"Among the many product announcements at LinuxWorld in San
Jose this week, one that stands out is a move by VA Linux Systems
Inc. to differentiate itself from the bigger guns in the computer
hardware business. VA plans to announce that it will offer software
on a build-to-order model when it sells its computer systems that
are optimized to run Linux."
"We will do for software what Dell has done for hardware," Larry
Augustin, chief executive of VA, said in an interview at its
offices, where stuffed, plastic and crystal penguins, the Linux
mascot, adorn many an engineer's cubicle along with yellow
crime-scene tape declaring the area a "Windows-Free Zone."
"Augustin said that 90 percent of VA's customers re-install and
re-configure the different open source software and Linux options
on their servers. With VA's build-to-order software, customers can
choose from over 700 optional software packages, installed at the
factory, and two choices of Linux, Red Hat or Debian, at no extra
charge. "In some ways, we think it saves money, and it's easier for
us to support," Augustin said.
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