Red Hat, which barely missed reporting a profit last week and cited retail sales revenue as a reason, introduced a new version of its Linux software today.

Red Had Linux 9 includes improved, graphical-based installation, usability enhancements and more end-user applications, the company said. The company also said it included a number of recommendations from the Linux user community.

The new version includes Bluecurve, a graphical interface with more intuitively designed menus. Bluecurve was introduced last year and further refined for the new release, the company said.

Other features include an office suite for creation of documents, spreadsheets and presentations; the Mozilla web browser; an e-mail client; address book; HTML composer and authoring tool; calendar; contact manager; drag-and-drop printing capabilities, and upgraded core components such as Linux kernel 2.4.30.

However, Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT) is likely to maintain its focus on higher-end enterprise products and markets.

Chief Executive Matthew Szulik told CENT news service last week that “You’re not going to see any aggressive promotion with (9.0).” Advertising and promotion might increase sales, but it also increases expenses “in a business that is not that interesting to the company,” Szulik said in the interview.

Red Hat offers a variety of pricing options, including a $39.95 price which includes 30 days of basic support, and $149.95 professional package that includes the operating system on DVD plus 60 days of network, web and telephone support.

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