|EIIL Letter to the Editor of The Financial Times - 17 December 2004|
The following letter was published in the 17 December, 2004 edition of the Financial Times:
From Mr Michael Abbott, Mr Ben Cheung and Mr Jon Chambers.
Sir, Concerning last week's acquisition of the personal computer business of IBM by Lenovo, placing a US chief executive alongside a Chinese chairman: there is another dimension that has, so far, not been observed.
This is the role of the Linux operating system in current computer application development. Lenovo is aggressively pursuing Linux, as the recent agreement with Guangdong Linux demonstrates. Furthermore, Lenovo has joined forces with the Chinese National University of Defence Technology to develop its own server operating system, Kylin, essentially a Chinese Linux. In April Lenovo announced the launch of its first two Linux-based PCs. Seeing this development as a whole, it is clear to us that Lenovo is positioning itself to "take out" not only Microsoft but also Dell and Hewlett-Packard.
This move has the active support of Chinese government policy, which since July 2000 has been focused on the development of Linux as a counterweight to China's dependency on Microsoft Windows. Linux is now already used in all Chinese government ministries. Linux was, of course, originally a European development.
Michael Abbott, Ben Cheung, Jon Chambers, European Institute for Industrial Leadership, 1150 Brussels, Belgium
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