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NewsForge: Fiorina ups the ante with Compaq purchase

Sep 04, 2001, 18:05 (20 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jack Bryar)
"What role will Linux play? The official merger announcement made several references to consolidating on Intel's Itanium architecture and on 'open, market-unifying architectures and interoperability,' which may refer to Linux.

Or it may not.

Both companies do a fair Windows business. As far back as 1999, both Compaq and HP had announced support for Linux as an operating systems alternative. While both Compaq and HP continue to support the Linux operating system, neither has been able to make a convincing break from their old proprietary Unix systems. Compaq, in particular, has continued to pitch both Linux and its proprietary version of Unix. In addition, the company has made a powerful effort to pitch itself as the third member of the Wintel duopoly. To a great extent, that effort has succeeded. A disproportionate number of the first large corporate adapters deploying Windows 2000 as a back-end solution hung that operating system on Compaq Proliant servers.

While HP has made much of its Linux initiatives and championed the deployment of Linux-based infrastructure solutions, the newly combined server, storage and "infrastructure" division will be headed by a Compaq executive, Peter Blackmore. As Compaq's v.p. of sales and services, Blackmore may understand the operational logic of using Linux to tie the company's business units together. However, he can also count, and today the bulk of Compaq's cash comes from its Microsoft-related business."

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