March 25, 2004

HP expands Linux for servers

Hewlett-Packard Co. says it is yielding to large clients' demands and expanding Linux distribution -- a decision that could force
Microsoft to reconsider some of its corporate pricing for Windows.

HP announced a wider partnership yesterday with Novell Inc. and plans to package its SuSE version of Linux with computers bound for corporate clients.

"What's interesting is the possibility it will give Microsoft the impression that it's actually in a competitive market," IDC analyst Roger Kay said.
"It would act like a competitor rather than a monopoly and use price as a competitive tool."

Microsoft Corp. declined to comment, and an HP executive downplayed suggestions of fiercer competition for the software behemoth at a news conference

"Our Microsoft relationship is good, strong and powerful," said Martin Fink, vice president of HP's Linux division."



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