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Hewlett-Packard is planning to follow IBM's lead and next week announce major support for Linux across its product line. And the company intends to embrace the open source software movement, driven by a new Open Source Solutions Operation (OSSO) division, also due to be announced next week, porting its key applications to Linux and releasing the code as open source. In an interview with PC Week magazine in the US, HP exec Wayne Caccamo, who will head the OSSO, pre-empted the company's raft of announcements, to be made at the LinuxWorld conference. HP's view, he said, is that Linux will emerge as the platform of choice of online businesses and ISPs. Since HP is specifically targetting its server products at precisely those customers, increased Linux support makes sense. Indeed, HP said earlier this year that Linux will become one of its core OS offerings (see earlier story). Caccamo also said HP will support Linux on its PA-RISC servers. The task of bring Linux to PA-RISC has been outsourced to Linux consultancy and development organisation The Puffin Group, in a deal that's similar to the one IBM has struck with Red Hat (see IBM confirms Linux deal with Red Hat). "We see this a potentially an indication of how things [might] get done in the future," Caccamo said, though words such as 'potentially' and 'indication' don't exactly make for a definitive statement. HP is also working on a version of Linux for Intel's Merced processor, though it's not clear whether The Puffin Group will be involved in this project too. Back in January, the Wall Street Journal claimed HP was also planning to offer Linux on its IA-32-based servers, possibly with Red Hat. However, whether a Red Hat deal is still on the cards given HP's new ties with The Puffin Group and Red Hat's deal with IBM, remains to be seen. ®

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