TurboLinux Lines Up Supporters
10/13/99 12:00 AM PT
In an effort to challenge Red Hat and Caldera Systems in the burgeoning market for open-source software solutions, TurboLinux has struck several key deployment and financial backing deals.
The San Francisco, California-based TurboLinux, originally from Japan, has signed on with Japan's Sanyo Electric Co. in a 4-year arrangement that will see Sanyo Newve medical workstations shipped with factory-installed versions of the TurboLinux open-source operating system (OS).
Although a representative of International Data Corp. (IDC) has said that the agreement could be the largest commercial Linux deployment ever, it also signifies, according to TurboLinux, its strength in the expansive Japanese market.
"Sanyo Electronics chose TurboLinux because of its strong Linux development team in Japan," commented Hideo Hayashi, director of the Medicom Business Department for Sanyo. "And TurboLinux has the expertise to provide us the solid support that we require."
The 433 MHz Intel Celeron processor-driven computers will be serviced and users will receive ongoing technical support from TurboLinux, according to the terms of the deal. The new Linux-powered workstations will replace PA-RISC Hewlett-Packard workstations running HP (UX).
"TurboLinux is dedicated to delivering robust, enterprise solutions on Linux for major corporations," stated Cliff Miller, TurboLinux CEO. "Sanyo is joining many other Global 1000 companies in recognizing that Linux is ready for prime time in mission critical enterprise applications."
The Penguin Gets Direct
TurboLinux has also expanded its strategic relationship with Dell by cutting a deal to have Japanese Precision Workstations bundled with its Linux OS distribution. Under the terms of the deal, customers of Dell's DellWare program will have access to TurboLinux support services.
"We see Linux helping to drive our Workstation sales," said Hiropshi Fukino, Dell chairman and representative director. Dell had previously struck a deal with TurboLinux regarding its Japanese market Poweredge servers.
Irvine, California-based SMC Networks has also reached a bundling agreement where TurboLinux will offer its open-source OS distribution to North American resellers and end-users. SMC is a manufacturer and supplier of LAN products for small-and medium-sized networks.
Linux Funding Mania
TurboLinux also reportedly attracted the attention of some big league investors, pulling in considerable figures from August Capital, Broadview and industry titan Intel. The only monetary amount that was disclosed, $5.5 million (US$), came from August Capital, which the company claims will help increase its expanding presence in world markets.
According to July figures from market research firm Business Computer News, the TurboLinux workstation product outsold Microsoft Windows 98 and other Linux operating system (OS) packages in its first week of retail sales. The product now holds a 50 percent market share.
TurboLinux products, available in English, Chinese and Japanese, are also being developed in Korean language editions.