HP gives major push to Linux

Hewlett Packard's Linux chief has pledged his company's support for the further development of Linux open source systems.

Hewlett Packard's Linux chief has pledged his company's support for the further development of Linux open source systems.

Alan Meyer, R&D manager for HP's Linux Kernal Development Centre in Colorado, says his company is doing all it can to develop Linux.

The comments follow HP's recent worldwide launch of a free developer’s kit for the Linux community to develop applications for use in HP's new IA-64 platform, which features Linux technology.

HP has also launched a Partnership Technology Access Centre in Tokyo to serve the Asia-Pacific region. It provides support for developers to produce Linux and other systems for HP's upcoming IA-64.

"There is a very significant market for Linux for certain types of applications. We are looking at every product we have from the system side, everything we are doing with software, and support and services, and moving that to Linux," he says.

Uses for the system are already growing, he says, and now include special effects in movies, such as scenes in films, such as some in the blockbuster Titanic, 3D graphic technology and computer-aided-design.

"A year ago we were talking about Linux and putting it in our systems. Now, we have dedicated R&D teams that are investing in Linux development," says Meyer.

Today, HP pre-installs Linux on to Net servers and visualised personal workstations.

"In the future, we expect to pre-install Linux lower down the product chain, to Kayaks, Vecras, Pavillions and Brios," Meyer says.

Announcing its developers' kit, HP claims the kit is unique because it contains an HP-developed IA-64 Linux simulator that lets developers use today’s IA-32 systems (such as those powered by the Pentium III processor), to emulate the functionality of a 64-bit Linux environment running on Intel Itanium processor systems. The kit also contains documentation and links to software libraries created by Intel.

The kit is available at www.software.hp.com/ia64linux.

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