- By Grant Gross -
One of the lingering questions since Hewlett-Packard announced a week ago that it plans to buy rival Compaq for $25 billion has been: What happens to Open Source projects that Compaq has participated in? HP's answer so far: It's too early to say.
Although you have to dig for it, Compaq lists several Open Source projects it supports on its Linux@Compaq Web pages. Among the Open Source projects Compaq lists as supporting are a handful of driver projects, the Open Source Database Benchmark project, Single System Image Clusters for Linux, and Solaris-compatible Thread Library. Most of those projects, hosted at SourceForge.net, have about a half dozen developers working on each of them.
HP has its own list of Open Source projects supported, including SAMBA, Apache, and Squid. In December, HP hired prominent Open Source advocate Bruce Perens as a strategic advisor of the company's Open Source initiatives. Perens was unavailable to comment on this story.
But Dave Berman, manager of corporate/HP Labs media relations, hints that the merging companies have more to worry about right now. "It's really premature to discuss what happens with Compaq open source projects once the merger is complete," he writes, in response to a question from NewsForge. "The merger has just been announced and we expect it to close in the first half of next year."