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March 28, 2012

Microsoft News - HP Looks to Windows and Linux to Power the Most Crucial Systems

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

In the world of enterprise computing, when Hewlett-Packard (News - Alert) speaks it's generally a smart move to listen. And what they're saying now may be one of the most unlikely things they've ever said, but they've announced that they plan to incorporate solutions from Microsoft (News - Alert) and Linux alike in the construction and operation of so-called mission critical systems, though HP-UX will still be the primary part of the operation.

HP is regarded as the biggest supplier of Intel (News - Alert) Itanium-based servers, and as such, is a name to look to in terms of plans for enterprise computing at the server level. It therefore came as a surprise to more than a few when Kirk Bresniker, chief technology officer of business-critical systems, went on record with The Inquirer to reveal that they were planning to be "leveraging Linux and Windows".

Of course, this isn't completely out of the blue. Microsoft has had a working relationship with HP for some time now--indeed, Windows for Itanium has been part of the roster for some time now—however HP's relationship with the Linux community hasn't been quite so robust.

Given the nature of future plans, including HP's Odyssey project, it's not surprising that HP is looking to bring in worthwhile solutions from across a gamut of computer operators. The Odyssey project looks to unify both Unix and x86 server architectures to make availability, flexibility, and performance the best it can be. And given the connection between Unix and Linux, it can be pretty readily explained why HP would want to talk to the Linux community in terms of getting Unix up to snuff.

Plus, with Windows and Linux coming into their own as widely-used, mature operating systems, it's also worth noting that many mission-critical systems will start using one or both of these platforms, so getting them involved at the server level is also a smart idea. Moreover, since both Intel and HP are looking to incorporate more Xeon chips into their business-critical machines in a bid to make their systems more affordable and easier to work with, it's again not surprising that they'd be looking to Windows and Linux, which more typically operate in those environments.

So while it's a surprise to hear that HP is looking to go this route, a comparatively unconventional route for them, it also ultimately makes a lot of sense that HP would want to be more flexible and offer as many good quality solutions as possible for its business-critical systems. It's just good business to do so, and if there's one thing HP has understood for some time, it is good business.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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