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Technology Spotlight:TurboLinux

By Matthew Beale
Apr 4, 2000 12:00 AM PT

TurboLinux, formerly known as Pacific HiTech, originated in Japan and has aggressively pursued open-source software market opportunities in China, expanded international operations into Latin America, Europe and elsewhere in Asia-Pacific, and moved into North America by establishing a headquarters in San Francisco, California.

Technology Spotlight:TurboLinux

In the following exclusive interview with the E-Commerce Times, TurboLinux president and co-founder Cliff Miller discusses his company's role in the e-business landscape, as well as Microsoft, IPOs and all things Linux.

Q What is the background of your company?

Just last year, we got our first round of funding through Intel, August Capital and Broadview. We got our second round of funding, which just closed in January, with over 20 corporate investors, including Dell, Compaq, Novell, BEA, NEC, Seagate and so forth. We have been focusing our development efforts on clustering. We're also very strong in double byte computing, meaning getting Japanese, Chinese and Korean to work well with the TurboLinux operating system.

Q What is TurboLinux's corporate mission?

Q What are the unique opportunities and challenges facing TurboLinux as it expands internationally, and which markets do you find particularly promising?

The U.S. has been the traditional leader in many areas of technology, and software is certainly one of them. Japan is the second largest economy in the world, very sophisticated in many areas of technology, and once they latch onto something, they really go for it with a passion. So I think Linux will do very, very well once it catches on there.

And then China is very interesting for a number of reasons. One is that the economy is growing so fast. They obviously have a lot of people there and they also have a very small legacy of installed computers. So, there's a great opportunity in China for Linux to become adopted as their preferred standard operating system over anything else.

I see a huge business opportunity in providing some of the missing pieces for Linux. Most of the large computer companies -- hardware and software manufacturers -- have embraced Linux to some degree. They see the Linux market as being potentially very, very large. They're getting inquiries from their customers wanting products running on Linux, and so they're trying to address those needs.

But we also need to discuss international areas and the fact that there's a big opportunity outside the United States. An important part of our business has been filling the needs of different users speaking different languages. That's important for giving them products that they can use and feel comfortable with, and for being able to do business on the terms of the local and the regional business partners. I see a big opportunity overseas for growth in Linux.

Q What does the open-source model represent?

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