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A shifting of the Linux tide
Plans are also afoot to form partnerships to deploy Red Hat Linux 6.1 and Caldera's OpenLinux 2.3 with major server manufacturers in the region. Bergenthal said Caldera already announced a tie-up with Fujitsu in September, while in Taiwan, Dell will be doing the same with its servers.
The Utah-based company also hoped to produce localized versions of its solutions for the Japanese and Korean markets. A Taiwanese version is already available.
Young pitched in that Red Hat is was also looking to produce similar localized versions of Red Hat Linux 6.1 for those markets and is aiming to ensure that all versions are binary compatible. “This requires a great deal of engineering precision and will take some time,” he said.
But Young noted that many small local Linux companies in Asia are either shipping Red Hat Linux directly, or are making minor modifications for local customers who are not as quality sensitive as the software company’s core customer base.
Young does not believe the availability of Linux in several flavors will fragment the market in Asia. “The various Linux-based OS are pretty consistent and highly compatible compared to Windows, where applications built on Windows 2000 cannot run on Windows NT, apps for NT cannot run on Windows 98, and so on.”
Young added that the popularity of Linux is not related to being "better" than Windows or the Mac OS. "It can be argued that for many applications, Red Hat Linux is not the 'best' operating system from a pure technology viewpoint. But open source operating systems enable users to do things they just cannot do with traditional proprietary binary-only OS," he said.
Caldera's Bergenthal said he expects "many announcements in coming months" from software and hardware vendors to suggest a shifting tide for the Linux movement.
He cited a survey of systems integrators (SIs) and value-added resellers (VARS) on a tour in the U.S. with IBM and Oracle recently. "Two-thirds of 470 SIs surveyed--comprising 60 percent Windows NT and 30 percent NetWare VARS/SIs--will build solutions for OpenLinux within the next six months," he said.
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