HP, Intel, IBM, NEC Will Open Linux Lab

In a further acknowledgement of the Linux operating system's growing acceptance, four major IT players announced Wednesday that they will open an open-source software laboratory in Portland, Oregon later this year.

Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp., IBM Corp. and NEC Corp. will open the Open Source Development Lab, an independent, nonprofit lab for developers who are adding capabilities to Linux, the companies said in a statement Wednesday. Proponents of the lab said that this will propel Linux by giving developers access to high-end hardware that is often needed to test new programs.

"We are hoping that the open-source community will embrace this and that the Linux community will a build a better Linux," said IBM spokeswoman Lisa Lanspery.

The companies said they plan to provide significant resources and equipment to the lab, which will help nurture existing open-source projects. No details, however, were given on the size of the lab or the amount of resources the companies would provide it.

The lab's initial projects will be announced later this year. A neutral process will be used to determine the projects, which may range from tools development to kernel projects that advance the enterprise capabilities of Linux.

An independent board will govern the lab, and it will be made up of members of the open-source community as well as sponsoring companies. A charter of how the lab will be run will be released to the Linux community in draft form later this year. An independent executive director will be hired to implement the center's policies, make funding decisions and work on the project selection process.

Additional contributors and sponsors to the lab include Caldera Systems Inc., Dell Computer Corp., Linuxcare Inc., LynuxWorks Inc., Red Hat Inc., SuSE GmbH, Silicon Graphics Inc., TurboLinux Inc. and VA Linux Systems Inc. Membership is open to the entire Linux community.

IBM, in Armonk, New York, can be reached at +1-914-499-1900 or http://www.ibm.com/. Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at +1-408-987-8080 or at http://www.intel.com/.NEC Corp., in Tokyo, can be found online at http://www.nec.co.jp/. HP, based in Palo Alto, California, can be reached at +1-650-857-1501 or via the Internet at http://www.hp.com/.

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