HP, IBM Notch New Linux Customer Wins

Announcements come a few days before the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in San Francisco.

Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM on Thursday will both announce a slew of new Linux customer wins.

HP also will announce updated Linux software releases, services and community developments. The Cupertino, Calif., companys announcements come some 100 days after its merger with Compaq Computer Corp. and ahead of next weeks LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in San Francisco, where HP has invited several hundred of its top customers to a closed-door briefing on its future Linux strategy.

Mike Balma, HPs Linux business strategist, told eWEEK that the new company would continue to aggressively push its Linux offerings. "We took the best of both companies and melded them into one.

"We have already made 12 different Linux partner and product announcements since the merger, and we continue to see enormous support from our customers around the operating system," he said.

This is evidenced by the two new Linux-customer wins HP plans to announce on Thursday. The first, NYSE-listed L-3 Communications Corp., a major player in aerospace and defense technology, has already integrated hundreds of HP-based 3-D workstations running Linux into its eXaminer 3DX 6000 machines, which are used for detecting explosives in checked luggage at airports in the United States and abroad.

Another new HP customer win is Media Temple Inc., a privately held Web hosting and software application services company in Los Angeles.

Media Temple had been using Dell servers running Linux but recently switched to Linux on HPs ProLiant servers because "they felt when they really needed Linux support and help it was not there," Judy Chavis, the director of Linux marketing for HP in Houston, told eWEEK.

For its part, IBM plans to roll out nine new customers who have chosen its Linux solutions. John Sarsgard, vice president of Linux Solutions for IBM in Somers, N.Y., told eWEEK that the sheer number of customers adopting Linux and its prevalence across all industries and sectors of the economy proved that the operating system had come of age.