OS middleware, Linux desktop high on HP's agenda

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Desktop sales played a big role in Hewlett-Packard's recent news-making profit gains. In the future, Linux will figure prominently in HP desktops, says Christine Martino, vice president of HP's Open Source and Linux Organization. She's not predicting an overthrow of Windows desktops anytime soon, though.

Linux is striking a positive note in HP's financial life, Martino says. About 30,000 Linux support services subscriptions added $19 million to HP's coffers in fiscal year 2005. Overall, HP has sold 1.4 million Linux servers, and Linux has brought $5.8 billion to HP, according to IDC.

Desktop Linux is one of several up-and-comers in open source that Martino discusses in this interview. She also talks about the implications of HP success for CIOs, the emergence of a strong open source middleware stack, carrier-grade Linux and businesses' move away from "proprietary everything."

SearchOpenSource.com: From HP's view, what are the current and future hot spots in businesses' adoption of open source software?

Christine Martino: Linux is mainstream in the data center today. More and more, Linux is moving upstream in the enterprise, as we're seeing in users' interest in our Itanium-powered HP Integrity Superdome servers.

Middleware and the desktop are the next frontiers, with middleware coming into play strongly today and desktops in the next few years.

What are the primary open source products that HP supports?

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