OSDL to open first Asian Linux lab

The first OSDL lab was opened in Portland, Oregon, in January of this year. The Tokyo lab is being sponsored by 19 companies including Intel, NEC, IBM, Fujitsu, Hitachi and Hewlett-Packard. As Linux becomes a more stable operating system, companies such as these are clearly showing an interest in Linux's potential for corporate use.

In his keynote speech at Linux World Expo in Tokyo, Victor Krutul, a director of Linux technology at Intel's solutions development division, said his company expects demand for Linux in enterprises to grow. Referring to the expansion of Linux in the past two years, he predicted that Linux will surpass the Unix operating system as the preferred enterprise platform in the next two years.

Although OSDL's aim is to be a large virtual research centre, with developers using the Internet to a large extent, it will also expand its operations across multiple physical locations, according to Tim Witham, lab director at OSDL in Portland. The Tokyo lab will be the "first example for the growing global (Linux) community," Witham said in his speech at the Linux World show in Tokyo.

OSDL's second lab will be located in Tokyo in order to attract more Japanese developers into OSDL projects, according to Akihiro Anezaki, a technology manager at NEC. "We expect the lab will be used by developers from other Asian countries too, and hope we can open a sub-lab in China or Korea," he said.

News of the new OSDL lab came a day after four major server vendors, IBM, NEC, Hitachi and Fujitsu announced plans to begin working together on strengthening the Linux operating system for corporate use. Linux World Expo is held between May 30 and June 1 at the Tokyo Big Sight venue.

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