Turbolinux Sells Linux Division

Japanese software group Software Research Associates Inc. buys the Linux software business.

Turbolinux Inc., which provides Linux operating environments and multi-platform server provisioning and management products, has sold its Linux software business to Japanese software group Software Research Associates Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

Turbolinuxs global Linux software business will become a division of SRA and be headquartered in Tokyo at Turbolinuxs former Japan division, spokesman Dino Brusco told eWEEK. SRA will inherit the Turbolinux company name and product brand.

SRAs Linux business operation will include the Turbolinux Workstation, a desktop offering for developers sold through the retail channel in Japan, and Turbolinux Server, its enterprise server offering that runs on both the Intel and IBM platforms.

Turbolinuxs value-added products specific to the Japanese, Asian and Korean markets are also included in the deal.

Hajime Watanabe has been appointed CEO of the new Turbolinux, while Koichi Yano becomes COO & president.

The former Turbolinux, which was based in Brisbane, Calif., will retain its server provisioning software business based on the PowerCockpit product line and will be moved into a new, as-yet-unnamed independent company over the next few weeks, Brusco said.

The sale is expected to result in more than 30 job losses in the United States. "While we had some 45 staff based here in Brisbane, Calif., before the deal, the new Turbolinux Inc. will now have less than 10 U.S. employees as it will be headquartered in Japan. But all U.S. and global customers will see no disruption in service," Brusco said.

Turbolinux, one of the four partners in the UnitedLinux consortium, had held discussions with the other participants about the sale of its Linux operating system business to SRA.

"SRA will participate in UnitedLinux in exactly the same way we would have. We undertook to provide the internationalization expertise for Asia-Pacific languages to UnitedLinux, and that commitment remains in place, as does the commitment to ensuring UnitedLinuxs success," Brusco said.

Ryugo Marumori, president of SRA, said in a statement released on Tuesday that the combined strength of SRA and Turbolinux would enable Turbolinux to focus on its growing Linux software business and capitalize on its founding member role within the UnitedLinux initiative.

Ly-Huong Pham, former CEO of Turbolinux, and several other executives would head the new company to be formed around the PowerCockpit product line, Brusco said, but declined to give more details except to say the new company would have a global distribution business and a "natural ongoing relationship" with SRA.

Pham said she was excited about the early success of its PowerCockpit server provisioning software business. "Over the last year, we have launched two major versions of our cross-platform product, established successful partnerships with Hewlett-Packard Co. and Egenera, and landed over a dozen enterprise accounts.

"I look forward to completing the formation, and the launch, of our new server provisioning software business. We expect to make an announcement regarding our new company in the coming weeks," she said.