Startup Linux vendor Collax launched its flagship product in the United States\u00a0at LinuxWorld Tuesday, aiming the turnkey business software package at small and medium-size business (SMB) customers that don\u2019t have much experience with the open-source OS.The Collax Business Server is a Linux-based OS that combines security, networking and communications software. It is available with a free software license for up to five noncommercial users; prices for a 10-user, one-year subscription to the package start at US$495. According to the Munich company, SMBs can implement Collax Business Server with little to no Linux knowledge. The product has already been available in Europe, where the company has more than 6,000 customers. Collax is positioning the product as a competitor to Microsoft\u2019s Windows-based Small Business Server OS.In addition to launching its first product in the United States, Collax also launched a program for partners. The Collax Charter Partner Program offers training, sales leads, market-development funding and product support to companies that want to sell Collax\u2019s software.For more information about how to join the program, companies can contact email@example.com or visit its website.Collax, launched in June 2005, has gotten attention from some notable Silicon Valley investors. The company has garnered US$8.4 million in combined investment from Intel, Atlas Venture Partners and Wellington Partners. Collax Chief Executive Officer Olaf Jacobi launched Collax after a conversation with former Suse Linux Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Boris Nalbach in which the two discussed how SMBs are having a tougher time than enterprises at adopting Linux because of its complexity. Nalbach is now Collax\u2019s CTO.-Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.