Feeds

HP upgrades Linux Foundation membership to Platinum

Now chips in more than Red Hat, Suse, Ubuntu . . . or Google

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

HP has increased its support for the Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization that promotes the growth and development of the free Linux operating system, by upping its membership level from Gold to Platinum status.

The new membership level, which requires HP to pay $500,000 in annual dues to the Foundation, puts the PC maker in rarified company. Only Fujitsu, IBM, Intel, NEC, Oracle, Qualcomm, and Samsung also participate at the Platinum level.

Meanwhile, AMD, Cisco, Google, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia, and Sony – among others – remain Gold members of the Foundation, a level that requires only a $100,000 annual investment.

Leading Linux vendors Canonical (which markets Ubuntu) and Red Hat, on the other hand, make comparatively smaller investments. Each is a Silver member of the Linux Foundation, a level that pays dues on a sliding scale from $5,000 to $20,000 per year, depending on the number of employees in the organization.

The Linux Foundation spends those dues in a variety of ways; among them by employing Linux creator Linus Torvalds. Its stated mission is to "promote, protect, and standardize the Linux platform" by providing "much needed services that are not easily offered by a single community member, entity or company."

In addition to allowing HP to become more directly involved in the Foundation's Linux advocacy activities, Platinum membership will give it a seat on the Foundation's board of directors.

Just what makes HP so interested in Linux, however, was not immediately clear. In a canned statement announcing the membership upgrade, HP's VP of cloud computing and open source Eileen Evans seems to suggest that it was just business as usual for one of IT's more prominent vendors.

"Linux is a strategic asset for all major technology companies," Evans said. "With our Linux Foundation Platinum membership, we will have a variety of ways to maximize our investment in Linux and collaborative development that advances our own business as well as greater industry innovation."

But HP rival Dell apparently doesn't see its investment in Linux as being so strategic; it's only a Silver member of the Linux Foundation, as are Adobe, EMC, nVidia, Siemens, Twitter, VMware, Yahoo!, ZTE and many other prominent tech companies, most of whom use Linux extensively.

HP does help customers deploy Linux-based infrastructure as part of its IT consulting business – much like IBM, which is also a Platinum Linux Foundation member. It has also staked a big part of its future on the open source OS with its Project Odyssey systems effort, which seeks to build mission-critical servers based on Intel Xeon chips running Linux and Windows.

Perhaps equally significantly, however, rumors persist that HP plans to re-enter the smartphone market in the near future. And then there's Gram, the mysterious stealth division within HP that reportedly aims to wed the company's open source webOS mobile platform with cloud services to "create a technology that will unleash the freedom of the web." Linux will likely be central to any such schemes.

HP's traditional core PC and server businesses have taken a beating in recent quarters, and its revenues have been down across nearly every division. Pulling the company out of its doldrums calls for bold moves, and by aligning its new technology efforts with those of the broader Linux community, HP could gain a strong head start.

Then again, HP's track record for innovative thinking of late has not been great – to say the least. Current CEO Meg Whitman is the company's fourth since 2005, and HP's board has shown little patience for ambitious plans. At this rate, if anything comes of HP's latest Linux investment, the proof will be in the pudding. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.