VA Linux teams with its first Japanese subsidiary and partnerships

VA Linux Systems Inc. today announced the creation of a Japanese subsidiary to help advance Linux and open-source software in the Japanese market.

In a consortium with Sumitomo Corp. of Japan, the new company will be called VA Linux Systems Japan KK. Also investing in the new venture are the Japanese companies NTT Communicationware, NEC Corp. and Toshiba Engineering.

The new group will promote Linux and open source in applications ranging from the Internet server market to the enterprise market in Japan. VA Linux is based in Fremont, Calif.

"The interest of Sumitomo and other leading technology companies in VA Linux Systems Japan is a strong endorsement of the potential growth opportunity for Linux and open-source solutions in the Japanese Internet infrastructure and enterprise markets," Robert Russo, VA Linux Systems' general manager and senior vice president of worldwide sales, marketing and services, said in a statement.

"We expect VA Linux Systems Japan, together with our recently announced European operations, to extend VA Linux Systems' reach significantly as a global company," he said.

Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst at International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass., called the new alliance "interesting" but said it is certainly not the first partnering of U.S. and Japanese technology companies.

Kusnetzky said Japan and other Asian markets are interested in Linux because it "is a multivendor, multicountry, multi-everything effort" that can't be ruled by any one company or nation.

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