Turbolinux sells operating system business

Turbolinux Inc., which makes a version of Linux that has become a top seller in Asia, has sold its operating system business to a Japanese software vendor, the company said Tuesday.

Turbolinux will become a division of Software Research Associates Inc. (SRA) and move its headquarters from Brisbane, California, to Tokyo, said Dino Brusco, vice president of marketing for the former company. SRA will also obtain the Turbolinux brand name. Financial details of the sale were not disclosed.

Ten of the 40 employees that work in the Brisbane office will remain at that location as Turbolinux employees, reporting to SRA's headquarters in Tokyo. Employees at the company's offices in China and Korea, which accounted for the bulk of Turbolinux's operating system revenue, will retain their positions, Brusco said.

Besides its Linux software, Turbolinux also sold products based on a line of server provisioning software called PowerCockpit. That software was not part of the sale to SRA and will become the basis for a new company expected to be announced in the next few weeks, SRA said in a statement. Some of the 30 employees laid off from the Brisbane location will work for the new company, Brusco said.

Turbolinux is one of four founding companies that banded together around a common distribution of the Linux operating system known as UnitedLinux. Under the ownership of SRA, Turbolinux will continue to participate in the UnitedLinux effort, its new management said in the statement Tuesday.

"We've really won unanimous support by the UnitedLinux members (for this acquisition), and Turbolinux's role as a founding member and a contributing engineer in the development of the UnitedLinux software all remain intact," Brusco said.

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