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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-09-09 Print this article Print

: Linux Guru Bruce Perens Leaves HP"> Mike Balma, the director of marketing for HPs Linux system operations at that time, said this was the first time a large corporation like HP had brought a high-profile Linux evangelist into such a senior management position. "As Linux became increasingly pervasive across the company, we realized how much we needed to bring someone in-house who was a great engineer but who also had credibility in the open-source community and could hear their voice," he said.
In March, Perens told eWEEK that he did not expect any significant shift in the Linux strategies as a result of the proposed merger between HP and Compaq.
The merger would, in fact, effectively create the largest global Linux company and be a good meld of HPs Linux technology operation with Compaqs huge hardware business, he said. "This will be a good fit of the differing capabilities of the two firms. The HP team has enormous experience in developing a range of hands on Linux solutions, while Compaq moves enormous amounts of hardware. As such, our Linux business would immediately be far larger and have the potential to grow even more," he said. HP remained a three operating system company, supporting Windows, Linux and Unix, and its focus going forward would be improvements in system administration, hardware administration as well as simpler clustered Linux system administration, Perens said at that time. But his relationship with HP management has sometimes been strained. In July, Perens publicly announced that he would openly discuss how to circumvent DVD player controls in a presentation at the OReilly Open Source Convention in San Diego. But pressure from HP saw him back off from those details in his presentation. However, at that time he gave what was perhaps a warning of things to come, reportedly saying that he was "too political to be an employee." Related Stories:
  • HP/Compaq Linux Businesses a Good Fit
  • HP, IBM Notch New Linux Customer Wins (Note: This story was updated after receiving comments from Perens.)

    Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

    He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

    He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

    He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

    He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

    He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

    His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

    For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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