HP steams ahead with Linux plans

Hewlett-Packard will bolster its Linux product strategy with a messaging system based on its OpenView mail product, and by adding Linux application development APIs to the HP-UX operating system. HP also will endorse Intel 's alliance with VA Research to develop a standard Linux for IA-64 processors and has selected The Puffin Group to port Linux to HP's PA-RISC architecture.

Hewlett-Packard plans to bolster its Linux product strategy with a Linux-based messaging system based on HP's OpenView mail product, and by adding Linux application development APIs (application programming interfaces) to the HP-UX operating system, company officials said yesterday.

HP also will endorse Intel 's alliance with VA Research, a Linux hardware and software OEM (original equipment manufacturer) based in Mountain View, California, to develop a standard OS for IA-64 processors. Software developer and consultant The Puffin Group, meanwhile, was named by HP to port Linux to HP's PA-RISC architecture.

As part of its Linux messaging plan, HP at the LinuxWorld conference in San Jose this week will demonstrate a prototype of an OpenMail messaging server running on Linux. A final product is expected to vary somewhat from the current Unix-based version of OpenMail. For example, some X.400-based messaging utilities not needed in Linux will be removed, said Richi Jennings, HP technical product manager, in Bracknell, England.

The Linux messaging system could be used for applications such as service provider-based mail outsourcing services, Jennings said.

"We are hard core about providing a messaging and collaboration product on Linux based on the OpenMail technology," Jennings said.

HP, through an alliance with Sunnyvale, California-based Cygnus will provide common Gnu's Not Unix development tools for HP-UX, Linux, and Windows NT, the company announced. Linux APIs for HP-UX also are critical to HP's development plans.

HP's announcement with The Puffin Group involves Puffin voluntarily porting Linux to PA-RISC, said Wayne Caccamo, manager of open source solutions and operations for HP in Cupertino, California.

Puffin sought to do the port to gain support of Linux on HP's CPU (central processing unit) platform, Caccamo said. But it is unclear which versions of PA-RISC will be supported, he added.

HP last Monday announced formation of its Open Source Solutions Operation, to drive adoption of Linux in the enterprise and Internet software development environments.

Hewlett-Packard Co., in Palo Alto, California, can be reached at http://www.hp.com/. The Puffin Group, in Ottawa, Canada, can be reached at http://www.thepuffingroup.com/.

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