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Compaq, IBM and Hitachi, all backed by Oracle, said they intend to push hard to grow the adoption of Linux among Japanese PC server users by over 15 per cent this year.

That said, there does appear to be some confusion over the open source operating system's market share. Compaq's Japanese subsidiary said Linux accounts for ten per cent of all PC servers shipped in Japan. It wants to get that up to 15 per cent.

Hitachi, on the other hand, reckons Linux's market share is six to seven per cent. "We are putting forth efforts to make it more than ten per cent within 2000," a company spokesman told the Nikkei newswire.

At the same Oracle press conference - convened to launch Oracle 8i Enterprise Edition Release 8.1.6 for Linux - IBM said Linux adoption rates in Japan is currently under ten per cent, "but we would like to enhance the rate to more than 15 per cent within 2000".

Globally, Linux accounts for around 24.4 per cent of the server OS market, according to IDC. Clearly, then, these vendors have to some work to do to bring the country's share up to the worldwide average, not least since IDC estimates the OS' market share there is just four per cent. By contrast, Windows NT commands 80 per cent of the Japanese market. ®

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