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Novell, HP partner on Linux clients; IBM invests in Novell

Mar 24, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

HP has announced it will partner with Novell to certify and support Novell's SuSE Linux on select HP Compaq client systems. HP cites thin clients as the most promising growth area for Linux on the desktop, and identifies Asia, India, and South America as the most promising growth markets.

In related news, IBM has announced that it has completed its previously announced $50 million investment in Novell.

In a press conference today, HP's Martin Fink, VP of Linux, said Fortune 50 customers are interested in thin Linux clients on the desktop, rather than in replacing Windows desktop OSes with Linux on a one-to-one basis. “When we look at this growth of Linux clients over time, the growth will take place in a different way than it currently takes place with desktop clients,” Fink said.

Previously, HP and Novell had partnered to certify SuSE on HP ProLiant and Integrity servers. Having the same OS on server and client will be a boon for HP, according to Novell Vice Chairman Chris Stone, who said, “It's all about how the desktop lives within a larger network framework.”

HP will continue to support Red Hat on select server platforms, according to Fink. Red Hat announced last November it would discontinue its client product line.

Fink noted that emerging markets such as Asia, India, and South America are best positioned to adopt Linux clients, since they have lower investments in legacy technologies. He quoted IDC market research suggesting Linux has a current market penetration of about two percent worldwide, expected to reach ten percent by the end of the decade.

Separately, IBM announced the completion of its previously announced $50 million investment in Novell. Prior to Novell's acquisition of SuSE, IBM made significant development and marketing investments in SuSE Linux as an operating system for some high-end IBM hardware systems targeting enterprise data centers and telecommunications. For example, it collaborated with HP and IBM on a Carrier Grade version of SuSE released last April.

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