TurboLinux Begins U.S. Market Debut

TurboLinux announced the release of its Workstation 3.6 product last week, commencing its official debut in the United States. The product is currently available at the company’s information and e-commerce Web site, and soon through retail outlets and resellers.

Lonn Johnston, Vice President of North American Operations for TurboLinux told E-Commerce Times in an exclusive interview that the “target market for Workstation is the Linux user who wants to concentrate on desktop work,” including “education, developers and office workers.”

According to Cliff Miller, President and CEO of TurboLinux, his company “is best known as the Linux leader in the Pacific Rim through (their) Japanese and Chinese language products.” The company formerly known as Pacific HiTech recently transformed itself into TurboLinux, taking on the designation of its flagship product. The name change was to coincide with the company’s entrance into the North American market.

Servers and the Benefit of Open-Source

The Linux operating system (OS) has been moving into the server market, where more and more businesses — including e-commerce operations — are recognizing the benefit of open-source over the proprietary code of Microsoft’s Windows.

According to Johnston, Linux “will become hugely important for servers, from file/print/web serving up to more and more enterprise application servers.” NetCraft, a consulting firm, has indicated that Linux or other open-source software currently runs on more than half of all web servers worldwide.

“While our product includes all the server programs that ship with other Linux distributions, we have focused on adding value to the desktop experience,” commented Johnston. “For example, we wrote an RPM for (Corel’s) WordPerfect to simplify installation and we added some programs such as Xwin32 to make it easier for people to work in mixed Windows/Linux environments.”

“TurboLinux Workstation 3.6 is the first in a series of forthcoming Linux offerings that are designed to meet the needs of high performance Linux users in North America and illustrate our ongoing commitment to this market,” said Miller. According to a TurboLinux spokesperson, the company is planning a release of its new server product in the near future.

The new workstation product — which is based on the 2.2.9 Linux kernel — also includes a set of developer tools, a 300-page user’s guide and a companion CD with applications and utilities such as StarOffice 5.0 and Tripwire.

IDC Numbers

According to International Data Corp. (IDC), there are more than 12 million Linux users worldwide. In 1998, the Linux market grew by 212 percent and nearly 18 percent of all server hardware licenses sold last year were Linux.

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