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KeyLabs touts ‘official’ Linux marque

Java certifier wants to certify Linux. Corporates, vendors keen

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IBM and Caldera, plus sundry other OEMs and Linux distributors, are to throw their weight behind independent testing company KeyLabs' proposal for a standard certification of compatibility for Linux-based applications and hardware, according to PC Week US. With corporates relying more and more on certification to back up their implementation decisions, it was only a matter of time before Linux distributions, applications and even hardware to run it all would require a stamp of approval in order to gain corporate backing. Corporate IT guys love certification because it gives them someone else to blame when things don't go entirely as planned. The IT industry loves certification because it makes their products look serious and scientific. It also allows them to differentiate their products from rivals who have yet to go through the certification process. This is of particular interest to Linux vendors, whose offers are by their nature very similar -- even added value elements like installers tend to be based on open source (ie. used by everyone) offerings. And since Linux itself is open source, it's available to all and sundry to offer distributions of their own. Corel is getting in on the act (see earlier story), and while PC and server vendors may initially partner with the likes of RedHat and Caldera, it's hard to imagine them not wanting to bundle their own varieties of the OS, as IBM is planning to do for its RS/6000 line. KeyLabs, of course, really loves certification because it stands to make a bundle of money running tests on all that kit on behalf of vendors keen to achieve that stamp of authority. KeyLabs at least has some experience here -- it already runs Sun's Java certification programme -- but as the apparent source of the PC Week story, it's clearly very keen to talk up the vendor interest in its scheme (it's interesting that of the big name PC companies mentioned by source, none would go on record to PC Week to confirm they might support the scheme). Still, certification might well enable large users to put their Linunx installations on some kind of official footing when justifying the choice of the open source OS instead of a more 'serious' OS -- ie. the non-IT people have heard of it -- like Windows NT/2000. 'Linux Inside', anyone? ®

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