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Automattic Enterprise Level WordPress

In what I would consider a predictable but dramatic shift, WordPress is going to attempt to appeal to Enterprise level clients thanks to a deal with KnowNow. This edition will be called the KnowNow WordPress Enterprise Edition and is based off WordPress MU, the multi-blog service, much like WordPress.com.

The new KnowNow WordPress Enterprise Edition will offer enterprises a comprehensive authoring solution that includes a powerful new platform for open communications and information management. With the addition of WordPress, KnowNow offers enterprises a platform to build their customer-facing presence in the blogosphere, or an internal platform behind their own firewall to support interactive employee communication. The solution enables authoring of content that leverages the RSS format, meaning enterprises can speed the delivery of critical information to employees, partners, or customers.

What does Automattic get from the deal? Well, they get to see their product compete gainst SixApart in the enterprise level, and any improvements that KnowNow makes on the WordPress software will be released back into the open source core products.
Sounds like an interesting, but good deal, all around.