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Compaq pursues aggressive Linux strategy

Walks the tightrope between Tru64 and OSS

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Without much PR fanfare, Compaq has begun an aggressive advertising campaign to persuade Linux users to adopt the Alpha platform in Asia. The company has taken out adverts in the The Straits Times which highlight Alpha Linux as the choice for servers, with headlines such as "Linux screams on Alpha" and "Alpha puts Linux on full blast". Compaq is offering deals on its Alpha uniprocessor and dual processor 264 systems in a bid to attract users. Although Alpha boxes have been seen as expensive in the past, both Compaq and API, which also manufactures systems, are committed to bringing down the price of entry level systems. Compaq has recently released its C compiler for Alpha Linux, which has many resemblances to its Tru64 Unix compiler. But, unlike Tru64, Compaq is offering the compiler to the Linux community at no charge to attract support for the Alpha platform. Meanwhile, it and API are both readying faster revs of the Alpha processor, which the latter clocked at 1GHz at PC Expo in June, without any cooling. Compaq's task is to push Linux on the Alpha platform without antagonising its corporate users, who pay good money for Tru64. ®

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