Novell to open Linux R&D center in Beijing by year end

Novell is to open a Linux research and development center in Beijing by the end of this year, according to a company spokesman.

Novell is to open a Linux research and development center in Beijing by the end of this year, according to a company spokesman. The center will focus on three main areas: Linux on the desktop, international and localization issues and high-performance computing Linux including carrier-grade Linux, he said.

The move is part of Novell's increased investment in China and will form the cornerstone of a keynote speech to be given by the company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jack Messman at LinuxWorld Beijing Wednesday. The show runs from Wednesday to Friday in China's capital.

Novell is planning to launch a dedicated Chinese-language site to support its OpenSuse project, according to the company spokesman. The site which will be hosted in China will be at http://www.opensuse.org/cn and is due to go live very shortly, he said. Novell unveiled plans to make a version of its Suse Linux operating system available to users and developers around the world prior to last week's LinuxWorld show in San Francisco.

In other investment moves for its business in China, Novell plans to open an authorized support center in Shenzhen, according to the company spokesman. In relation to Tuesday's announcement of an expanded partnership with China Standard Software Company, Novell also intends to open a testing center in Beijing to provide testing and educational support about Linux for Chinese hardware and software companies, he said. The company has yet to supply timing for the opening of the two centers.

Additionally, the U.S. company plans to open two more offices in China, one in Guangzhou and the other in Shanghai, focusing particularly on customers in the financial, telecom and government market sectors, the company spokesman said. Novell already has an office in Beijing. Again, the spokesman didn't have exact dates for when the two new offices will open.

The Novell spokesman declined to put a dollar figure on Novell's increased investment in China, nor would he be drawn out about how many people are likely to staff the new centers and offices.

Novell became the leading supplier of Linux in China in the first half of this year, according to figures from market researcher IDC released last week. Novell had a 32.9 percent market share compared to 29.5 percent for Turbolinux Inc. and 24 percent for Red Flag Software. For the same period last year, Novell could only claim a 5 percent market share, according to the company spokesman.

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