IT and network solutions provider Fujitsu Ltd. (Nasdaq: TMIC) has entered into a strategic alliance with Caldera Systems, Inc. to distribute OpenLinux. The deal marks Fujitsu’s official entrance into the increasingly popular world of the Linux open-source operating system (OS).
Fujitsu will factory-install OpenLinux 2.3 and future versions of Caldera Systems’ Linux OS on its servers, including the GranPower series. Additionally, Fujitsu will work with Caldera’s service, education and certification programs to add value to the new Linux-based solutions that will be offered to its corporate customers.
Linux For Business In Japan and Beyond
“We began seriously watching Linux a year ago, and in that time we’ve seen it grow from a relatively unknown technology to a business OS — especially in the server area,” commented Kanzunari Morimoto, general manager of Fujitsu’s software business promotion group. “The benefits of lower development costs, combined with unprecedented stability and customization really garnered a lot of attention from our customers.”
Fujitsu will provide Internet server and appliance support to its customers — pre and post-sale — along with front-line tech support. Caldera will provide Linux training for Fujitsu’s support group and act as a third-tier support provider. The two companies will also collaborate on migrating the OpenLinux server edition to desktops, handhelds and eventually to mobile phones and a range of Internet appliances.
“Unlike other Linux distributors, Caldera’s focus has always been ‘Linux for Business’ — and that is our focus,” added Morimoto. “In addition to welcoming Caldera to the Fujitsu business arena, we are looking forward to our joint collaboration in the creation and expansion of Linux business solutions throughout Japan and the world.”
Big In Japan?
According to International Data Corp., there were 2,200 Linux-based servers in Japan in 1998. That number is expected to increase to 10,000 by the close of this year, moving to 65,000 by 2003. The predictions are based on a 97 percent compound annual growth rate.
TurboLinux has made significant advances on the Japanese and Asian/Pacific market. The company’s workstation product outsold Windows 98 and other Linux operating system packages in its first week of retail sales, as announced by market research firm Business Computer News in July.
Linuxcare, Inc. has also moved into the Japanese Linux market, entering into a strategic partnership with Densa Techno Tokyo K.K to provide Linux-related technical service and support. “Japanese businesses are embracing the many advantages of the Linux operating system,” observed Fernand B. Sarrat, president and CEO of Linuxcare.
Linux is a freely distributed OS, based on UNIX, which was created in 1991 as an alternative to Windows. IDC indicates 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.