Stuart Cohen, head of the OSDL, a global consortium dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux which employs Linus Torvalds and other leading Linux developers, announced this week that it was opening a European office in Luxembourg.
At the same time, in an interview in connection with the announcement, Cohen was quoted as saying, “I anticipate that as open-source software grows, Microsoft will make its applications available in open-source form.”
This has helped fuel the fire of never-dying rumors that Microsoft may yet support such programs as Microsoft Office and Outlook on Linux.
A spokesperson for the Open Source Development Labs denied, however, that there was anything concrete to Cohens comment.
“Stuart made a general statement regarding the likelihood of MS collaborating with open source,” said the spokesperson.
A Microsoft representative agreed: “Microsoft does not have any plans to port to Linux.”
Claude Beullens was appointed as director for the OSDL office. His job will be to promote Linux in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).
Beullens brings nearly 30 years of experience in enterprise computing, sales and marketing from such firms as AMC, Apollo Computer and Hewlett-Packard Co. to the job.
“OSDLs new presence in Europe is the latest demonstration that Linux and open-source technologies are vibrant and maturing around the world,” said Beullens in a statement.
Cohen believes that Europe is particularly receptive to open-source software.
“There is a philosophical foundation in place throughout Europe that drives the adoption of Linux and open-source technologies to achieve social and economic advancement,” said Cohen.
IDC predicts Linux share of server shipments and redeploys in EMEA to increase from 15 percent in 2004 to more than 25 percent in 2008.
Moreover, IDC predicts Linux PC shipments and redeploys in EMEA will double in share in the next four years.
The OSDLs international expansion is being paid for, in part, out of funds saved by layoffs in OSDLs Beaverton, Ore., headquarters.
At the time, an OSDL spokesperson said, “The Labs mission has changed in the past year, and it has decided to realign its investments accordingly. There is more demand for global activities with new offices in China and Europe, and the Labs had to invest more in IP [intellectual property legal] issues sooner than it had planned.”