What Happens Now with HP and Linux?

Is HP struggling with their Linux strategy? It is beginning to look this way as I too, have had a hard time nailing them down on something really concrete. Does this mean that HP is a write off in the Linux field? Not at all. But they do need to begin streamlining and figuring out what they plan on doing.

Hewlett-Packard Co. has been a strong Linux supporter, but since CEO Fiorina has been forced out, what will happen next?

Novell Inc., one of HP’s three major Linux partners—the others being Red Hat Inc. and Mandrakesoft SA—sees business as usual ahead.

Bruce Lowry, Novell’s director of PR, said, “HP is, and remains, a strong partner of Novell. We don’t anticipate any changes in that.” HP’s other Linux vendors and its Unix partner, The SCO Group Inc., had no comment.

On the other hand, Stacey Quandt, a senior business analyst with the Robert Frances Group, said she thinks that “if the HP board allows the server division to be sold off this would impact HP’s Linux strategy for servers.”

However, she said, that doesn’t mean HP would then get out of Linux. “HP has a home entertainment focus that is based on Linux and this initiative is likely to continue with HP labs research and product offerings,” Quandt said.

eWEEK.com Special Report: The Business of Linux

Similarly, the Yankee Group, a Boston-based research firm, doesn’t expect Ms. Fiorina’s exit from HP to have any impact on the company’s Linux plans, said Laura DiDio, a senior analyst.

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