HP ramping up for Linux support

Recognizing the rising popularity of Linux and the business opportunities it presents, Hewlett-Packard Co. plans to train 5,000 current support staff in the particulars of the open-source platform, an HP official said at the HP World 2002 Conference & Expo on Thursday.

While the company already has Linux expertise, it plans to train more personnel, said Rick Becker, HP vice president of OS alliances. Some 5,000 persons in HP's services organization will get "refresh training" in Linux, Becker said.

"It's probably the best-kept secret. We have excellent services capabilities for Linux inside of our company," said Becker.

The Linux platform is being deployed in a variety of environments, he said. "We're seeing strength in Linux, of course, in infrastructure around service providers. We're seeing the financial community looking at deploying Linux fairly universally for some of their internal applications," Becker said.

As Linux moves into the enterprise, customers want enterprise-class service and are willing to pay for it, according to Becker.

Both Linux and Windows NT have been growing in usage by HP customers, Becker said.

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