Fujitsu has struck a deal with Caldera Systems to distribute the open source operating system on many of its Intel servers, a deal which may clash with Siemens Fujitsu's commitment to competing versions of Linux.
The Japanese company, which is merging its European arm with Siemens to become operational as Fujitsu Siemens Computers from 1 October, will distribute Openlinux 2.3 and future versions of the Caldera software.
The agreement covers many of Fujitsu's server products, including the Granpower series, its range of servers running on Intel chips.
The two companies will also work together to offer a complete range of Internet appliances and devices, and Caldera will provide Linux training to Fujitsu's support group and act as third tier support to them.
Caldera said the agreement "marks the corporation's first and strongest commitment to a Linux distribution, underscoring an even stronger commitment to Linux in Japan and the Pacific Rim."
However, Siemens favours Suse and Red Hat's versions of Linux.
The German company announced its intention to support Linux in Europe at Cebit last March and has Red Hat and Suse versions of Linux certified on its Primergy server range.
A spokesperson for Siemens said: "The deal does not include Fujitsu Siemens as yet."
He added: "You've heard some things from Siemens about Linux and some things from Fujitsu. The two will be more closely woven together in the future."
Peter Lemon, IDC analyst said: "It looks like an integration problem of getting a worldwide agreed product line. Granpower and Primergy do a similar job. I assume they will merge their servers at some point. They will take them to the end of their natural life cycle and then integrate."
He added: "Most vendors are trying to standardise on a single Linux - mostly Red Hat. If they say they will do whatever they want for a customer they lose some edge. To be able to say 'this is the best solution' gives them focus." Kanzunari Morimoto, general manager of Fujitsu's software business promotion group said: "We began seriously watching Linux a year ago and in that time we've seen it grow from a relatively unknown technology to a business operating system - especially in the server area."
He added: "Unlike other Linux distributors. Caldera's focus has always been 'linux for business' - and that is our focus."
Fujitsu will also promote Caldera's Linux education courses and service options.
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