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LinuxWorld: What's New with HP's Open Source Efforts

Oct 16, 2002, 13:00 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Barr)

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"As a result of its recently concluded merger with Compaq, Hewlett-Packard is now the largest Microsoft customer in the world. More than a few wags in the GNU/Linux and open source worlds have begun to wonder what effect the merger would have on how HP copes with the revolution. Coupled with the recent departure of Bruce Perens from HP, it has become an even more urgent question. To help dispel the seeds of doubt and worry, I asked for a little telephone time with Martin Fink to discuss the issues. Fink is not only the man who hired Perens for HP, he is HPs vice president and CTO of Business Critical Systems.

"I visited with Fink last week and the first question out of my mouth was exactly that: how has the merger and the departure of Perens changed HP's Linux strategy. Fink responded by first outlining the pre-merger strategy at both HP and Compaq. At HP, there was a focus on industry-standard 32-bit and 64-bit Intel platforms as well as their own manageability and high-availability efforts. HP was not a leader in the 32-bit realm but has been on Itanium. At Compaq, the Proliant line gave them a leadership position the world of 32-bit boxes. Fink said the Linux portion of the Proliant sales is "delivering $1 billion of business," adding "it represents 15 percent of the overall Proliant business." He said HP estimates that the Linux share will rise to 20 percent in the next 12 to 18 months..."

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