Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the firm who brings to life such memorable entertainers as Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy, says it will use Red Hat’s Linux operating system to create computer-animated characters for future movies and video games.

Red Hat also will provide Henson’s Creature Shop with updates, maintenance and management on its OS to ensure all of the Muppet creator’s needs are met, Red Hat says.

In a prepared statement Mark de Visser, Red Hat’s vice president of marketing, says: “We’re thrilled that the company which brought us Kermit and Miss Piggy is using Red Hat technology, and we’re glad to be part of this growing trend within the digital production industry.”

Red Hat officials declined to comment on the chances of Henson’s Creature Shop introducing a new Muppet based on “Shadow Man,” the company’s logo.

For the company’s fiscal year ending on Fe. 28, 2002, revenues decreased 2 percent to $78.9 million while net losses increased 60 percent to $119.2 million. The falling revenues are due to $55.8 million in restructuring charges incurred by Red Hat, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Shares of Red Hat stock ranged in price from $2.40 to $9.50 during the last 52 weeks, and recently traded near $4.70. The company’s market capitalization totals $776.5 million.

Red Hat Web site: www.redhat.com