Compaq, RedFlag Launch Certification Program

HONG KONG (03/30/2000) - Compaq Computer Corp. and RedFlag Software Ltd. Co. on Tuesday announced a certification and support program, called Flying Red Flag, for the Red Flag distribution of Linux. The companies also announced the establishment of a Red Flag Linux Certification and Support Center in Beijing.

The program is aimed at building support for Red Flag Linux among independent software vendors, company officials said.

"Linux, when downloaded directly from the Internet, does not come with technical support," said Sun Yufang, president of RedFlag. "Linux development procedures therefore fell short in terms of compatibility. This ultimately hindered the development of Linux."

"The Red Flag Linux Certification and Support Program is significant because it ensures that Linux is used in an efficient and well-regulated manner," said Sun.

The Flying Red Flag program will provide training, technical support and technical services designed to help developers succeed in getting certification for Red Flag Linux-based applications. Annual fees for the program will be RMB3,000 for a basic membership and RMB10,000 for a superior membership, according to details posted on RedFlag's Web site.

Responding to a question concerning whether RedFlag officials are mulling plans for an initial public offering, Jerry Huang, Greater China director of servers in Compaq's Enterprise Solutions and Services Group, confirmed that RedFlag officials have discussed the idea but added that no firm plans have been made.

Red Flag Linux was developed by Beijing Founder Electronics; the Institute of Software under the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), which established RedFlag Software; and Compaq China. Under the triumvirate arrangement announced in August of last year, Founder provides application development, sales and marketing, CAS provides technical support, and Compaq acts as the hardware provider. Since then, IBM China also has become a hardware provider for RedFlag.

Version 1.0 and 1.1 of Red Flag Linux, designed for both Intel and Alpha processors, were introduced in October and December 1999, respectively.

Support for additional hardware platforms is currently in the pipeline, company officials said.

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