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HP Fiorina: “Linux ready for breakout year”

Jan 30, 2002 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

New York; LinuxWorld — (press release excerpt) — In her keynote address here, Hewlett-Packard Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina declared this the breakout year for Linux, the open source technology that is finding favor with big businesses for its flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

Fiorina highlighted a number of innovative Linux solutions already deployed by customers in the entertainment, banking, service provider, Internet infrastructure and technical computing arenas. Adoption in these markets, along with retail, financial services and public sector, is helping fuel growth in Linux, which consultancy Gartner expects to achieve 50 percent revenue increase in 2002, despite uncertain economic conditions.

“These representatives from the business community aren't supporting Linux because it's popular. They're doing it because it meets their needs and those of their customers, and they're putting their money where their mouths are,” she said.

Fiorina announced that one such company, DreamWorks SKG, is expanding its Linux relationship with HP into a three-year strategic alliance. (See the HP release, “HP, DreamWorks Announce Strategic Alliance Aimed at Revolutionizing Animation Production.”)

She also commented on the growing influence of Linux in consumer applications, a milestone that “further demonstrates the mainstream nature of Linux today.”

In her opening remarks, Fiorina recognized the audience for being part of a vanguard of pioneers and innovators who accelerated the idea of Linux and turned it into an undeniable force.

“A decade ago, this conference couldn't have happened because this movement literally didn't exist. But here we all are — challenging conventional wisdom and changing the world all at the same time.”

Fiorina praised the open source community for enabling Linux to stay true to the spirit of its revolutionary roots while developing into a solution that can meet the needs of big business.

She encouraged attendees not to become distracted by the industry discussions surrounding the deployment of Microsoft and Linux solutions.

“The reality is that Microsoft solutions on industry-standard hardware are a mainstay of many corporations, especially on the desktop, and will continue to be so,” Fiorina said. “Likewise, Linux solutions have found their way into a number of mainstream enterprise applications, are already on the desktop in niche applications, and will continue to make inroads.

“HP offers both solutions, as well as HP-UX, because we see opportunity in offering our customers a choice of building blocks for their heterogeneous environments. That's what we're about. We're the company that others come to when they want to run a multi-platform environment for mission-critical services. Right now we're taking a pragmatic approach. The question for us isn't 'Will Linux dominate the world?' but 'What part of the world will Linux dominate?'”

Fiorina outlined several initiatives where the open source community should continue to apply its energy to keep moving Linux forward for customers. These included ease of use, support of the Linux Standard base to reduce the complexity of Linux development and the resolution of the royalty-free standards issue currently being debated in standards circles.

“In HP's view, even the so-called 'Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory' patent licensing would distort the standards selection process to an unacceptable level for Web infrastructure software standards,” she said. “We continue to work to draft a policy that requires the W3C to endorse only those recommendations which can be used free of royalties.”

HP's CEO also described her company's initiatives to contribute to the advance of Linux. This includes taking a comprehensive approach to help build customer confidence in Linux platforms by offering a full range of sales, consulting, support and education; seeking out the open source community and software, hardware and channel partners to accelerate the delivery of innovative solutions for customers; and delivering a line of security-enhanced servers, blade servers, appliances, workstations, storage media, printers, business PCs and telecommunications racks.

“We see HP's role as helping to increase Linux' credibility in the business world,” she said. “One of the primary motivations of HP's merger with Compaq is our deeply shared belief in standards-based platforms and technologies, and the contributions of the open source movement in helping customers take full advantage of these platforms.

“Market-unifying standards such as Itanium and Linux, and the inexorable march toward open source and open connectivity standards, will shift the underlying economics and the basis of competition in this industry, leading to more competition, greater choice and flexibility for businesses and better ease of use for consumers.

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