New Number One Linux Vendor to Port Reuters Financial App

by Don Marti

Hewlett-Packard, which having completed its merger with Compaq now claims the title of largest Linux services company in the world, announced Thursday that it has landed a joint project with Red Hat and Intel to port the Reuters Market Data Systems software to Linux. An HP spokesperson estimated that the deal "could exceed $200 million."

The Reuters software is designed to integrate market data and news for thousands of users within a financial institution. Financial institutions are demanding that more and more software run on Linux. Tom McDonald, executive director at Morgan Stanley, said "Support for this platform from Reuters is important to our efforts and is strategic to Morgan Stanley."

Peter Blackmore, Executive Vice President of HP's Enterprise Systems Group, said at a press conference that HP now has "twice the market share of any of our competitors" in Linux services. The financial industry is a key area for HP, he added, with "a huge pent up demand" for financial applications on Linux. "We have a completely dedicated vertical line of business to this market," he added.

Michael Tiemann, CTO of Red Hat, said that Linux is a faster, not just a cheaper, alternative to proprietary UNIX. For exaple, he said, Credit Suisse First Boston moved its trading software from UNIX on proprietary hardware to Linux on Intel with a 20X performance gain. "Linux is becoming the dominant platfrom in the financial services market," Tiemann said, "We are breaking UNIX bottlenecks on Wall Street." Another Red Hat customer on Wall Street is reporting a 3X throughput improvement for an in-house Java application, he said.

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