Seeking to widen its presence in the already-expanding Japanese Linux market, Linuxcare, Inc. announced Friday that it has entered into a certification, service and support-based strategic partnership with Inter Space Planning Corporation (ISP).
The Linuxcare Labs, central to the agreement, will test ISP-deployed AQUILA servers in order to provide Linux compliance certification on all major distributions. Linuxcare will also offer service and support in the Japanese market for ISP customers who are using the Linux open-source operating system (OS).
“ISP is deeply committed to providing the best Linux solutions to the Japanese market,” said Kazuharu Kanai, president of ISP. “In addition, Linuxcare Labs will certify our hardware against the Linux kernel itself, not merely a single Linux distribution.”
Linuxcare will also provide level 3 back-line support for ISP support engineers and, in turn, ISP customers.
Working with Hitachi Electronics-subsidiary Densa Techno Tokyo K.K. (DTTS), Linuxcare announced a high-level support deal in July that is nearly identical to the agreement with ISP. “Japanese businesses are embracing the many advantages of the Linux operating system (OS),” observed Fernand B. Sarrat, president and CEO of Linuxcare at the time. Linuxcare is helping DTTS expand its Synthesis Linux Solution Center.
Japan Embraces the Penguin
The Japanese market is taking the Linux OS seriously. According to International Data Corp., there will be 65,000 Linux-based servers in Japan by 2003. The predictions are based on a 97 percent compound annual growth rate.
IT and network solutions titan Fujitsu Ltd. (Nasdaq: TMIC) recently entered into a strategic alliance with Linux vendor Caldera Systems, Inc., marking the company’s official entrance into the increasingly popular Linux realm. Fujitsu will distribute the OpenLinux OS package on its servers and tap Caldera’s education and certification programs to add value to its new corporate-level Linux-based solutions.
TurboLinux has also made significant advances in the Japanese and Asian/Pacific market. According to a July report by market research firm Business Computer News, the company’s workstation product outsold Microsoft Windows 98 and other Linux operating system (OS) packages in its first week of retail sales.
On the Home Front
San Francisco, California-based Linuxcare is also increasing its strategic partnerships at home. Last week, the company reached an agreement to provide e-mail, fax and Web-based support for MacMillan USA’s distribution of the MandrakeSoft Linux OS.
“MacMillan has quickly established retail leadership as a Linux software distributor,” observed Sarrat. The world’s third largest OS publisher, MacMillan recently escalated its Linux market presence by entering into a partnership with Caldera Systems to create a new imprint — Caldera Press. “OpenLinux Installation & Configuration Handbook,” the first title, is due out this month. Other titles will follow in 2000.
Linux is a freely distributed OS, based on UNIX, which was created in 1991 as an alternative to Windows. IDC reports that Linux grew more than 212 percent and captured more than 17 percent of all server OS shipments in 1998. More than 12 million end users and organizations now use Linux technologies worldwide.