SCO Claims are Potential
Obstacle"> One potential obstacle to adoption of the HP Linux desktops is The SCO Groups efforts to claim copyright royalties for Linux. Novell at the time it acquired SuSE also offered customers indemnification against Linux copyright lawsuits. According to Novell, even if The SCO Groups assertion that Linux violates its Unix intellectual property were upheld, Novell Linux users covered by its program still would be protected against SCOs copyright claims.Despite its deepening ties with Novell and SuSE Linux, HP is not about to abandon its other operating-system partners. As for how the move will affect HPs long-standing partnership with Microsoft, Fink said HP will continue its strong partnership with Microsoft, as the Redmond, Wash., software giant continues to hold the lions share of the desktop market. Linux represented 2.8 percent of all desktop operating environment new license shipments in 2002, up slightly from 2.3 percent in 2001, according to IDC spokesman Mike Shirer. The Framingham, Mass.-based research firm predicts that new Linux license shipments will comprise about 5 percent of the market in 2006, he said. HP also will continue its partnership with Linux distributor Red Hat Inc., especially in the server space, Fink said. "Red Hat wont pursue the client market at this time, but for the rest of our product platformsservers, storage, software and servicesRed Hat provides a critical role," he said. HP will maintain support for products bundled with Paris-based Linux distributor MandrakeSoft S.A., but going forward, HPs choice of distribution will be SuSE, Fink said. HP last week said
it would roll out Linux-based desktop PCs throughout Asia. Those machines will run an operating system from Tokyo-based TurboLinux and will come with OpenOffice.org 1.1, open-source office productivity software that offers compatibility with Microsoft Office files, according to a statement from TurboLinux. During Wednesdays conference call, Fink said the company will continue to rely on TurboLinux for that region, as its Linux distributions are tailored for the region with character support for its languages.
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HP also offers a Linux indemnity program, and Novells Stone said the two companies indemnifications are complementary. "We want customers to focus on adopting Linux, not worrying about liability issues," he said. "If youve got liability issues, weve got answers."