Completion of the Compaq/Hewlett Packard (HP) merger will boost the take-up of the Linux operating system, at least according to HP chief executive Carly Fiorina.
Speaking at the start of the annual LinuxWorld Conference and Expo love-in for the open source operating system in New York, Fiorina worked to portray her ongoing battle to win shareholder support for the pending $24bn merger as a fight for the progress of Linux.
"This is a combination that's good for Linux," she said. "Together we will be in a more powerful position to lead the march in open standards and Linux than either company could on its own."
According to Fiorina, 2002 will be the breakout year for Linux as it gains a greater foothold in the business market. "We see HP's role as helping to increase Linux credibility," said Fiorina.
In a spate of new hardware, software and services announcements made at the show, the company also made it clear that it is looking to push into the telecoms world with its Linux products.
While Linux played a part in Fiorina's corporate strategy for the company, she drew the loudest applause when speaking to establish HP's credentials and commitment to the open source aspects of Linux.
"In HP's view, even the so-called reasonable patent licensing would distort the standards selection process to an unacceptable level," she explained. "We continue to work to draft a policy that requires the World Wide Web Consortium to endorse only those recommendations which can be used free of royalties."
Pledging HP's commitment to Linux alongside the two other operating systems supported by the company, HP-UX and Windows, Fiorina also encouraged Linux fans not to waste too much energy fighting Windows.
She then brought up another - unscripted - allusion to the ongoing merger struggle. "While I know this industry loves a good dogfight - and boy, do I know - the truth is that our collective energy can be put to much better use," she said.
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