of its UK channel development program and Ideal is the perfect partner for us to reach a large number of key market segments.”

Andrew Bull, Ideal’s software resource manager, comments: “SuSE brings to our product offerings a wealth of experience in the Linux environment, and its leading software and professional technical support delivers a comprehensive channel policy which includes the need for marketing and reseller support. This will make Linux a volume product to our reseller base.”


For further information please contact:

Alastair Rees Ideal Hardware 020 8286 5250

Mellissa Dorrell Ideal Press Office 020 7375 3633

Rupert Warwick SuSE Linux 020 7436 4336

Caroline Larnach SuSE Linux 020 7436 4336

Editor’s Note:
Ideal Hardware Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of US based Bell Microproducts Inc., is a leading UK based value-added, storage-centric distributor focusing on the high end of the storage market. Ideal is also a leading distributor of Compaq servers, PCs and storage products and is one of only 12 Compaq distributors worldwide to be awarded the prestigious CIP accreditation for high-end products. Ideal has strategic relationships with approximately 80 suppliers of Enterprise storage, computer systems, software and media products. These strategic products are packaged with Ideal’s value-added programmes and services to provide complete NAS, SAS and SAN solutions.

Bell Microproducts Inc is an international value-added provider of a wide range of high technology products, solutions, and services to the industrial and commercial marketplace. The company's offering includes semiconductors, computer platforms, peripherals, and storage products of various types including desktop, high-end computer and storage subsystems, fibre channel connectivity products, RAID, NAS and SAN storage systems and back-up products. Bell Microproducts is an industry-recognized specialist in storage products and is one of the world's largest storage-centric value-added distributors. The company's products are available at any level of integration from components, to subsystem assemblies, to fully integrated, tested and certified system solutions. The company adds value with a broad range of services including testing, software loading, kitting, mass storage system integration, and computer system integration. Trained and certified technical personnel compl!
ete each of these processes at Bell Microproducts' ISO 9002 facilities. Bell Microproducts markets and distributes more than 150 brand name product lines, as well as its own BellStor storage and Trademark(R) computer brands, to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), contract electronic manufacturing services (EMS) customers, value-added resellers (VARs) and system integrators in the Americas and Europe. More information can be found in SEC filings, or by visiting the Bell Microproducts Web site at

Note: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's current views of future events and financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or facts to differ materially from such statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: the ability to successfully integrate the operations of recent acquisitions, industry conditions, changes in product supply, pricing, and customer demand, competition, other vagaries in the computer and electronic components markets, changes in relationships with key suppliers, foreign currency fluctuations and the other risks and information described from time to time in the company's reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Current Reports on Form 8-K regarding !
this and other transactions). Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisions. Shareholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.

*** About SuSE Linux AG
SuSE Linux AG, Nuremberg/Germany, is one of the world's leading providers of complete solutions based on the Open Source operating system Linux. In addition to operating systems and application software for private customers, SuSE Linux AG offers software solutions and complete systems for the deployment of Linux in companies. SuSE supports its enterprise customers with a comprehensive range of qualified consulting, training, and support services. The company, which hosts the world's largest development team for Open Source solutions, has made its unique project and support know-how accessible via the Internet in the largest existing Linux knowledge database. Currently SuSE Linux AG has about 500 employees. The company runs subsidiaries in six countries.

SuSE Linux Ltd, based in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, is the UK subsidiary of SuSE Linux AG and was founded in October 1999. It provides leading Open Source technology to the UK market.

Additional information about SuSE can be found at