Perth-based Web software developer HarvestRoad has secured a strategic deal with Red Hat Linux which will see HarvestRoad software rolled out with Red Hat products across the Asia-Pacific region.
HarvestRoad managing director Grame Barty said the marketing and sales alliance with Red Hat would help drive HarvestRoad's plans for global expansion.
"It's an opportunity to go global. Asian markets are almost only using Linux, because it's free and they can maintain the source code. It's particularly significant for the Chinese and Indian markets. About 98 per cent of the Chinese market is Linux."
The agreement means HarvestRoad will become a Red Hat Linux partner, selling the Red Hat Linux operating system, training and maintenance package. In return, Red Hat will market HarvestRoad on the Red Hat Web site and bundle a trial version of HarvestRoad software with all Red Hat CD-ROMs.
"It's a fantastic distribution network," Barty said. "The CD-ROM gives trial capability and to get a full version you will need to buy it from a HarvestRoad reseller. It's free marketing for [the resellers], and there's an enormous amount of kudos to be gotten from being associated with Red Hat."
HarvestRoad sells a range of Web infrastructure tools, which the company claims give virtual communities and application service providers the capability to automatically create, aggregate and disseminate content across their community portals.
Barty said HarvestRoad has always developed its software for Unix and Linux rather than Windows, since the company was founded in 1996. The company is also a Sun Microsystems partner, and will continue to support Sun's platform, Solaris, as well as other Unix systems.
"We believe Linux will be the operating system for mobile Internet. We are now seeing Phase 2 of the Internet, where it's moving beyond e-mail and access to applications and real time services, and that includes the mobile market."
Analyst figures from International Data Corp show that Linux is the fastest growing operating system in the world, with 24.6 per cent of the server operating system market in 1999, up from 15.8 per cent in 1998. In this market, Red Hat is the most popular Linux system, preferred by 68.7 per cent of all US Linux users.